Shoot and Reshoot for Success

One of the more favorite of my quotes comes from listening to legendary landscape photographer Bill Fortney. Bill was asked how could a person capture beautiful landscape images in the same manner that he has. Bill told this person in order to do this, he would have to visit all of these state parks at least 10 or more times to be able to do this.

Fact is, whenever you try to make a shoot- all of the best intentions, gear check, and planning on your part doesnt take external forces into account. You can have everything that you need to make a picture, get to the location, and not have a single cloud in the sky. This would mean that you’re skunked on the shoot. You tried – but the planets just werent aligned to get it.

One of the funny things about this is that a photographer sometimes looks at this and says “Well.. my picture isnt good.. it must be me.” In fact, this isn’t true. Sometimes, you need to go to a location over and over and over in order to find the best shot – a shot that aligns the circumstances and your gear together.

Today, I had a really really long adventure that brought me right back to my hotel where it started. While I was ticked over what happened, I saw that there was a lot of drizzling snow on the ground, which could make for another ‘wet floor’ version of the HDR. I had tried one earlier (you can see them in my stream here), and there were also dry versions of the shoot. Each of these has different zooms, different areas of focus – and are different shots.

Fact is – if you want to make a good shot you need to be tenacious. Go back to your location.. study how the elements affect it. Reshoot, reshoot reshoot, and take down notes of what changed. This one is a work in progress,… but I’ve learned enough of the location to get the shot that I really wanted rather than the walk-up shot that’s given to me.


  1. I tend to think the first rule of photography is Patience. Too many things can interfere with the image you want, so sometimes you just have to wait for it.

  2. Could not agree more, thank you your puts into words what experience teaches photographers over time. I hope many people read this and take it to heart.

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