How Landscape Photography Should Be

I feel the same sort of nervousness an actor feels before stepping out on stage in front of a live audience. I should know, ‘cuz I’ve been there, and these are the same butterflies.

I’d like to present you with my very first video blog post. As I mention in the intro, I’ve been using some time this year trying to learn about the video features of my camera, and using video editing programs. So this is rough around the edges, but despite its flaws, I’ve decided to just step naked out onto the proverbial stage, and share with you some of my thoughts in a far more personal manner than just typed words and pictures can do alone.

Finally, I have no idea if people will enjoy this, or if I’ll be greeted with the sound of gagged crickets. If you do like this, I’d be especially appreciative if you took just a moment to let me know by either leaving a comment, like, share, RT, etc. If on the other hand you have an overwhelming desire to throw produce at your computer screen, please note I prefer Roma tomatoes and heads of Romaine lettuce.

Thanks for watching.

– Gary.

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17 Comments on “How Landscape Photography Should Be”

  1. Wesley Picotte Says:

    Gary, really enjoyed this. You hit on a really unique challenge and I like where you wind up in terms of the advice you give.

    I wonder, too, if it can really be called a ‘workshop’ when you line people up in front of an iconic scene. If teaching is the objective, this would be accomplished more effectively in a place that forces photographers to think and work and push their creative selves. Photo-tour seems more appropriate for the scenarios you share.

    Two more tangential thoughts. First, I’m glad to see that your office is as crammed as mine! Secondly, I had a nearly identical experience in Glacier this fall, but at Two Medicine Lake. It was a wonderful, mellow morning spent along the lakeshore staring at Sinopah, with hardly another soul around. Fun to relate to the experience you describe in that way.

    Anyway, love this approach and look forward to watching you tackle more subjects soon.

  2. Jim Goldstein Says:

    I enjoyed the video Gary.
    In Glacier there are crowds, but by and large it doesn’t compare to other major parks. Just think how long it took you to make it there. That is true for most people as it’s just not as easily known/accessible. It’s one of the many reasons its a personal favorite of mine. Also the “crowd” you have to look for in Glacier are the Grizzlies. 🙂

    Fun crack at a video blog. My one bit of feedback is to be conscious of the length. People have increasingly short attention spans.

  3. Rachel Cohen Says:

    Hi Gary,

    I really enjoyed the video post! Great job with the video itself, and the topic! 🙂

  4. Richard Wong Says:

    Amen Gary! I can’t believe you were able to get such an amazing scene in Glacier all to yourself like that. To be honest, I’ve been to the Tetons once but that was before I started to take photography seriously, and I don’t really have a strong desire to go again for those reasons you mention.

  5. Dave Dillahunt Says:


    I enjoyed the video. The length was appropriate, sound was clear and the video crisp. Oh, and the message was good also. Hope you do more and good luck.


  6. Ray Pertierra Says:

    I especially appreciate the advice you gave on how to deal with the ‘ants’.

    The sad confrontations too many of us witness does nothing to solve the problem, promote the craft or the image of professional photographers. Thanks again for encouraging others to rather than fight the crowds just move on.

    It’s amazing how often when I have chosen to move on that I captured something special and unique that I never would have had I chose to fight the masses for that one iconic shot.

    Thanks again and I always enjoy your images.

  7. Eric Rhodes Says:

    Was laughing at the possible reasons you were alone in the early morning on Swiftcurrent Lake.
    Just kidding of course. Sorta. The lodges dumpsters have been know to get raided on a regular basis.

  8. Robin Black Says:

    Amen to ALL of that (and that spot in Glacier reminds me so much of Milford Sound in NZ–must see that one soon myself). Very nice inaugural to the video blog–I hope you’ll do more of these!

  9. Mike Matenkosky Says:

    I think you did a fantastic job. Can’t wait to see your next one!

  10. Brian Snyder Says:

    Very good video blog. I did not feel it was that rough, for your first. You have written about this topic before, but was nice watching you explain better using the inset video as an example. Keep up the good work.

  11. Craig Ferguson Says:

    Excellent first video blog. Sad to know that it’s not just over here in Asia where 5000 people compete for the same spot.

  12. Bill Heiser Says:

    Gary, thanks for sharing that. Now I know what to expect in the upcoming workshop :). I totally get what you’re saying about the crowds at iconic spots – I’ve seen that in Yosemite. That’s why I enjoy making photos in the backcountry. They may not be iconic spots “everyone” recognizes, but I get to fully experience the place without hoards of people making noise and blocking the view.

  13. Andy Biggs Says:

    Well done, Gary. Love the content and I look forward to seeing more of these videos. I think the best thing is the conversational approach to this video. It just works. It’s like having a conversation with you, sans beer. 🙂

  14. Wesley Picotte Says:

    Agreed with Andy! Jim mentioned a general best practice when developing videos for use on the Web that pertains to video length. His observation is valid, but I’d argue that it depends on the intent of the video. In this video’s context, its length works thanks to the subject matter and the way you pieced together the story. As you create more of these and smoothen out the “rough edges”, one way to keep people hanging around for segments that go long is to let people know what’s in it for them up front.

  15. Sherri Meyer Says:

    Excellent job Gary!!!

  16. Ron Colbroth Says:

    Hi Gary, It was a wonderful video and I couldn’t agree more about turning around and going somewhere else. It not only happens at iconic natural scenic spots, but everywhere there are lots of people. I remember once being on assignment in Colonial Williamsburg, working for Colonial Williamsburg, and being screamed at for ruining people’s shots to the point that I backed off. This was a few years ago before everyone was a photographer with a Smartphone. Finding your own vision is definitely the way to go.

  17. Harvey Spears Says:

    Thank you Gary. I enjoyed your video and agree with you. This is a big country with lots of beautiful landscape waiting to be discovered and photographed beautifully.

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