Landscape photography is, as I discovered most of 25 years ago, nothing more than being a good technician, a passable artist and, most importantly, being there, set up and ready to shoot. These are the minimum qualifications. The ideal is to transcend the first two and to work hard in order to do so as often as possible.
f/8 and be there. With some lenses, f/11 and be there… If you hauled in a view camera, f/22 and be there…
A shooting day starts early, silly early, and ends only after the sun has set, the sky has gone dark, and a place has been found to spend the night. The middle of the day, when light is irredeemable, is spent looking for pictures, catching up on paperwork, planning, napping (see getting up early and going to bed late above) and traveling from here to there (the photography is almost always better there than it is here.)
Even as I’ve gone away from film and towards digital, the rhythm of shooting landscapes has barely changed.
A Very Simple Digital Workflow for the Landscape Photographer
Shoot exclusively in RAW. There are reasons to shoot JPEG but landscape photography is surely not one of them.
A bad memory card will cause heartache. Buy name brand memory cards and buy them in intermediate sizes. I’ve settled on 8 Gb Sandisk Ultra III for both Compact Flash and SDHC cards. No failures after thousands of frames.
A lost memory card will cause even greater heartache. Store them in a safe, dry place with two zippers between the card the outside world. Three zippers is better. Four zippers will, sooner than later, piss you off. Open the zippers to get to your card stash and, now this is where some folks get confused, close all the zippers when you are done.
As an aside… Cameras that write to multiple cards only seem expensive.
Back up your work each and every day.
I back up onto two Hyperdrive Space memory card backup devices. The Hyperdrive Space is a simple, relatively cheap and, very importantly, fast device. I use two because every hard drive every made has or will fail. I bought mine empty and currently have Seagate 160 Gb hard dives installed.
One of the Hyperdrives stays with me at all times. The other Hyperdrive is always separate and as well hidden as I know how.
I rotate through my three sets of memory cards. This gives me, for a day or two, a third back up for the most recent image files.