Here in a day and age that finds everyone equipped with a Smart Phone or a digital camera at all times, more or less everyone considers themselves to be a photographer in some way, shape, or form. Some of what people are producing is excellent and some of it not so much. We’re most certainly exposed to more landscape photography than we ever would have been in the past.
However, so much exposure to so much material means that the world of landscape photography is getting increasingly competitive in ways it didn’t use to be. That said, before you throw your hat in the ring, you might want to ask yourself why you’re interested in landscape photography in the first place. Make sure it isn’t any of the following.
- You want to be Internet-famous on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Social media really does tend to run on a steady diet of that “look at me” mentality we all know so well. Many people are less focused on generating quality content than they are accumulating Facebook likes and Twitter retweets. For such people, their reason for taking up landscape photography has little to do with truly being in love with Mother Nature and everything to do with trying to become Internet-popular.
Focusing too much on e-popularity can prevent you from really falling in love with everything landscape photography brings to the table. It’s natural and normal to want to share your work and to hope that people like it, but it’s important to make sure that popularity isn’t the only reason you’re doing it.
- You want to generate perfect photos captured under pristine conditions.
Just as it’s normal to care whether or not other people like what you produce, it’s also normal to want to produce beautiful work that accurately reflects your vision. However – like any artist – a landscape photographer soon learns that there’s the picture you have in your head of how a shot will turn out and there’s what it actually becomes.
Sooner or later, you will need to learn how to go with the flow a bit. Resist the urge to get frustrated when the lighting isn’t exactly right or when circumstances don’t line up perfectly. Remember, this is nature. Learn to see, appreciate, and capture the unpredictability of its beauty by also learning to adapt and make the most of any situation.
- You want to capture shots exactly like the ones you see in the magazines or online.
Every photographer is going to have their idols as far as the work they admire. However, it’s important to let yourself develop your own style and vision for your work. Otherwise, you risk cheating yourself out of fantastic experiences because someone else has already “done it better” or thought of something before you.
You also risk hindering the development of something that’s truly your own. The one great reason to take up landscape photography is that you love expressing yourself and capturing nature. Don’t let that love get lost in the shuffle.