Etceterra Photo tours

How to plan a shoot by yourself

You can find a huge number of articles about landscape photography, composition, choice of technique, etc. on the Web. Now, being armed with all this information, you decide to go for a photo shoot. This is where you face a great number of questions: where to go, when, by what transport, for what period of time, what things and photographic equipment to take. In most cases, such number of issues quit the desire to go somewhere alone in most of beginner photographers. So, let us figure out, where to start and how to complete the photo shoot.

So, where to go? It all depends on what exactly you want to shoot: reportage, landscape, night landscape, macro-photos or models. It is a good idea to start with deciding on this issue. Then the next question may arise, namely everything in the neighbourhood had already been shot. It may be difficult to think of fresh ideas. Where you can find places that it would be interesting to shoot?

— search at various tourist websites or photo-sharing websites, Instagram where people often place photos with descriptions and links (and sometimes with geographical coordinates) to the sites that may be of interest to the photographer. I often use Panoramio. It is one of the largest collections of photos showing the location of the shooting.
— more than likely there are photographers or those who travel frequently and post many interesting photos among your friends. Often they will be happy to provide you with the location of places of interest.
— your knowledge of geography may also be useful if you want to go to a place which photos are absent on the Web. To do this, you will have to explore the most detailed maps of the area.


So, we have done the first and the main thing — we have decided on the place of shooting. Now it is necessary to get there. It is very important to examine carefully the roads existing in the area where you intend to go, because it affects the choice of the transport. Next, it is necessary to think about way back. It is important to consider whether the weather may affect the quality of the road, because to get to a destination is only half of the task. You will need to get out of there. Also, do not forget that it is necessary to cherish photographic equipment as the apple of eye and make adjustments for weather fluctuations.
Usually I get to the shooting locations by car or on foot. But if you have a bike, scooter, enduro motorbike or quad bike, it makes the task much easier, especially in the conditions of muddy road.

The second thing to do is to check the weather forecast and the time when it is better to visit the place. We need a beautiful light, because it is one of the main parameters of successful shooting. How can one know it? It is determined by two factors. They are weather and time of the day (it will vary in different seasons).

You can check the weather on the Internet. I make use of windguru and zigrib websites. What weather may be favourable? Any. It all depends on where you go. Surely, the harsher the weather is, the more interesting images can be shot. But it may happen that the sky is flat and grey or without clouds and the sunshine is too bright. Then it is better to wait enjoying a cup of warm tea. The nature often presents pleasant surprises, even when you do not expect them. Good weather change most often occurs early in the morning or in the evening, when the temperature changes dramatically and forms fog and interesting clouds.


If you go on the photo hunt for the northern lights, then the website will be of great use.
The following issue is to determine the time of rise/set of the sun and the moon. It is very important to know how to build a composition. Since I have IPhone 7+, I use the SunMap and Sun Surveyor apps. I have also SASPlanet installed on my computer. With these programmes you can easily determine when the heavenly host will be in the right location for you at the right time with the accuracy up to seconds. You can also see in real time how light will change at this point of shooting through the camera of your IPhone.