When it comes to home decoration, it’s easy enough to adopt someone else’s artistic tastes to beautify your home and make it more welcoming. But what if you want to decorate your home in a way that expresses your unique personality and tastes? One wonderful way to achieve this aim is to become a craftsperson and excel in one of the visual arts.
Although you may not be inclined to draw or paint or sculpt, you can add the beauty of color and form to your wall décor by using professional quality photos. All you need to do to become an excellent photographer is to take a few classes, buy the right camera and equipment, and practice your new hobby with a passion. Photography will empower you to kindle your creativity.
Imagine, for instance, how a collage of sunset photos above the fireplace would add a quiet yet lovely focal point to your living room. Or imagine your hallways lined up with images of the turquoise Pacific, images captured on your last vacation in Hawaii when you stayed at a beach bungalow in Waikiki.
To take beautiful landscape photographs to decorate your home, you should learn to plan like an explorer, adopt a Zen-like patience, strive like a photojournalist, and befriend the light.
Plan like an Explorer
While, of course, it’s possible to come across a lovely countryside view unexpectedly around the next bend in the road when you’re on a road trip, you can’t rely on serendipity alone to capture lovely scenes. Serious landscape photographers spend more of their time planning than taking photographs.
You must plan your artistic projects; plan where to go and what time to arrive. You must familiarize yourself with maps and weather charts and travelogues. When you plan, you optimize your chances of arriving at the right time of the day to capture the best light at a lovely location.
Adopt a Zen-Like Patience
In our rushed modern world, most of us have acquired certain A-type personality traits. We expect things to get done quickly and efficiently. This modern attitude may help you succeed in life but it will not serve you well in photography.
You will be stalking nature when you set yourself up as a landscape photographer. The Elk in the woods and the sun rising over the mountaintop move according to a timeless rhythm. Conspire to do the same.
Allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at your intended destination; wait patiently for clouds to pass over the piece of driftwood you want to capture on the beach so that you photograph the arches of the sea-polished wood just as the sun re-emerges.
Be less Western, more Eastern; restrain your Puritan work ethic in favor of a monk-like predisposition to accept the world just as it is rather than the way you want it to be.
In other words, practice the art of patient detachment to anchor the skills of keen observation.
Strive like a Photojournalist
Paradoxically, you must balance out a Zen mindset with the strenuous determination of a photojournalist to secure the best vantage point to take your photographs. You may, for instance, have to climb a tree to take your photo from a lofty perch or walk up to the top of a steep hill to get a panoramic view. Not all viewpoints will be easily accessible; unique spots that unravel breathtaking scenes will require strength and stamina to reach.
Befriend the Light
The difference between an amateur landscape photographer and a professional photographer may not be the camera or the landscape or the trained eye for color and contrast. It may simply be the difference between understanding the nature of light. Usually, the professional will favor the early hours of the morning or the early light of the late afternoon and will appreciate how crepuscular rays can add a spiritual glow to a nondescript field of grazing cows.
In conclusion, landscape photography is as much about attitude and mindset as about technicalities and techniques. Beautiful pictures can be captured when it’s stormy and when the sun shines majestically; impressive images can be captured of a lonely starfish in a tide pool as much as a magnificent herd of buffalos grazing on the endless prairies.