Be selfish, enjoy yourself first...

Then worry about getting "the" shot. I started out in landscape photography probably the same way many other photographers did. I loved the natural beauty of the world around me while I ventured out hiking and camping in the nearby mountains. Maybe for you it was walking through the desert or visiting the ocean before you decided to get serious and try and get more than just a "tourist photo." I think too often we are consumed with getting a beautiful shot to show friends and family, or if you're a pro, maybe you are concerned about getting that next publishable shot. I have been with people so anxious to get that shot, they miss the real beauty around them. They have forgotten why they started...

Looking at the photograph to the left, it isn't one I would call a great shot, it's nice and helps give the viewer a bit of an idea of the area. But the best part of being there was the hike and the scenery. There is this wonderful gorge where the river flows through, almost impossible to find a spot to photograph safely from, but I still remember how beautiful it was. I stopped along the trail many times, knowing the location I stopped at wouldn't make a great photograph, just to take in and really enjoy what I was seeing.

More often than not, a beautiful scene doesn't translate into a good landscape photograph. But sometimes photographers spend so much time trying to force it into a shot they miss the entire point of why they started. If you relax and enjoy the moment, you may not have a shot to show friends and family, but you have an unforgettable experience that will last a lifetime. And yet, you may also get much better photographs because you slow down and start noticing things you may not have seen in your rush. Some of my best shots are after I sit down and just enjoy what I am looking at.

People need to think back to why they began this quest. Don't lose sight of your goals, but open your eyes and "see" the way you used to. I don't know that you will go home with better shots, but I guarantee you will go home with a much more gratifying and better experience.


  1. Remember when we'd go deer hunting and see only elk, and vice versa. Have you found where they got their info yet? Looks like your staying in shape Doug packin' 50# of gear. Good for you. Let's hook up sometime when you're not frocklicking in the woods. =) Your friend Vinnie

  2. Thanks. I enjoyed your photos a lot. They have great dynamic range and I feel as though the landscape is there before me :)