The camera and lens? Yes.
Post processing? Of course.
To be a landscape, or any type of, photographer, you have to have a bag of tools, including the ones noted above. They are important. And they are often objects of our interest; we tweak until our bag of tools satisfies. But that can be a a fool’s journey.
I’d like to suggest that there is something else worth considering. Something you can’t buy or learn or put into a bag. It’s patience and purpose. It’s the act of lingering.
I watched a video recently (see here) from Nick Page detailing his time in Death Valley National Park, a spot I have visited thrice and photographed twice, once seriously. The video shows the Mesquite Sand Dunes, a spectacular place repleat with photographic opportunities galore. The video tells you a little something about gear and technique and Nick’s post processing skills are obvious. But what I saw was the fact that they stayed as the light shifted. They stayed a long time.
When I’ve been out there, especially the time I had purely photographic intentions, I trekked out, looked around, set up shop, photographed and departed. We did see the light fade and turn to golden (see Joey’s rendition here) but Nick and his associate stayed longer, they lingered. And the light turned… for lack of a better way to say it… magical.
It makes me think about Joey’s and my upcoming trip to the west coast where we will walk where Ansel walked. While there out on those trails, will I set up shop, compose and depart… slam bam style? Or will I look around, take it all in, study, pause, reflect… and linger?