In Scott Kelby’s latest book The Digital Photography Book, Volume 3 he talks about the three keys to landscape photography.
- Gear: Having the right equipment and knowing how to use it.
- Preparation: Scouting your locations in advance so you’re in the right place at the right time
- Luck: Sheer unadulterated luck!
I don’t think I’ve ever seen these three keys written down before but they’re absolutely true, especially the last one, Luck! Having said that, I do believe that having the right gear and being prepared go along way in determining just how lucky you can be.
Take this image for example. I had scouted this location several times before and knew that the best light would occur just as the sun sank below the rocks to my left at Pedernales Falls. I also knew that I’d have just minutes to capture this scene before the warm, directional light from the sunset was gone. So I setup my tripod and camera about 45 minutes early, composed the scene in my viewfinder just as you see it here and waited for the magic to happen.
I took about two shots per minute for the next half hour or so as the sun slowly set and the image came alive with a wonderful warm glow. When I returned to the hotel after dark it took me only minutes to select the best exposures and process them in Lightroom to display and print. The right gear and good preparation allowed me to get lucky and capture a few really nice exposures that evening.