For many photos you have to be in the right place at the right time. How do some photographers always seem to be in the right place at the right time? One of the tools they use is scouting. I am always on the look for that next photo location.
For the last few years I have driven by a farm with horses. The farm is on a hill providing a nice angle to shoot down on to the horses. I took some pictures of the horses but the pictures were unremarkable. I later discovered that the fields the horses were on bloomed with buttercup flowers in June. Now I knew that this would be the perfect location for taking a picture of horses in flowers. I tried to bring my camera along whenever I knew I would go passed the field hoping for a shot. Most of the time the horses were too far away. Sometimes they were close enough but the lighting was too dark. The butter cup only lasts a couple months so most of the time the flowers were not there.
Well after a year from when I first identified the photo opportunity it all came together and I finally got the shot I wanted.
The trick to this photo was scouting this location a year earlier and identifying this a s a place where I could get a great shot. Here are some on scouting locations.
- Try going to new places and finding a new idea for a photograph. Be open to possibilities, don’t dismiss an idea because the chance for a photo is not there at that moment.
- If you see a potential photo and you can’t take it at the time make sure to take a picture anyways to remind yourself. Write down the location and your photo idea.
- Determine what conditions you need to make your vision become reality. If the photo can only happen certain times of the year I make an entry in my calendar so next time I can take the photo I will be reminded to do it. Note the time of day, weather and conditions you want for your vision to become reality. For the horse photo above I put in my calendar to remind me on June 1st to try and take a photo of horses in the butter cup field.
- When conditions look like they have been met find a way to get out to take the photo.
- Remember that photos don’t always go as planned so embrace the conditions you have and make the most of each opportunity