I once overheard a couple commenting on a landscape photograph, caustically saying that “anyone can take a photo”; and of course that is quite true, anyone can point a camera and press the button. What they could never know is that the photographer (yours truly) had travelled many hundreds of miles to the location; had slept overnight in his car; was on site just after dawn; found the perfect spot to set up the camera on the tripod; waited for an attractive cloud formation to balance the sky and foreground elements in the scene; used the appropriate filtration and calculated the correct exposure (on film in those days) before tripping the shutter.
And that’s all there is to it – “anyone can take a photo”. However, it is not enough to simply look at one’s surroundings; one needs to see the essence of what is important and equally what should be left outside the frame. And as Don McCullin once said:
“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you are looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they see your pictures”.
The landscape never changes but the prevailing light and atmospheric conditions change from minute to minute; that is the true challenge of landscape photography.