You never know exactly what you’ll get when you head outside with the camera, especially when shooting landscapes. Sure, you often have preconceived notions about specific subject matter; you might even have ideas about how you plan to frame it. Perhaps you’ve studied the location and you know when the good light will hit. You know the good angles and you’re familiar with the background or setting.
Hoever, once you get in the moment, it’s all a toss up. You wander around looking for just the right juxtaposition of elements, hoping for that perfect, magical convergence- that’s what drives, you, isn’t it?
If you keep your eyes open, and if you’re well practiced with the process of not just looking, but seeing and anticipating, you can stack the deck a little bit in your favor. It’s no guarantee, of course, but with patience and perseverance, you might get treated to a special visual surprise. Therein lies the wonder of photography.
While flying an aerial photography mission over the Chugach Mountains the other day, I climbed to around 8,000′ and circled above the peaks and ridges over the upper Colony Glacier, just south of Mt. Gannett.
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I’ve got my system down with the window open, and the Fuji X-T1 around my neck set in Velvia JPEG mode, with either the XF 18-135mm lens or the XF 56mm f/1.2 lens, I look for dramatic peaks and appealing formations in the terrain, such as ridges or jagged spines that jut out of the broad snowfields. These are impressive formations, but when magic hour light hits these landscapes, they turn magical.
Below is a shot that I grabbed while circling and looking almost straight down. I love the shape of the peak and the diagonal ridge that cuts through the frame, but of course, it’s the light that brings it into a whole new realm. This frame was shot with the 18-135mm lens; although it’s not exceedingly fast, this lens is very sharp, and it offers great versatility.
This is definitely one of my recent favorites. Capturing these kinds of moments always rekindles my passion for photography and make me want to keep doing this. I hope that you’ve had a recent moment of photographic inspiration as well. Share yours with a link in the common section below.