How to Research a New Location for Landscape Photography

How to Research a New Location for Landscape Photography

In this video I share my approach to researching a new location.

Research is central to my approach as a photographer. I spend most of my time looking for new compositions and creating plan to return when the conditions will allow me to get the shot that I want.

This video was filmed on the 18th March 2020, 6 days before the UK entered lockdown. Please follow government guidelines concerning the coronavirus crisis and stay at home.


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  1. Bill Rambo Photography on October 14, 2021 at 9:30 am

    How did you get the ducks gone? Nice trick. With staying at home, using Google Earth to research my next projects. Glad you got out!!

  2. Peter Blackthorne on October 14, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Hi Chris, Back in 2016 my wife and I planned a trip to Nova Scotia for our 40th wedding anniversary. I really wanted to drive the Cabot Trail. While doing some research for the trip we were advised to drive the trail in both directions, which I would have never thought of doing. However when we did , I was amazed at how different it looked when viewed from driving in the opposite direction. We saw sights that we totally missed the first time driving it even though when we stopped we would always take a 360 degree look around. What it taught me was to pay attention to the journey out (retrace your steps) as you do to the journey in. Sometimes the rewards can be even greater. Thanks again for another great video and stay safe.

  3. Rod Schweiger on October 14, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Two questions: 1. Were you shooting only raw. 2. Your shot on the wooden walkway was really nice, was what looked like a discarded white plastic bag to the left foreground really that? I found it distracting. Surprised you didn’t remove it.

  4. Phil McNamara on October 14, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Good one Chris!… re the last shot, I think I would have tried to use a long lens and narrow my field of view but still included the grasses in the foreground,…. your thoughts?

  5. Martin Henson on October 14, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Chris, your stood in the same position as I did last year at Abbots Bay, picture is here,

  6. Jamie Overland on October 14, 2021 at 9:32 am

    3:59…theres a shot there somewhere using those submerged trees

  7. Phil Howell on October 14, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Another great vid, having a wander and an explore is just awesome. Sometimes it’s those unexpected shots that just jump out at you that make it all worth while. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™‚ also at 4:15 how many times did you get your feet wet walking through that shallow water to get the vid ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  8. Andy Chattaway on October 14, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Great video Chris. Location searching is by far the hardest part of landscape photography, closely followed by sustaining yourself whilst traveling. While it lasts it’s great seeing you out in the stunning Lake District and I hope we are all soon back to normal. ๐Ÿ‘

  9. Chris Sale on October 14, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Hi everyone. Please be aware that this video was filmed 6 days before the UK was put into lockdown in response to the coronavirus crisis. Since it was announced I have been following the guidelines laid out by the government and only leaving the house for essential supplies and for exercise.

  10. Miguel A. Corona on October 14, 2021 at 9:43 am

    New locations are challenging for me. I should develop a process or strategy but usually I end up just driving around the back roads. Hit and miss approach I know. Just the other day, I took to Google Earth/Maps and did find some potential areas I could explore. Unlike the Lake District, these are roadside locations so makes it a bit more challenging. Thanks Chris!

  11. tony hayes on October 14, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Hi Chris. If you are allowed out for exercise cant you still take photos along the way?

  12. Robert Corlet on October 14, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Thank you, Chris.

  13. Rob Outen Photography on October 14, 2021 at 9:48 am

    Great advice as always Chris. Thanks for sharing and take care, ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ“ธ

  14. Joe Elliott Photography on October 14, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Hey Chris, I see Derwentwater still looking rather full… good to see the jetty, was totally submerged when I was there. Lovely part of the Lake would definitely like to return there to explore more, hope your safe mate ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. Raymond Powell on October 14, 2021 at 9:49 am

    When all else fails Chris bring some corn or bread to lure them ducks away.

  16. Tom Balaam on October 14, 2021 at 9:51 am

    Lovely video again Chris, and some great shots – I especially liked the bracketed one. Those geese . . . well, actually, they were not your normal everyday goose that you would expect to see! Those were barnacle geese, and are a lot more unusual and less common that the canada geese and greylag geese you usually see. So when this current situation is finally over and we’re through it, you should go back and re-take that shot, and this time include those geese! Very definitely, they would add foreground interest. Cheers.

  17. Simon Lupton on October 14, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Hi Chris. Two more resources I find invaluable: Geograph and Wheresthepath.

  18. Johan Hefer on October 14, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Great to see how you go about it. I found the submerged /flooded walkway and reflections at about 4:05 also interesting.

  19. Stephen Milner on October 14, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Hi, what a magnificent video. Keep up the amazing work! I look forward to your next video.

