If you are interested in going out and getting some high quality landscape photographs, here’s a comprehensive list of items you will either want to consider, or must have, in order to increase your chances of getting some keepers:
#1 – The Internet
Whenever I start to plan a photo shoot to a particular location, I usually begin by googling the area. If it’s a relatively well-known location, you will probably find some very interesting, and comprehensive, websites made by other photographers or adventurists/bloggers. The problem is, if it’s a famous location, you will also get a ton of not-so-interesting and even incorrect information as well. Weeding through Google to isolate the helpful and high quality blogs or websites from the crummy ones is an art form all its own. Once you get used to perusing Google, reading just a few sentences of a blog will clue you in as to whether or not the information you’ve found is worth taking it to heart or not.
If you aren’t lucky enough to find two or three really good blogs about the location, head over to Alltrails.com. It has a sizeable database of locations around the country that have been hiked, including user’s reviews of the location and the level of difficulty in getting there. If it’s a famous site, TripAdvisor.com has a good database of information, including the places to stay nearby.
From there, you’ll be off and running with more information than you probably need. In most cases, what becomes tricky is weeding through everything you find and parsing it down into just a few brief paragraphs on your overall plan of action.
#2 – A Strong Backpack
If you’re looking for a place to save some money, a backpack is not where you want to be counting pennies. You get what you pay for, and when it comes to choosing a backpack to take on a landscape shoot, it is very important you use a bag that is strong and water resistant, with reinforced padding.
Don’t fall victim to the lame zipper bug (you know you’ve been there before, trying to unzip the bag and before you know it, the zipper pops off the bag like a cricket). Do yourself a favor and invest in a high quality bag, like the Tamrac Expedition Series, or the Lowepro Pro Trekker. It will last you many years, and will help you take care of your camera and lenses in the long run.