Menu Close

Planning a Photo – Why it makes all the Difference

  • Tutorials
  • 23/06/16

It’s said that the god of photography, Isosam, sculpted the Lake District specially so photographers could produce dramatic landscape images.

(Don’t look for other sources though, this article might be the only mention).

Planning a Photo – Why it makes all the Difference

You’ve made your way to Wastwater, England’s deepest lake to capture the drama and beauty of the surroundings. It’s summer, the kids are on holiday, so the whole family has come along. You’ll arrive at the B&B by about noon, stop for lunch and head on over to take what you expect will be award winning snaps.

As you say your goodbyes and grab your gear you feel a giddy excitement about capturing and sharing this natural refuge with the world. You’ve brought a tripod, an external flash, three or four lenses to capture different focal lengths, and a spare battery.

Hang on.

What’s this? A bunch of children are paddling around in the lake exactly where you were set to shoot. Maybe up ahead a little…


A family has set up their tents blocking the view. The place is far busier than you’d imagined. Patience, you think to yourself, maybe you’ll dip your feet in the lake until the right moment presents itself.

A couple of hours pass by and you start to get hungry again. You didn’t bring any food. Oh well you’ll just have to ignore those belly growls.

In your car you grab your tripod. Might as well choose a shooting location while you wait. A distant rumbling. Far off, a lightning bolt briefly lights up the incoming clouds. The mums call their kids out of the water.


It’s time to take action. You run back to the car to pick up the rest of your gear. You’ve brought two telephoto lenses and a 50mm prime. The camera is mounted, but you’re finding it difficult to get everything you want into the shot. Why didn’t you bring your 14mm wide angle?

The clouds are pushing in. A chilly breeze signals the approaching storm. As of right now, the sky’s dramatic intentions make the perfect contrast to the peaceful surrounds.

The camera has switched off! Where’s the battery? Did it get left in the B&B? You hesitate. If you go right now, run, you can get back on time to capture the storm clouds passing over the lake.

These sheep in the road are seriously about to become mince pies if they don’t move soon!

‘Honey, have you seen a spare battery?’

‘You left it beside your jacket dear.’

It’s a race back to the lake. As you run out of the car you start to feel little drops of water hitting your forehead and smudging your glasses. You’re not going to quit over a little water, not after you’ve come this far, waited this long and had to drive all the way to the B&B and back.

Wind is now sweeping across the water, creating short whisping waves. Now to locate that perfect spot you plotted out earlier.

Where is it?

The wind must have blown away the X you marked in the mud. You should have left a better marker. Oh well, no time. You place your tripod exactly where you’re standing, place your nose to the viewfinder and… rain. Torrential downpour.

Your camera’s not weather sealed.

Clumsily you grab all of your gear and run back to the car. The radio’s playing Beethoven’s 7th. What a perfect scene. Too bad you weren’t able to capture it.

Maybe next time pray to the god of photography before you go out to shoot, oh, and plan ahead.