• Sam Wilson

Perfect Landscape Photos

Hint - There’s No Such Thing!

When I first started my photography journey I believed that I would be taking perfect photos every shot within no time - how hard could it be?

Fancy new camera - check

Introductory course at camera shop - check

What could possibly go wrong?

What happens next?

Go out in the middle of the day and try to capture nice photos - FAIL!

Photos were all either blurry, too dark or light, terrible composition, or all of the above. I’m being very brave here and sharing my first sunrise photo. I had learned enough to know I needed a tripod but my first tripod I think you could have knocked over by blowing on it.

First Umina Sunrise Both under and over exposed at the same time - those black blobs are trees and rocks but I was so proud of this at the time!

Nice symmetry - shame about the totally blown out sky and the fact that the rest is pretty much 100% out of focus! I also thought I was super clever when I made my first watermark.

Please be kind here and remember I was totally new to photography and this was my first camera. You may wonder why I still even have these photos. I certainly don’t share them very often but it is good to look back and see what you’ve learned, and it certainly shows me how much it did get me out of the house and into the world, so I’m keeping them for these reasons alone.

So, onto the computer it was and welcome to the world of the universities of Youtube and Google.

Landscape and nature photography can be a very lonely journey if you decide to do it all yourself.

There are so many options to learn online, whether that's through reading articles, paid courses or Youtube, but nothing beats getting out there yourself and learning in the field.

Reading, watching tutorials and getting out there practising certainly helped, but then I decided to look for some hands-on workshops and I will be forever grateful for finding Click Walk Learn Photography during my search.

I liked what I saw on the website and before I knew it I had booked into 3 workshops without even meeting the tutor. This tutor turned out to be Christine and she was wonderful. I shouldn’t say ‘was’ as I have now done numerous tours and am honoured to be able to call her my friend.

From one of the many tours run by Click Walk Learn - https://clickwalklearn.com.au

The other guide that I have to give a shout out to is Brett Wood. I have attended many of his workshops and tours, and if you’ve read my other posts you will have heard me sing his praises.

Taken from one of Brett's awesome tours - https://www.brettwoodphotos.com/

Social Media

From here I learned about the Focus Facebook group which led me to meeting and doing tours with other fabulous tutors/teachers/guides along the way.

I understand that a lot of people have a love/hate relationship with Facebook and Instagram, but I have to say for me it has mostly had a very positive impact on my photography and sense of community.

I’m also about to start as a leader for the Focus Saturday sunrise get togethers that are held each week. It’s all free and if you’d like more information and to join these, start here Focus. They are held regularly throughout Sydney, the Central Coast and Mid North Coast of NSW if you’re in those areas and interested.

Caves Beach - taken on my first Focus Shoot back in 2017

From those early days I have not only participated in numerous tours and workshops, I’ve also got out there myself - countless sunrises, numerous waterfall walks and not to mention many road trips. This has given me plenty of opportunities to learn, improve - and of course continue to fail.

The one thing that never changes is that there are endless photographic opportunities wherever you go - sometimes you just have to research and go looking for them.

Never forget - that when you explore and take photos there is always an opportunity for coffee

One recent example of this was a solo road trip out to the middle of NSW to visit my family. During research, and just being curious, I found lots of interesting things to photograph along the way. Watch out for the upcoming post on the sculptures, murals and silo art I found on these country roads.

One of the many fabulous silo art murals - Merriwa, NSW


I am also very aware that my photography is far from perfect and I like to think that I will never stop learning. I am however now at the point that I am happy with a lot of my images, have some printed large on the wall, and will be offering a selection of limited edition prints for sale very soon.

I really just wanted to share how much you can improve when you work at it and what a difference photography has made to my life.

I hope to never stop learning and I’d love to hear parts of your journey that you’d like to share.

That’s it for now -

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