Tribune Print Share Text

Take a photo safari

Created date

June 22nd, 2016

Landscape photography is one of my favorite activities. I drive around the countryside looking for scenes I think might make a good picture and spot a vista that calls to me. 

There are a lot of pitfalls on a venture like this. But if you are prepared and have a plan, your photo safari will be successful.

Your first consideration is finding a place to park, one that will be safe for you, not obstructing traffic and close to the target area. If the shoulder of the road is wide enough, this might be adequate. Never park on a curve; give oncoming cars a clear sight of your parked vehicle. 

If a driveway is nearby, consider using it but be mindful that it’s private property. The owner’s permission is usually required. I’ve rarely had a problem asking for consent. Always be respectful and move if the owner does not acquiesce to your request. 

Have your camera ready and on the passenger seat, lens cap off, sun shield in place. If you’re using a tripod, leave it on the back seat with the camera attached and the legs extended. Time is of the essence. You want to spend time taking photographs, not preparing to shoot. 

What to wear

Dress for the occasion. Always wear a hat—summer and winter. Gloves with openings for the fingers will give you warmth and permit you to adjust the small camera controls. You can find them on the Internet and in sporting goods stores. They make them for hunters as well as photographers. 

Footwear is particularly important. You must be prepared for uneven terrain and rocky surfaces. You might be climbing small hills or walking through brambles and close growing trees. Long pants and shirts with sleeves offer good protection, too.

Put a kit together with bandages, a small flashlight, water, a snack (don’t pack chocolate bars in the summer—they melt), facial tissues, a couple of plastic bags, a small umbrella, and, by all means, your mobile phone.

Landscape, scenic, and nature photography require time and patience for serious composition considerations. If you are prepared and have a plan, you’ll have time to engross yourself in the task of making photos that end up as keepers.