The notion that taking up a creative outlet has multiple mental and emotional benefits is widely held and with good reason. Art has been found to lower stress levels, improve self-awareness, and strengthen the mind. However, each individual outlet comes attached to unique benefits of its own and landscape photography is no exception.
Landscape photography is more than just a way to create beautiful things. It’s also a way to connect more thoroughly with the world around you in ways you wouldn’t probably think to otherwise. The following are just some of the things landscape photography as an art form has taught its devotees.
1. How to Be Observant
Most modern people live a lifestyle that is pretty fast-paced and doesn’t leave much time to stop and smell the roses. People are so busy earning a living that many of them forget to make a life. Even more never quite manage to get to know themselves or anything much about the world around them. Landscape photography changes all that. You begin to truly see the world as if for the first time. You learn to notice things that you never would have noticed before. You notice smaller details just as readily as you do big ones. Best of all, you learn to not only learn to recognize special moments, but you develop an instinct for capturing those moments as well.
2. How to Be Patient
If there’s one quality a landscape photographer eventually develops out of sheer necessity, it’s the ability to be patient. And we’re not talking garden variety patient either. Sometimes a photographer must wait quietly for hours in uncomfortable positions – possibly in the cold or exposed to the elements — just to get the shot he’s after. That’s the real x-factor behind all of those gorgeous National Geographic style shots that leave you wondering: “How did he do that?” You assume the photographer was just super lucky to be in the right place at the right time. However, while serendipity does have a bit to do with it, patience has more.
3. How to Be Adventurous
The world’s best landscape photographers are more than just creative and resourceful. They’re also adventurers. They’re the type of people that understand the importance of getting up and getting out there in the world. They travel. They learn to take risks, especially the more they realize that the greatest rewards typically come as a result of the greatest risks. They spend a lot of time exploring the road less traveled. They know that life at its very core is the greatest adventure and they’ve dedicated themselves to capturing that experience on film.
4. How to Experiment
Yes, landscape photography is about learning how to master existing techniques and use light to your advantage. However, it’s also about experimentation – finding new and even more exciting ways to use your equipment, new ways to capture mood, and new ways to achieve certain effects. That said, start by learning the basics. Then get creative. Take chances. Be fearless. Invent new styles and techniques of your own. That’s the key to being a truly great artist of any kind. Now get out there and get shooting!