No Camping for landscape photographers
One important rule for taking great landscape photos is:
Be in the right spot at the right time.
Easier said than done! There are great problems if you want to follow this rule in Europe.
When I am on the road or in the right spot I spend a lot of time waiting:
- for the right light,
- the right clouds,
- the right tide.
Sometimes the best picture is to be made in a fraction of a second when everything fits the best. It happens that I wait up to three days for the perfect photo.
Most of the time the right spot doesn’t imply that there is a comfortable hotel, a camping place or a public toilette.
So free camping is essential for the kind of landscape photos I am taking. But free camping is only allowed in Scotland and tolerated in Scandinavia. The other European countries are more or less trying to prevent people from staying in the right spot for obvious reasons.
In my early days I travelled with my motorcycle and a small sleeping bag. Most of the time there were no problems with free camping. But the times and my travel habits have changed. These days I travel in a VW Van.
If I would take this seriously I had to give up working as a landscape photographer. And the world has to live without beautiful photos of great places.
I didn’t want to be responsible that people won’t see the beauty of the world!
So I am always risking trouble with local policemen, wildlife guards and farmers.
There are some rules that I am following. They are helping to stay comfortable with free and illegal camping:
- I try to stay cloaked. Nobody should see me staying overnight.
- I keep my campsite clean. And when I say clean I mean clean in every possibility to produce pollution and dirt as a human being.
- I talk to locals and ask them friendly, if it is possible to take some photos over night. Especially when I show locals some of my photos they allow me, doing my work. I always carry some photos with me as giveaways. They are always door opener.
- I try to travel out of the season. This makes camping more comfortable and silent.
How do you solve the problem with being in the right spot at the right time?