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White Tailed Eagle over the peaks of Lofoten -  2017 - Gary Waidson - Ravenlore

Hitting the trail.

One thing I am constantly surprised at is the number of walkers I meet on my travels with their heads down and their eyes focussed on the ground a few feet in front of them.

Some seem to spend their time looking at handheld GPS units or maps as they walk and I wonder if these people are enjoying the outdoors or just the “idea” of the outdoors.

When I set out on a trip I usually have an objective in mind but it is important not to let that objective get in the way of other possibilities along the way.    What do I mean by that?

For me the objective of many of my trips is to get myself to a particular spot or location to photograph it. To achieve that objective in the minimum time I could adopt a head down, hard driving pace as many other people seem to do.

The problem with doing that is  what other potential locations might I miss on the way?

Even if I spot other subjects will I have time to fit them into such a tight schedule.

Keep your eyes open as you travel through the landscape -  2017 - Gary Waidson - Ravenlore.

By slowing down a bit and taking time to enjoy my surroundings I find myself able to spot other pictures that I could not have planned for. This openness to my surrounding also helps me to navigate the landscape in a more useful way.

Work out how far you can travel in a day and then decide how far you want to travel in a day. if the second figure is not considerably shorter than the first you are in for a tough time of it.

I set my distance to about half that of most people because I want to be able to make side trips or wait for the light to be just right. If your timetable is too tight then you will always be under pressure to move on and get to your destination in time.

Often, I will cook and camp in different places. Most people search for a site that is suitable for both purposes and settle early in the evening so they can prepare food.

If you make a stop in the early evening to cook and then move on for a couple of hours before making a camp for the night you can cover much more ground but still do it at a relaxed pace.

A quick meal stop in  Wasdale. -  2017 - Gary Waidson - Ravenlore

Similarly break camp early and get a few miles under your belt before stopping to make breakfast. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

In my case the reason for dividing these tasks is usually to do with my photography. Early morning and late evening often produce the best light of the day.

By cooking early in the evening I have natural light to work with and then I can concentrate on photography as the sun goes down before settling into a camp for the night. In the morning I can break camp before the sun rises and shoot in the early light before preparing my breakfast.

Pyramid tarp set up on the coast. -  2017 - Gary Waidson - Ravenlore
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