  20. Mike Smith on October 14, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Geese…a landscape photographer’s worst critic and nuisance. ๐Ÿคฃ

  21. kevin walker on October 14, 2021 at 9:58 am

    A wonderful vlog as ever Chris, very informative and some great sites…..๐Ÿ‘

  22. Let's Click Photography on October 14, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Nice vlog Chris – thanks for putting up, it gave me great opportunity to see the location. I went around a couple of those bays at the back end of February and couldn’t see a bloody thing – weather was horrendous….I see the puddles and waters are only just receding – the geese were having a great time though. Good watch and the shot at 8:08 is lovely

  23. barry wilmot on October 14, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Just catching up as I’m a week behind. What a beautifully quiet and peaceful area…apart from the geese that is ๐Ÿ™‚ You really are spoilt with such gorgeous scenery that close to home.

  24. Valdis Krebs on October 14, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Anyone do Landscape/Nature photography withOUT a tripod???
    Nice โ€œtestโ€ shots!

  25. Chris Patton Photography on October 14, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Great vlog we absolutely love Derwentwater, got some great images last year when we visited.

  26. Steve Hartley on October 14, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Nice one Chris, my favourite part of the Derwent Water shore. Did you see Stuart McGlennon’s shot from ‘Goose Bay’ on Twitter. Very envious. I have been there a number of times and never had the right light. Last year I was looking for a composition in Manesty Park based on an old painting then realised all the vegetation had grown so the view no longer exists – doh! Highlights the changing nature of the landscape we often assume to be fixed. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Alpine Wonders on October 14, 2021 at 10:09 am

    "get them geeese off!"
    – Steve Wright

  28. Ray Wintle on October 14, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Hi Chris. thanks for a very informative video once again. I don’t normally do a walk out and back along the same route more circular, so what I try and do is turn around every now and then and have a good look around me to try and make sure I don’t miss any potential shots.

  29. Gareth Williams on October 14, 2021 at 10:10 am

    At 7.10 the boardwalk bares around to the right before going to the left and makes a lovely S bend curve. Might be worth going back when you can and shooting as high as you can looking down so get that lovely S bend.

  30. Elly Elzinga on October 14, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Wow, that place is so flooded! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Beautiful location though, I think I could spend a week there taking pictures..

  31. Philip Culbertson on October 14, 2021 at 10:15 am

    It may be too long an answer to put in a a comment but I am curious how you organize and use your record shots. I tend to make record shots of scenes to return to but then lose them in the clutter or forget them. I considered making a collection in LR but I wondered if you somehow add searchable metadata, use a collection, etc. to help remember where and when to return.

  32. Steve Bennett on October 14, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Not sure if it was me you were referring to but I do remember experiencing the full force of Lake District atmosphere along that shoreline. Wet feet, water seeping down my back, basically a route march with 15kg of unused camera gear on my back…….oh how I currently miss it ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Mark Thomas on October 14, 2021 at 10:16 am

    4:10, the reflections of the trees look amazing but I was thinking as you were wading through…" Nature taking back from the hand of man!"

  34. LTM on October 14, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Cool stuff mate, always a calming experience watching these, take care bud.

  35. M Yates Photography on October 14, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Very informative Chris , really enjoying your videos and planning to get back to the lakes soon . I do enjoy a good recce trip .

  36. John Sparkes on October 14, 2021 at 10:20 am

    The Geese sounded pleased to see you Chris. It looks a promising area, Loved the last two images. Well worth going back when things are back to normal. Stay safe and well Chris.

  37. PhotoNinja on October 14, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Great vlog fella I love that board walk shot! Really nice especially! Got to love the woodpeckers lol ๐Ÿ˜‚ hope your all well mate

  38. Joy Rigg on October 14, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Really enjoyed that video Chris I recognised the walk as ive been as far as the teddy bear shed and once we can get out and about again i think il go in search of the geese , thanks for keeping us entertained But where was your selfie shot ? ๐Ÿ˜„

  39. Stephen Kennedy on October 14, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Thoroughly enjoyed that Chris and itโ€™s good to see the thought process in action ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  40. Keith Pinn on October 14, 2021 at 10:27 am

    Hi Chris: Nice video. I particularly liked your last composition as you were leaving. Cheers, Keith

  41. Peter Simonsen on October 14, 2021 at 10:27 am

    Looovely water Cris, really photos with "depth for the eyes and the soul" ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ

  42. TimberGeek on October 14, 2021 at 10:28 am

    I liked the mossy bit behind you around 6:30 and was wondering if there was a composition there as well.

  43. barry conway on October 14, 2021 at 10:28 am

    I thought you were the one with OCD – that wooden walkway image? I would have had to crop it so the right hand ‘starting edge’ of the walkway didn’t show and it led from the exact bottom right corner of the frame (o;

  44. Des Gardner on October 14, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Glad you mentioned that this video was done 6 days before the lock down, jobs of nearly every description are now on hold, that include professional photography, the rules are quite simple, up to one hours excersise if you leave the house for that pupose! I am glad you are abiding by them…….I found your plan quite a good idea of scouting around for new location points to take pictures, I dont have to remind you that the Lake District is everybody’s favourite place to take pictures so it was good to see that you was working hard to find new points that has probably not been photographed before, yes pre planning is a good idea…well done and thank you!

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