Top-flight landscape photographers seek out visual drama: places with spectacular palettes of color, plus extremes of light and weather. Often venturing into the wild, these pros are practiced in survival — and patience. As George Steinmetz says, “Interesting things take time to reveal themselves.”
George Steinmeitz -- “You can fly over the coast for an hour and not see a single vehicle track.”
• “Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei are a must,” advises Steinmetz about southern Africa’s Namibia. “I would suggest driving on the emptiest part of the coast, from Lüderitz to Walvis Bay.”
(c) Linda Connor
Linda Conner -- “Next time I go, I will try to be as open as I can and let the place reveal its subtle secrets, resulting in a very different picture.”
(c) Tom Till
Tom Till -- Till, who says he’s lucky to live in the Four Corners region, cites his home as having great light and great subjects, “the two elements you need in an almost endless supply.”
• “I can’t wait to shoot the wildflowers this spring,” says Till of his stomping grounds, the Four Corners region, where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona converge. “After the huge snowstorms and spring rains, they should be some of the best ever.”
(c) Tim Fitzharris
Tim Fitzharris -- “In fall, the mountain slopes are covered with bronze and gold stands of aspen. In summer, the subalpine meadows are lush with wildflowers.”
(c) Sisse Brimberg & Cotton Coulson/KEENPRESS
Sissy Brimberg and Cotton Coulson -- “It offers landscape photographers calm lakes with reflections, surrounded by tall standing mountains. The light varies throughout the day from morning fog to romantic sunsets,” says Coulson.
Beauty aside, access is key to a great landscape destination.
• “There is abundant camping, a plethora of photo-ops accessible by paved road, and a maze of four-wheel-drive trails built by gold and silver mining concerns more than a century ago,” says Tim Fitzharris of the San Juan Mountains. “Fly to Durango, Colorado [from Denver], to get started.”
• George Steinmetz says of Namibia, “You can rent camper-style pickups and self-drive your safari, a rarity in Africa. I would try to put in at least a little time in a small plane, as the Namibian coast is really beautiful from the air.”