How much planning is too much planning?
I have done this a number of times, I can only hope it won’t happen again. Though I know it will. Has it ever happened to you? You come away from a gorgeous location and check your shots and then ask yourself…why didn’t I do…?
I had the pleasure of staying in the beautiful Italian seaside town of Monterosso Al Mare a while ago. I was there for four nights and captured everything from crashing waves to the small winding streets, the giant statue overlooking the bay, even the cemetery on top of the hill. But only when I got back home and checked the images did I realise I had missed something.
By now, if you read this blog regularly, (please read this blog regularly), you’ll know that I like doing long exposure, especially with water. Now, Monterosso Al Mare, just look down there at all those rocks. What didn’t I do?
Exactly! The very thing I like to do.
Now, I have photographed rocks with a long exposure. This shot is from Dutliman in Turkey. A bit abstract, but I love the way the water turns to mist and the rocks almost to mountains.
Back to Monterosso, I didn’t have the Lee Filter system and long exposure in the day used to come back with terrible colour casts and even a cross pattern on the image (with the lens at its widest), yet the water in Monterosso, after the rain storm of our second morning, would have been perfect for a long exposure in the evening. Why didn’t I do it?
Unlike previous instances of this type of muppetry, I wasn’t rushing. I was there for 4 nights. I had also scanned the scene beforehand. Ah, now there’s the rub!
All shots I had seen from Monterosso when I was scoping it had very still water, beautiful for swimming but not so dramatic for a rocky long exposure. The whole concept was out of mind when I was in Monterosso. Was this a case where too much planning stopped creativity based on what was presented to me?
That, I find, can be the problem with planning. Your ideas about what to take and how to take them can get fixed, (at least mine can, ok, maybe not yours – clever clogs!)
Before my next photo adventure, I will plan. I need an idea of the best places to go, but this time I will make a choice:
I think plan a) is actually better to help me think on my feet, as it were, and so to deal with the conditions that I am faced with, rather than trying to second guess every eventuality.
My background is as an analyst, perhaps then not surprising that I try to plan everything to the nth degree of detail. Photography though isn’t like that, some planning, yes…but you’ve got to be creative with the elements available or you’ll end up missing opportunities!
Don’t be a MUPPET, be prepared – by not being too prepared! Stay creative!
What planning do you find too much? How much do you do before going out to a location to shoot landscapes?
Share your ideas in a comment!
The Frustrated Photog.