Starting with a good plan of what you can shoot in an area is vital to creating awesome images. If you know a place would have good seascapes or vistas or waterfalls then you should plan according to that. In 2012 i visited the lowveld in Mpumalanga for the first time in my life. I knew there would be some interesting things to shoot but once I started to Google I discovered the amazing waterfalls of the area. So that is what I wanted to shoot. Because there are so many spectacular waterfalls, I had to make a choice and stick to that as you can’t just go in and bugger around for an hour and then go to the next one and the next after that. Jumping from one place to the next will only mess you about and you will not get the best out of a location.
Google brought up two waterfalls that were pretty spectacular. Lone creek falls and Mac-Mac falls. So I started to look for contact details of info centres close to these waterfalls just to get an idea of what to expect and plan for. More often than not many of these places would not be able to help as most of the time it’s the person working there that has only been there on a selected few occasions and your basic search result will give you more info than these people. I quickly figured out what i wanted to shoot and now the next part of the planning started.
The weather is after the location and shooting time, you most important thing to keep in mind. This will determine the mood and overall feel of your image. Shooting a scene that has the possibility to capture the views attention is vital, and the thing that plays the biggest role in this is the weather.
A clear blue sky might be great for laying on the beach the whole day and catch a sun tan, but it will not do much to get an attention grabbing image. Blue skies are boring for landscape photography. We as Landscape photographers are often chasing the clouds more than the scene. Clouds bring life to images. You can just feel the tension and life in an image of monster storm clouds, it’s a living breathing thing that you can actually watch and see how it is breathing and moving.