Hunting for landscapes?


Can you hunt for landscapes? Is it a good idea? I hope so since I think that’s what I do.

I have observed and read about real landscape photographers. They generally have one thing I don’t – a serious plan that often involves a number on an alarm clock that is far too small.

I once aspired to take landscape photography seriously but then got distracted by wildlife. While I waited for the sun to set, I kept thinking there might be a posse of polar bears just over the next hill. Perhaps I should check?

I’ve also noted that serious landscape photographers scout out idyllic scenes, return when they hope the light will be perfect and keep returning day after day until the light is right. They also spend extended periods in one area, trying to capture the essence of a place. I’ve never been particularly good at going back or staying in one place for too long. Maybe some day.

I think I end up finding landscapes the same way as wildlife. I’m constantly on the move and seize the moment when I see it. That’s how I got this shot.

As another Yellowstone day was coming to a close, I stopped at a place that caught my eye. As often happens, the initial attraction drew me further into a beautiful scene. I noticed the clouds were moving around and creating a patchwork of sunny and shady areas across the landscape. I began making images of whatever the sun was highlighting. This was turning into remarkable, if unpredictable, light.

Then golden light touched a nearby valley, highlighting only a large treeless area in the middle. I was transfixed.

I made my photos and then simply soaked up the sounds, smells and sights while all alone in this wonderful, pristine wilderness.

This hunt was successful.

Latest Comments

  1. mflahertyphoto says:

    Though I’m starting to use planning more in landscape, I mostly just notice great subjects and light, stop and photograph it. This is whether hiking or driving. I never camp out in one place. I think wildlife photogs. do that at least as much as landscape folks. I will go back to a place on another day if I thought I didn’t do it justice or was too late for the light. For good morning shots you almost have to do a bit of scouting, though getting up super early and going out to a place you know will be beautiful works too. I’m not a morning person but on a road trip or camping I naturally get up at dawn. Great post Lyle.


    • lylekrahn says:

      I have been very interested in your process since you obviously do things right to get your wonderful photos. On this latest trip, I have noticed that the pursuit of landscapes and wildlife perhaps have a lot more in common than I thot. Glad you liked the post.


  2. artsifrtsy says:

    Very nice! I think I struggle with landscapes for the same reason. Capturing an animal is a moment in time, sure I go to places where I hope to find them, but I deal with the light I have and move on. Visiting the same spot over and over seems like so much work.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. Yes there is something that goes against my nature to repeat the process, possibly with a worse result. With wildlife you figure out pretty quick what you got and move on.


  3. pary880 says:

    So true… I do have alarm clocks and on occasion i do set them to go off at 3 or 4 in the morning so that i can get to the spoyt i scouted earlier, but that alarm gets cancelled as soon as it rings 😦 I simplify don’t have the decline one needs to be a good landscape photog 😦 )

    BTW… the hunt was indeed successful… nice photo 🙂


  4. The Earth Beneath My Feet says:

    I hear you on the alarm clock with the tiny numbers, especially in winter. Great post!


  5. Phil Lanoue says:

    This hunt was successful, nicely done.


  6. Deb W. Trotter says:

    Full marks + on your photo! I’m with you. I’d like to be able to sit for hours in one place and catch all the moods one view has to offer, but I’d rather keep moving and catch as many other views as possible. Maybe you could call it serendipitous landscape hunting?!


  7. Honie Briggs says:

    I’m more of a gatherer than a hunter, trying to capture pieces of the landscapes in front of me. Not an early riser myself. I can see why you were captivated by this scene.


  8. Mike Powell says:

    Beautiful shot, Lyle. You certainly took full advantage of your time in Yellowstone.

    I don’t mind the little numbers on the clock, but I would rather be searching for birds or wildlife in the early morning hours, rather than landscape. Some mornings, I will find bird photographers who plant their tripods and wait and wait in one spot because the light is so good there. I prefer to keep moving most of the time, convinced that I will find something interesting to shoot, even if the lighting is less than optimal, or even marginal.


  9. vanbraman says:

    My landscape pictures come when I chance upon them. I occasionally will visit someplace when I know the light will be right, but not often.


  10. queenlorene says:

    You are a squirrel. But you captured a beauty. This is one of the best landscape shots I have seen in a while. The colors are amazing, and the angles of the broken and stripped trees are fascinating.


  11. Pam says:



  12. Gunta says:

    Your description for sure excludes me as a landscape photographer. I simply don’t have that kind of patience. 😀


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