8. FIND AN ONLINE MENTOR / INSPIRATION
When I first started out with my panoramic camera local Australian landscape photographer Ken Duncan was a great source of inspiration. He had plenty of photos that were local to me and I could pretty much stand in the same spot as him and see how he saw a location and for me, I could take the same composition as him. Then there were other photographers like Christian Fletcher in WA who’s work showed me to take risks with not just shooting the easy simple photo. Stand back from the beach and shoot interesting compositions with foregrounds I didn’t even think of in the early stages of being a photographer.
What is a great idea for beginners is to find a local photographer in your area whose work you can look up to and can emulate. They need to have a standard of image capture, composition and editing quality that you are wanting to achieve.
9. USING A TRIPOD THAT CANT TAKE YOUR CAMERA
This is a pet hate of mine seeing photographers with a camera worth $800 + on a $40 tripod. As a landscape photographer, your tripod is an essential and key part of your equipment and it is a place where you should have invested a reasonable amount of money. The Manfrotto 055XPRO3 Aluminium Tripod with 3-Section Tripod & XPRO3W X-PRO 3-Way Head Kit is what I have purchased several times over the years and I have two of them. I have used Manfrotto my whole career and they are a well-made product, but anything similar to this will serve you well.
If you have a tripod that when you mount your camera to it, it creeks or your camera starts to drop down due to the weight put it in the bin right now.
10. BAD COMPOSITION / FEATURES
You can teach anyone how to take a photo, but the hardest thing to teach them is what makes a good photo. So many photos out there with amazing light that suffer from a bad composition. Most of the time it is the little things like the camera being angled up or down too high, the focal length is too long or wide for the scene, scenes with no feature, boring clear sunrise skies, cutting a scene off early like a headland with a small amount of ocean, half of lamp posts left in, rubbish bins the list is endless of things that can make or add to a bad composition.
11. BEING ABLE TO TAKE CRITICISM
If you ask for someone’s opinion on your work the least you can do is accept what they have to say. If you want smoke blown up your backside then ask for feedback from your family or loved one. But if you ask the outside photography community then take what people say like a man, at the end of the day it is their opinion on your image and it will make you a better photographer if the feedback is good or especially if it is bad.
If you’re going to ask for feedback, ask for honest feedback as there is the other side of the coin where people will say that a crap photo is awesome when it isn’t and you’re not going to grow as a photographer. People will slam your work, but there will also be those who will give you good honest feedback in a productive way. For me when someone would be critical of my work the first thing I would do is look at their own portfolio to see where their standard was. If their work was poor then obviously if they can’t even put their own advice into practice it’s probably not worth putting much weight into it. But if that person had a good portfolio then what they had to say carried much more weight. You will find that the person with a good portfolio of images giving you a critique will be worded very differently to the person who doesn’t have a good one. lol.
But if you find someones work to look up to / emulate and you look at your own work you should be able to self-critique if you’re honest with yourself.
12. NO BACK UP BATTERY OR MEMORY CARD
At the very least you should have one spare battery and memory card for your camera. The memory card should be the same or greater size than what’s already in your camera. Also, make sure that your batteries are charged and that your memory cards are not full and have been dumped and formatted.