A FEW REQUIREMENTS TO OUTDOOR LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
1. Be willing to miss Happy Hour and dinner at a popular dinnertime.
Most people seem to eat dinner around sunset. If you're an outdoor landscape photographer, you're not sitting at this table. Happy Hour...fuhgeddaboudit! Dinner and drinks both have to come later, after dark, and after the nights shooting.
2. Be willing to wake up earlier than you'd ever consider otherwise.
Most people I personally prefer to sleep in to reasonable hours like 7 or 8am (or, even 9am on occasion), but when you are driven to get dynamic images with Sweet Light, there are times when you have to get up at 0' Dark Early - times that begin with a 4 !?! Yes, I know...it sounds inhumane, but all is soon forgotten when the magical morning light begins - mixed with your 1/2 sleep stupor, a feeling of harmonious bliss can take you over for a righteous and pure morning Happy Hour that leaves you feeling peachy all day. (Afternoon nap may be required.)
3. Be willing to struggle, suffer, and otherwise torture yourself.
Unless you find satisfaction in only making images alongside the edge of the road or parking lot, the same images anyone else can easily make, then as an outdoor landscape photographer, you're going to have to suffer at the hand of nature. You will have to spend many hours in the elements, hiking and climbing and waiting in the hot or the cold or the wet, all the while quieting your mind which can get extremely noisy during these uncomfortable times. Fortunately, most of us who choose this photographic path do so because we love nature, whether punishing or not. I always feel that the more one pushes up against the comfort zones of the ego, the more of a gem there is to be found - especially while in the stillness of nature.
This past weekend, myself and a couple of friends decided to push up against these comfort zones and hike from close to sea-level to 8,000 feet over a course of 17 miles and 48 hours - UP! the Kaupo Gap and through the Haleakala Crater of Maui. I carried 50 pounds of weight which in addition to all my camping gear, included my camera and lens, filters and a tripod, with hopes of being able to make an image or two along the way. As it turned out, not much success in the way of an image for my limited edition collection on this journey, but there was still a gem there to be found, shining amongst the struggles and efforts required to make it through this demanding hike.