Location scouting to find the ideal spot is just as important as what camera settings you use. Don’t miss this important first step in order to get your perfect sunset photograph.
Scouting is part of the photography process
“Hi. Are you a photographer?” a young voice called to me.
“Hello,” I turned back and replied to a smiling and inquisitive face. It was a little girl with a point-and-shoot camera.
“Yes, I am,” I nodded in affirmation. The backpack and tripod were a dead giveaway.
“This is so beautiful,” and after a moment of watching me, “Aren’t you going to take a photo?” the girl continued, as she scrutinized me searching for something in between granite boulders on the beach but not taking photos.
Mother Nature had put on a mesmerizing show of stormy clouds and light at Camps Bay Beach in Cape Town, and it seemed that almost everyone had their cameras and cell phones pointed towards the far horizon. Our brains are programmed to do routine work subconsciously, like changing gears of a car.
For a landscape photographer, scouting for a good location is part of the job. It can be a challenging, albeit fun routine, and I was doing exactly that an hour prior to what was going to be a stunning sunset. In fact, I find it quite therapeutic to search for a good spot. You pay attention to details and discover small wonders in the process.
The question from the little girl triggered a lot of possible answers in my mind. “I am trying to make a good photo,” could be one of the answers, but it would have confused her even more, so I told her that I was looking for an interesting pattern of rocks for my sunset shot. My quest resumed after she and I finished chatting.
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