All the aspiring Travel and Landscape photographers! Let’s talk about location scouting. Travel or Landscape photography is more than just a good camera or a passionate photographer. It takes the will to explore, ability to understand the place and wait for the right moment at right place. To make all the above happen scouting is of dire importance. In this article we I point out how scouting can step up your Photography game and why it is mandatory for you to do that.
Know your place:
Scouting starts right at your Laptop. Famous places have uncommon spots and scenic views in their pandora box. Start networking on travel websites and read up about these hidden gems. Avid travelers rate places and once you get the hang of following reviews with a strategy, you will understand the pattern and become a good judge of seeing for real, the dreams of your nights. Tools like Google Maps and Google earth can be really handy in your initial scouting through your gadgets.
Bond for real:
It is a good to research and educate yourself about the place, weather and route via Internet. But you shouldn’t limit your scouting to it. In fact the real deal of scouting starts when you connect with locals. Get into the habit of bonding with the locals, sharing a cup of warm tea learning about the inside details of the place. This gives a great piece of information and tips that you will never ever learn via Internet. There are instances where I limit myself to search about a place via Internet and end up missing a lot of things that place has to offer. Never commit this mistake.
Right place at Right time:
This is something very important to consider when scouting for a location. Not every location will look stunning at every part of the day. But how would you best judge if a scenery looks beautiful on a sunset or a sunrise or blue hour or twilight or any other part of the day? If you try to capture a rock temple at dead of the night or at the peak of the sun, your Instagram follower might end up cursing you. You have understand the impact of light on that particular location.
Harsh light works well only on few locations whereas soft light works best in many locations. So when assessing a location you have to consider the impact of light on that location and should determine the best time to photograph it. This is more of a intuition you develop over a time with experience. And you will get better at it the more you do it. Mobile applications like Photopills will assist you a lot in these cases by revealing you sunset, Sunrise, Bluehour, Twilight timings and cloud conditions at a particular place and time.
Don’t be all Digital:
Most of the amateur Photographers make this mistake a lot. They rely on their fancy gadgets to guide them and scout the location. But the irony is in the wild anything can happen, you might run out of charge or you might be in No signal zone where your fancy gadgets do no good. So always before setting out for a trip carry a hard copy of the Map. If you are lucky or rich 😛 you might actually get help from locals in successfully scouting for sweet spots in that area.
Mark your findings:
Location scouting can be a real fun. As a Photographer I tend to get excited when searching for that perfect spot to take Photographs and often end up loosing track of locations or fail to find it when I actually need to shoot. There is a real risk in it, apart from loosing track to your hard found location there are chances you might actually get lost when you are in a new place. It’s always a good habit to take photos or videos of the path you have took to reach the place. Not only it helps you to find that spot later easily, it also helps to avoid getting lost.
I used to take photos or short videos of signs and significant landmarks while scouting so I can use it as a reference to find the spots later. Or if you have a map that shows the routes you take clearly, you can always use that to keep track of your path.
Hope this article would have helped you to do better and safe location scouting. If you got any tip that you feel worth sharing, do let us know using the comment box below. Also do not forget to take a look at other Photography tutorials in our website . Happy Scouting 🙂