We all get photographer’s block from time to time so, if you’re finding yourself in a bit of a rut when out photographing the landscape, here are a few ideas to get back your mojo.
01 Focus on your local patch
Try really getting to know the landscape in your immediate surroundings. Set yourself a limit of, say, a 5 mile radius; then go and explore!
Really open your eyes – perhaps first of all just try taking pictures with your phone or a compact camera. Don’t be afraid to experiment, allow yourself to make mistakes and start to get a feel for what inspires you close by.
02 Set yourself limits
Rather than head out with a heavy bag full of all your kit, challenge yourself to take just one lens, ideally a prime lens. You’ll find you have to work far harder to get the compositions that you want and will really have to think about what it is you want out a picture.
Also, if you tend towards shooting 3×2 or 4×3 all the time, try restricting yourself to using a different aspect ratio. Many cameras allow you to set a 1:1 or square crop, for example.
03 Work in series
Sometimes it can be so hard to find that one evocative and powerful image when you’re out shooting. A series of images can be a far more effective and compelling way of depicting the landscape.
Consider shooting the exact same scene across different seasons, at different times of day, or in extremes of weather.
Alternatively, try capturing a series of more abstract images; interpretations of your chosen location – pictures that tell a story when combined.
04 Don’t ignore the honeypot locations
Never think it’s all been done before – it hasn’t! Even the most visited locations can offer something new. Visit with fresh eyes – turn your back on the favoured viewpoints and really explore, to see what else is there.
Make a number of visits, in varied conditions, and see how different the same place can look on each trip. Try using both traditional and alternative techniques to catch the spirit of the place.
05 Enjoy first, photograph second
Don’t rush to grab that perfect photo! Immerse yourself in the landscape and take time to get a real feel for your environment. Enjoy the experience.
You’ll find yourself far happier with the resulting photographs if you allow yourself the luxury of taking a bit of time to take it all in and, above all, have fun!