Why I (sometimes) hate landscape photography

near monte Cucuzzo

To read this post please disable first your “rant alert”. 🙂

First I made my homework:

  1. The weather forecast verdict is “sunny”; check.
  2. The location has quite a bit of a climb, but it is also known for its magnificent vistas, so the 100-300 has to come with me, boat anchor weight notwithstanding; check.
  3. Given that I’m bringing the 100-300, thanks to the A7r shutter shock I’ll have to carry the heavy tripod instead of the lightweight one; check.
  4. The trail seems reasonably well kept from the pictures I’ve seen online, so lets forget the mountain boots in favor of a pair of trail shoes; check.

forestal house

This was my “checklist” for the hike I took the other day. Let’s see how turned out.


1 – The weather

The weather forecast guessed half-right. The weather was indeed sunny, hot as hell (more than 36°C / 97°F, in the mountains!) and with the same humidity level of the inside of an aquarium. This on the side of the mountain range I was climbing. But the opposite side, the one that should have recompensed my ascent with sweeping vistas, was completely cloaked in thick rising clouds… You can see under the title the best I was able to achieve (it is obviously a picture not taken from the summit; there I was literally standing inside a cloud).


2 – The 100-300 a.k.a. “the boat anchor”

The climb was there, but the 100-300 thanks to the absence of vistas clocked a grand total of maybe 10 pictures, among them the one opening this post.


3 – The tripod

At this point, obviously, I could have left the 100-300 at home and brought instead the (relatively) lightweight tripod (no shutter shock that I can see under 300mm, at least with my tripods and tripod heads; as they say your mileage may vary).


4 – The trail

The pictures that led me to believe the trail was well groomed were probably from a geological era ago. The surface of the path alternated between loose gravel (I risked a twisted ankle several times) and sharp rocks that chewed the soft rubber of my trailing shoes soles. Oh, and the one and only source of water wasn’t working. Not a drop. What the…


On a positive note, I’ve never seen so many signs of wildlife in the woods I usually frequent. This particular forest is seriously teeming with life, and not just the usual small critters but wolves as well. I’ve seen the remains of several of their preys, and a couple of foresters I met actually even warned me – because I was with my dog they were afraid she might get attacked. I will definitely have to come back here in the autumn or in the winter, other than for the vistas.

In the end it’s the old landscape photographer lottery that we always play: one day you come home with your cards half empty, another you find yourself shooting like a madman!