I'm sure we've all been scrolling through social media and seen endless shots by photographers of stunning locations and landscapes, and you think, 'how on earth do they find those spots?'.
It's all about a bit of planning beforehand, and we've put together a handy guide to help you find your next favourite landscape spot.
1. What sort of landscape photograph are you after? Now this may seem obvious, but the first step is deciding what sort of shot you are aiming to capture. Perhaps you like sunset shots, or long exposure water captures, or focusing on the nature.
Actively visualising the photo and finding the best vantage point to capture this from - before you step out the door - will always be a lot easier than travelling to a location and then hoping to find something that catches your eye. You're also more likely to achieve a good shot if you're finding a subject that aligns with your own interests and style.
2. What time of day will you be heading out?
The time of day is a huge factor in how your photos will appear. For example shooting at sunrise and sunset will produce some really soft light, with bold colours gradually fading into pastel tones.
Shooting at midday will most likely result in harsh, contrasted light and shadow. Do you want the sun and light to take centre stage, or are you focusing on the landscape and nature?
There are plenty of apps available to help you work out where and when the sun will be rising and setting. One of the most accessible is the free website The Photographer's Ephemeris.
Image taken from The Photographer's Ephemeris
There you can type in where you expect to be heading and easily see where the sun will be throughout the day. Knowing where the sun will be in the sky can be hugely influential in choosing an exact spot to place your tripod.
If you're hoping to take photos at a popular area, such as a well-known beach or National Park, think about what time of day would be best to beat the crowds. If you're only able to get there for a time that is likely to be busy, maybe try another route, or heading to a lesser known spot in the area - you might stumble upon a photography gem!
3. Have a look at locations other photographers have photographed at
If you're feeling really stuck for ideas, you can take a look at the work of local photographers on sites such as Instagram, 500px and Flickr. You can search for different spots, towns and areas online, and this could help you narrow down the sort of viewpoint you have in mind. Geo-tagging is also an option and you can read our article all about it here.
Google street view is also an amazing tool for scouting places from the comfort of your own home. There are also panoramas that you can drop the Google street view person on, and you'll have a 360 degree view of a spot. Warning: this does become extremely addictive and you'll soon be looking at streets on the other side of the world in curiosity!
When you look at other photographers' work, have a think about what draws you to particular photos. Do you seek out photos that show man-made subjects such as abandoned buildings, or maybe trees and mountains?
Don't feel as though you need to take the exact same photo that you've already seen by another photographer; there's absolutely nothing wrong with going to the same locations, but you'll never be happy with your shots if you are always comparing them to other people's. There's something satisfying about finding your own niche and style!
4. Don't be afraid to explore!
Once you've walked a few times around the block on Google Street View, then go out and do it for real! Nothing beats having a walkabout somewhere, and taking in the view and the atmosphere and feel of the place. You'll most likely find areas and views that were not possible to experience otherwise - or maybe better vantage spots altogether!
You don't always need to venture far away; see what is available on your doorstep and you might be surprised what you find. It can be an idea to carry a camera around you whenever heading out, even in the car on a short roadtrip. There's nothing more frustrating then seeing the perfect shot and then not being able to capture it!
5. Join a local photography group
We all feel more motivated when we're part of a group, so why not join a local photography one? Photoh runs fortnightly groups in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. They take place at different outdoor locations at each session so it's a great way of exploring your city.
Online photography groups such as on Facebook are also a useful place for sharing tips, places and photography ideas with other locals. Be inspired by other's work and don't be afraid to ask about their experience of local photography locations.
6. Make lists of places that have been recommended Phones make it so easy to record and store photos and information these days, so screenshot away when you find something inspiring.
It's also a good idea to keep a list so you can jot down the name of a place whenever you are talking with someone or read something online. Think of it as a photography bucket list that you can aim to tick off!
You might find that you keep finding interesting looking spots that are all within the same area, which you can then use to scout the place out.
It goes without saying that you must always be prepared when travelling to new places, and to check the local weather to equip yourself accordingly. If you plan to venture from the main tracks, always let someone know where you'll be heading, and how long you plan to be out. No shot will ever be as valuable as your health and safety.
Share your landscape photographs with us on the city groups: