The importance of location scouting in landscape photography

Every landscape photographer is looking to capture the breathtaking beauty of nature. However, behind every mesmerizing photograph lies an essential element that often goes unnoticed: location scouting. It is the meticulous process of exploring and selecting the perfect spots to capture nature’s wonders. A lot of work goes into finding, exploring and planning a photoshoot in the perfect location.

Location scouting allows photographers to unearth hidden gems that might otherwise go unnoticed. By exploring different areas and studying various landscapes, photographers can discover lesser-known locations that offer unique perspectives and captivating compositions.

The choice of location greatly influences the quality of light and weather conditions that will work the best. Location scouting enables photographers to identify areas that offer optimal lighting, whether it’s the soft glow of sunrise or the dramatic hues of sunset. Considering the time of day, the direction of light, and the season all play an important role in achieving the final result.

Composition plays a pivotal role in landscape photography, and location scouting is essential for finding the right elements to frame within the image. By exploring different vantage points and studying the landscape’s features, photographers can identify foreground interest, leading lines, and balanced compositions. Visiting a location in advance, even when the conditions are not great is a good opportunity to find the right composition.

There are a number of tools that landscape photographers use to help with location scouting:

  • Maps and Satellite Imagery: Online mapping services and satellite imagery platforms such as Google Maps and Google Earth offer detailed views of landscapes, helping photographers identify potential shooting locations and access points. These tools provide a bird’s-eye view that aids in understanding the terrain and planning routes.

  • Weather Apps: Weather apps like AccuWeather or Clear Outside offer real-time and forecasted weather conditions, including cloud cover, wind speed, and precipitation.

  • Sun and Moon Position Calculators: Apps like PhotoPills and The Photographer’s Ephemeris provide precise information about the position of the sun and moon at any given time and location. These tools help photographers plan their shoots around specific lighting conditions, such as golden hour or the alignment of celestial bodies.

  • And of course the different photography communities and photo sharing services like Instagram, Flickr, 500px can greatly help with online location scouting and idea brainstorming.

Most of these tools are great, but there is a lack of a personal diary style log that photographers can use for their scouted locations. This is what MyPhotoLocations is trying to solve, by combining some of the features from the above mentioned tools and also giving the control to the photographers to keep track of their personal photo spots.