Landscape ArtistryText and photography copyright Guy Tal
Ten Tips for Becoming a Better Landscape Artist
7. Keep Going Back
As a beginner I used to browse through books and magazines in awe of the images I found. The biggest question on my mind was "how do these photographers find such magnificent scenery?" As I gradually explored and discovered the wonderful scenic areas of the American West, I soon came to realize that finding a beautiful scene is only the beginning. My images were good, because the subject matter was spectacular, but there was nothing particularly unique or inspiring in them otherwise. I proceeded to experiment by revisiting scenic areas at different seasons and different hours of the day, in mild and inclement weather, and a whole new array of choices unfolded. It is remarkable how many different moods can be found at the same place at different times. An important lesson was learned: it is very rare to arrive at a scene, no matter how wonderful, and snap a masterpiece.
These days I would much rather leave a scene empty handed and with the knowledge of when to come back for a good image than to photograph a spectacular scene when the light is not right or the foliage is poor or the sky is bad. The two images of Hayden Peak in Utah’s rugged Uinta Mountains were taken just a few weeks apart. One was taken during a break in an early spring storm. The lakeshore was lined with Marsh Marigolds and the scene was made of shades of green. In the second image, the marigolds were gone and replaced by Fleabane Asters. It was a clear spring afternoon and the setting sun shed a warm light on the flowers and peaks above. A very different mood, a different kind of beauty, and a place I will continue to revisit.
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