scuting landscape

Tips for scuting landscape photography location

I scouted this location earlier in the day, knowing these formations might get nice light at twilight. I lucked out when the moon appeared in the perfect spot. Mono Lake, California. (c) Sarah Marino.
I scouted this location earlier in the day, knowing these formations might get nice light at twilight. I lucked out when the moon appeared in the perfect spot. Mono Lake, California. (c) Sarah Marino.

Take Notes or Sample Photographs

While I am not much of a note-taker, I do take a lot of reference photographs with both my iPhone and my dSLR. Going through this process can be helpful in developing actual compositional options for multiple directions or different subjects, reducing the need to scramble around looking for a last-minute option based on evolving conditions. By planning compositions, taking reference photos, and then returning to view them, even just a few minutes later, you can often see how well a composition might hold up. And, longer-term, I find it to be helpful to return to these reference photos when planning a future trip or deciding that I want to return to a specific spot under better or different conditions (and sometimes thinking about what I should do differently next time around).

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