The single most important thing to landscape photography
How to take consistently good and unique landscape photographs? What do you need or what do you need to know?
It isn’t cameras or lenses or spectacular locations. It’s nothing that you can buy. I certainly can’t sell you any.
I think that the most important thing that you can have/understand/possess is understanding the weather.
Some people obviously think that it’s location because I see many people driving long distances to photograph spectacular places but often in less than stellar light and weather. The result is a landscape of a very pretty place but it’s not unlike the millions of photos taken from Lake Louise by tourists piling out of their buses for half an hour only to be stopping an hour later at an equally pretty place under the same unremarkable light/weather conditions.
When I mention weather I am at the same time talking about the quality of light. Weather affects light. The kind of weather that you will be looking for changes the light that illuminates your subject.
I learned a long time ago that I could get better landscapes close to home. I wrote recently about a well known landscape shooter who told about camping at the same spot for a week or at least until the conditions were right for a great and unusual image. Not everyone is as dedicated or obsessed about their photos. I think that like in all things a happy balance can be found. For me, shooting near home allows me access to the best weather. It’s only minutes away. The same applies to where you live.
I used to depend on local weather forecasts to help me to decide if or when to go out and then I stumbled upon the Clear Sky Charts that are used by astronomers to determine what the atmosphere will be like for astronomy. The charts are only ever 48 hours in advance and they are updated a few times a day.
In it you can view the things that are important to landscape shooters or astro photographers. Humidity. Wind. Percentage of cloud cover and especially for night photography how dark it will be depending upon sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset.
I check this website daily. Cleardarksky
Give it a look if you live in North America and see if it doesn’t improve your landscapes.