On a recent trip to South Africa, I decided to devote more of my time time trying to shoot landscapes, rather than my usual street scenes. Inspired by the luscious, green rolling hills of the Western Cape, it was an easy and obvious decision. All of us are used to seeing beautiful landscape photography; it is probably the most popular photography in the world – just have a look at Flickr or any of the travel magazines. Because of its familiarity, it is tempting to assume that landscape photography is straightforward; if the scene in front of you is beautiful, then surely all you really need to do is get the exposure and focus right, and your photograph will be also be beautiful? Well, no. I have found that it is more difficult with landscape than with any other style of photography, to make an image which is beautiful and interesting. Far too many of my efforts are flat, two-dimensional and therefore not remotely interesting to look at.
It seems to be that the technical side of landscape photography is more challenging for a start. For most shots, a tripod is necessary, as is a wide angle lens and a small aperture to maximise sharpness. None of my images here have involved HDR or stitching, but are simply the best of what I was able to achieve over a few days.