Short or long landscape photography trips?
This question remains unanswered, at least for us.
Sometimes we feel that we should stop struggling to find places to photograph every weekend and concentrate on having 2-3 long landscape photography trips each year. Still, small trips – 2-3 times per month – keep us sharp and concentrated on photography.
What option is best? Or should we concentrate on both?
Each of us is different and we all live in different locations, with different photographic opportunities near us, so there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Still, we can elaborate on each option.
Long photography trips
- You have a lot of time to enter into a photographic mood that would stay with you the entire trip, that helps you focus and take advantage of the opportunities around you.
- A clear goal – we tried the approach of combining a photographic with a sightseeing trip and things did not work out quite well. If you run from one place to another, there is a great chance that you miss out photographic opportunities. Photography is all about waiting for the right moment, seeking the best light, the right angle, it is all about patience, therefore it is important to prioritize your goals right from the begging of your trip.
- You get to plan your trip way in advance and do the initial scouting online. This is one of the greatest advantages of a multiple day adventure. You look for a national park, country, place that you would like to photograph, establish your points of interest and stick to them for your photographic journey.
- You get the feel and the culture of the places you are photographing. The more time you spend in a certain place, the more familiar it gets and this helps you with figuring out the message or the subject of your images.
Short photography trips
- Less time to enter into the photographic mood I mentioned earlier, to detach from your day to day activities and start creating meaningful work but easier to get to short distance locations when the light and weather are right.
- Returning to same places over and over again, helps you to create a more profound body of work. Working every week on your photographic skills helps you improve on the long run.
- Being in the middle of the nature every weekend, even if you cannot find good subjects is a wave of joy for the mind.
For us, landscape photography is a hobby that helps us relax, detach, work on our creativity and out of the box thinking. We only have 4 weeks of holiday each year from our regular jobs, this means about two trips of two week each per year.
For the rest of our time – weekends, public holidays – we try to establish short distance trips to certain locations that might have photographic potential. As you can imagine, there are only a handful of places we can go that are in a 400 km range from our home and that could show some photographic opportunities. Over the last 2 years we got to explore them almost all.
It is really rewarding to get to know the places you are photographing and our small trips make us better photographers, but there are so many wasted weekends, when we come home with nothing. We know that landscape photography offers a certain degree of unpredictability and that you often travel a long way for a place that seems to have potential, just to be disappointed on what you find there whether bad weather or our own incapability to find subjects that matter.
This disappointment makes us wonder if we should stick to our long annual trips and stop this madness of searching for locations to travel to each weekend?!
So many of our portfolio images come from these small and repetitive trips where we keep finding subjects, returning to them in different seasons or moments of the day… This continuous search and struggle to put our creativity to work brought us where we are today so the best approach for us, at least for the time being is to pursue long and short trips alike, hoping that both of them will help us grow, improve or be better photographers.
What do you think? What is your approach regarding landscape photography trips? We would love to hear your opinions.