One crucial element with Landscape photography is well…. the landscape. And while the photographer and the gear both come into play when shooting landscape, the primary star of the shoot is the land.
While jumping into a car, parking and starting to hike, while looking for a good location has some chances of succeeding, going to a location that you KNOW for a fact that has potential can drastically increase your hit/miss ratio.
So how do you go about finding good locations to shoot at? Landscape photographer Craig McCormick of Destructive Pixels has a neat workflow for doing online research and finding good locations to shoot at. (Or course, using online research tools is a almost a certain guarantee that you will be taking a photo where such photo was already taken, but this is an inherent trait with landscape photography in general)
While some of us look at 500px as a place for photo, the tagging, titles and caption on each photo actually converts the site into one huge visual database of good locations.
Craig his workflow by searching a general location (like a town or a mountain) and then narrowing it down just to photos of the ‘Landscape’ category. The second step is to sort the photos by “Pulse” which is 500px lingo for rating. This gives Craig a pretty good visual dictionary of possible cool location to shoot at, and digging into the photos and comments, there are many times more information about the specific location or even GPS coordinates. It is also likely to find the specific name of a certain location.
Next you can punch the name on Goggle to find instruction to get to a specific location, finding parking and sometimes specific pointers on hiking a certain trail.
Of course, you can take the results from Google, put them back in 500px and get stuck in an infinite loop. But this is a story for another blog post in a different blog.