Landscape Checklist

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Take your telephoto lenses as well as wide angle ones.

Take a plastic bag or purpose made sleeve, to put camera and gear in if it rains.

Hat, insect repellent, sunscreen, water, raincoat, jacket or long sleeved top and light full pants. (often at sunset and sunrise mosquitoes are bad).

Camera, cards, batteries, money and phone.

Clean your camera lens and take a microfibre cloth


Think Safety First – often we get carried away trying to get that unique angle, always think SAFETY first.

Check the weather forecast before you leave and tell someone where you are going.

Golden hour and blue hour are the best times to go out, so go early in the morning or later in the afternoon to ensure the best light.

Rain at Uluru

Rain falling from the rock







When you arrive on scene:

Check your camera settings, is the ISO on 100, are you in the right setting, if you are shooting in RAW is it turned on.

Check out where the light is coming from, where are the shadows falling, how much difference is there between the light and dark areas of the image.

Often it works best if the light is off to the side.

Walk around looking for what you want to be the main object that your image is about.

Think about what story you want to tell about it.

Look for different or unusual angles.

Look for foreground interest.

Take a few test shots and look at them in the camera, are their any distractions, are is the image looking the way you want.

Can you create a leading line?

Can you place the main object on one of the third lines or sweet spots of the composition rules.

Are there complementary colours, patterns of textures to add interest and depth.

Use a fairly large depth of field, f12 to f32 or whatever your camera goes up to.

Check if you have IS (image stability) on your camera or lens. If it does not have a tripod mode then turn it off.

Look at an image Vertically as well as horizontally.

Take a wide angle image and then see how many other photos you can find within the image.


As photographers we start with a canvas that is jam packed, we have to take objects out to create the image we want. We do this by changing the angle to exclude things, moving things (rubbish), or using a shallower depth of field.

Have fun and enjoy nature.

As you take your camera off the tripod, turn the IS back on:)


Cheat sheet – general photography

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Not really cheating, more like memory jogging:)


Horizontal Falls, Western Australia

I find that there are so many things to remember when you are learning photography that you remember some and get them perfect only to realize you had missed something else, so what can we do?

I have lists in my phones note section that are like cue cards to help me remember. When I first started photography, way before mobile phone days, I would read my cue cards to put everything fresh in my mind before I went out on a photography shoot.

Now I shoot all the time, I don’t need them so much, but as I specialize in nature and landscape, I still have notes on portraiture, children, sports, etc, so if I am doing one of these, I always read my cheat sheets to make sure everything is fresh in my mind.

So let me share some basic cheat sheets:

General -applies all the time

Before leaving home checklist


– check batteries and charged and have a spare (CH), Clean your camera lens and take a microfibre cloth

– check memory card and make sure I have a spare formatted one. (M)

– Phone and some money (you never know when you might need them, especially change   for parking meters) (P,M)


-Tripod, flash,filters, remote shutter release, any other accessories (A)

Main checklist for taking photos

– Check your settings especially ISO and IS (image stabilization)

– Walk around the object or area looking at different angles, don’t forget high and low.

– Where is the sun? Which way are the shadows falling?

– Can I see my shadow in the shot?

– Frame your image and look around viewfinder or screen for anything that takes away, distracts from subject? (trees growing out of heads, rubbish in the shot, eye snags at edge of frame  etc)

– Move closer.

– Check your horizon is straight.

-Which composition rule are you using, rule of thirds, golden ratio, spiral, rule of odds? (To  learn more on these go to of-composition/)

– Are there any interesting colours, patterns, textures?

– Can I create a leading line?

– Is there something I can use for foreground interest, if not should I move closer?

– Try a different angle, lay down on the ground or find something to stand on.

– What is the main character or object I am photographing?

– What is the story I want to tell about that person or object?

– Is there anything in the shot that distracts from the story I’m trying to tell?

– Take a shot, check the screen, does it look how I imagined?

– Do I need to change the settings?

– Would it be better with a larger depth of field or a smaller one? Change the f stop.  F2=narrow depth of field, f11=large depth of field

– do I want to freeze the action or create silky water? Am I using the right shutter speed?

– Is the shot a bit blurry? Do I need a tripod or can I use a higher shutter speed or ISO?

– Take another photo and re check, when happy fire away, take lots from different angles,  take some from further away and some from close up. This gives you options for post  processing.

Surfs up

Jackes Point Kalbari Western Australia

That’s it for general, in the next post I will add cheat sheets for specific areas such as portrait, night photography, animals,children etc.