Choosing your approach
According to your mentality and temperament, two main photographic approaches of the landscape are offered to you.
The first, the most academic and certainly the most widespread among professionals, is what we will call the imagined photo.
It is about building the ideal image in your head, even on a storyboard, and everything planned to optimize the expected result.
This process consists of documenting as much as possible about what you will find in the field, getting advice from people who know the place, locating your itineraries on a map, finding the sites, the most interesting angles, without photographing them, determining the best season, the best weather conditions, the best shooting time, and enﬁn returning to the place at the right time and in the right conditions to take the picture of your dreams.
Here, nothing, or very little, is left to chance: the landscape is a kind of movie set that the director (the photographer) selects to best serve his creative project.
This scenarization allows you to create exceptional images because they have time to mature in your mind and benefit with all your energy.
On the other hand, it requires time and implies that you know exactly what you want.
The second approach is based on live action.
It is a kind of “live” version, where everything is based on the magic of the moment.
We’ll call it the revealed picture.
In this case, the photographer is like a kind of antenna listening to everything that is happening around him.
The essential is no longer in anticipation, but in discovery.
The open-mindedness, the look that is everywhere, the symbiosis with the environment, the pleasure of being there, the present, are more important than the project ﬁnal.
With your tripod on your shoulder, you move forward with a quiet step, you are attentive to every ray of light, every scene that offers itself to you; you are ready at proﬁter for the slightest opportunity.
The photographs are not the fruit of your will, but are offered to you by nature or the city, offered by chance.
This implies a great conﬁ ance in you and an optimistic temperament.
You should not be afraid to come home empty-handed or to waste your time.
Here, nothing is certain, nothing is planned in advance.
The moment experienced takes precedence over the guarantee of the result.
In the end, this random and intuitive method can give as good results as the first one.
It allows you to confront all types of conditions and will exercise efﬁciently your eye.
But, no productivity is guaranteed…Between imagined and revealed photo, many compromises exist: in practice, it is common to mix the two approaches.
Nevertheless, you will find that both do not lead to the same type of photographies, nor to the same conceptions of the landscape.