Recent Writings: Scouting Tips, Seeing Beyond the Literal, and More

Photographers Jay and Varina Patel have worked hard over the last few years to develop their Visual Wilderness website into an excellent resource for landscape and nature photographers. I started writing as a guest author for Visual Wilderness last year but have not been very good about sharing my articles with our blog audience. So, here is a quick summary of the four articles I have written for Visual Wilderness, with links to the full content over on their site. Jay and Varina have assembled an impressive roster of guest authors so I encourage you to take a look through their article archive as well. 

 Twilight at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

Twilight at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

6 Tips for Scouting Photography Locations

"When I first got started with landscape photography, I didn’t understand the benefits of scouting locations in advance. Instead, I just showed up to places and hoped for the best, often without much time for exploration. While I still generally prefer serendipity to doing a lot of pre-planning, I have found that better location scouting practices, like those I discuss below, have helped me improve my photographs..." Read the rest of the article here.

 Pastel badlands, Death Valley National Park

Pastel badlands, Death Valley National Park

Learning to See Beyond the Literal

"As landscape photographers, our subjects are typically scenes made up of mountains, trees, rocks, water, clouds, and all sorts of other natural features. We craft our photographs by arranging these elements through composition. Developing the ability to see beyond the literal elements of a scene – the mountains, clouds, and other natural features – and identify the more abstract qualities is an essential skill for elevating your compositional skills..." You can read the rest of the article here.

 Creosote bushes and their shadows, Death Valley National Park

Creosote bushes and their shadows, Death Valley National Park

3 Tips for Finding Smaller Scenes 

"I recently returned from co-leading an enthusiastic group of photographers in Iceland, one of my favorite places for photography. Although Iceland is a country full of photographic icons, we regularly encouraged our group to look beyond the iconic grand landscape and add some diversity to their trip portfolios by seeking out smaller scenes like intimate landscapes, abstract renditions of natural subjects, and portraits of plants. In working with photographers on seeking out smaller scenes, one of the biggest initial challenges in creating these types of photographs always seems to be identifying potential subjects. With some practice, identifying subjects is not very difficult but requires a shift in mindset and approach for photographers used to only seeking out grander scenes..." You can read the rest of the article here

 A remote slot canyon in Death Valley National Park. 

A remote slot canyon in Death Valley National Park. 

Exploring Your Next Bucket List Location

In this post, Jay Patel interviews me about how we prepare for our travels, including research, how to make the most out of limited travel time, and visiting remote locations.  You can read the rest of the discussion here.