I’m mostly Scandinavia and North oriented shooter as the sanctuary is utterly diverse offering scenes for real light chasers and photography location hunters. But even there, lots of photographers do not want to risk stepping outside their comfort zone. If they ever give it a go they often end up sitting in a comfortable campervan the most likely to jump out of the seat only to shot the perspective close to the road area or the most photographically exploited icons like Skogafoss in Iceland, huts in Reine or Trollstingen spiral road. Stop it. This is what I call photography vegetation and passiveness. Certainly, not every photographer will be tempted by profound exploration of pristine land where they need to look up for their own creative compositions. But that way your photography skill is thriving, not standing still.
8 years ago once I started my photography adventure I almost exclusively understood photography as the avoidance of repetitive compositions in the field. Scandinavian expeditions helped me realize very quickly that photo tours in the wilderness and this whole “en plein air ” craft brings the most rewarding and memorable fruits. If you refuse to make an effort as a photographer, you are already dead. Every single year I visit Scandinavia to find some uniqueness with demanding compositions to promote newly discovered nature locations that can inspire for more.
Packing my backpack with photography gear, jetboil for coffee and other off grid accessories make the great escape from overcrowded places abuzz with big groups of noisy, unkind photographers very often competing with each other. Photography explorations may give you cold, wasp bite and even interrupted sleep but otherwise you will never take your landscape photography to the next level. If I exclusively photograph classical places, I would never discover pristine Vengedalen Valley or Bodal glacial cannon characterized by great conditions for alpenglow.
A few experiences like in Iceland close up to Seljalandsfoss waterfall gave me a lesson why I should avoid crowds of photographers. On Iceland near iconic spots, I stumbled upon everything from rude behavior, cramp to other annoying distractions. Even my Cannon reacted to that with frequent condensations ( his sign of showing anger 🙂 The best example is that one fanatic photographer said to me that my tripod takes too much space. More such and other comments are really common in such locations. 2 Chinese families I came across there were also concerned about their independent photography tours fate due to rudeness and lack of manners.
“Photography is like exploring a new dimension, only I can go there but I can show you where I’ve been.”
The quote perfectly encapsulates my view on what landscape photography is about. Try to stay inventive and creative when taking shots that offer your own individual story telling. If you are invested in taking photos, discover because this instinct should be awaked inside of you. 🙂