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Landscape Photography: Capturing Adventure

Lesson 6 of 13

Location Scouting

Ryan Resatka

Landscape Photography: Capturing Adventure

Ryan Resatka

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Lesson Info

6. Location Scouting


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:02:02
2 Planning Trip Research Duration:03:21
3 7 Principles Duration:04:01
4 Gear Considerations Duration:07:22
5 Packing Essentials Duration:06:14
6 Location Scouting Duration:04:19
7 Sunrise Shooting Duration:18:48
8 Composition Basics Duration:06:14
9 Midday Shooting Duration:03:47
10 Adding Human Element Duration:12:32
11 Sunset Shooting Duration:12:52
12 Post-Production Duration:25:38
13 Wrap Duration:02:29

Lesson Info

Location Scouting

So let's talk about scouting for a second. Scouting is really important because it's gonna set you up to get the best possible photos for when you wanna be at that location for a particular time. So, right now, we're kind of out here just exploring the area and seeing the potential of like what it could look like in really good light or even right now. So, it gives you an opportunity again to see places, how they could potentially look in good light and then you might actually get a few photos on the way. Scouting in general and just being able to like go visit a location before shooting them too is gonna minimize the time of like, figuring out your ideas. And you'll just be able to shoot the ideas right when you get there and know exactly what needs to happen, when it needs to happen. So, scouting, I think is pretty much essential to getting any really good photos that you've envisioned before visiting the location. So, we're up here near the top of going to the sun road in Glacier Na...

tional Park. We've been driving it probably now for about 25 minutes or so. You can see the road right here and it's carved out all the way up through the mountain pass, which ends over there. And then it goes down again to East Glacier. I think this is actually gonna be a really cool spot for sunset just because of where the mountains are located. The sun is most likely gonna set somewhere between this ridge and that mountain way back there. So as long as the clouds hold off later, in terms of like, not blocking the sun from setting, I think there's gonna be really cool light that's gonna hit there and it's gonna just, you know, glow like a really nice orange color. These peaks will be lit up. So while I have time right now, I'm kinda just scoping out the different spots to try and see what's gonna look good for later. And I wanna try and figure out, I wanna envision what the sunset is gonna look like. And I wanna use this time that I have and I wanna maximize my time so that I can be as efficient as possible later when I go to actually shoot here for like the golden-hour light. Now, I could also get really good photos here middle of the day if we get like some nice light rays. This cloud over here over the top isn't the worst. But it would be better if it looked like that, where it's more patchy and the blue is coming through, just because the detail in the cloud is gonna be better. I wanna see all the different angles I can get and then that way when it is golden hour and it is sunset, I wanna be shooting like, exactly where I wanna be. I wanna be able to get to that rock down there and know, okay, there's the rock and then know that there's a specific patch of bare grass that I wanna shoot right after. And make sure that like while the light is good I'm not wasting time. You wanna use scouting to make your shooting time as efficient as possible when the light is as good as possible. (camera clicking) I also really wanna pay attention to my focal lengths too. This goes back to the framing, like I wanna try and remember the different focal lengths I'm shooting for later too, and where to stand. The distance of where you stand is really important. So, sometimes, what I'll do is while I'm scouting I'll look for rocks or little parts of the trail that I can remember and I'll be like, "Oh, I need to stand there later for when the light is really good and goin on." So, right now, I think what I wanna do is maybe something like, let's say that like, this grass is similar to that grass and I wanna use this as sorta my practice subject. What I wanna do is, right now, the top of this grass is a little too close to where the base of the mountain is. I want a little more room. But at the same time I don't wanna be too far back or else the mountain will look small. So I wanna find a spot right over here that's gonna be a little bit more up. But then, I'm not gonna lose what I'm shooting that's behind me. And then that way, it'll make the mountain look as big as possible. So, right here I see this little branch. I see some of these rocks. I'll keep these in mind and know exactly where to go.

Class Description


  • Plan and research for your most photographable experience
  • Scout your locations and determine the best time for shooting
  • How to incorporate people into your composition
  • Considerations for sunrise and sunset
  • Gear solutions to keep you trekking without the weight


Get out and explore and capture amazing images as a part of your memories. Adventure Photographer, Ryan Resatka, will take you in the field as he explores and captures one of the most incredible National Parks. He’ll teach how to research and plan your trip in advance so you understand the park guidelines, how to prep your lodging and maximize your success. He’ll walk through his process on a variety of different locations from lakeside to vistas to show how to work through any situation. He’ll teach how to direct, style and work with people to add different compositions to your landscapes. Ryan likes to stay on the road and shooting, so he’ll talk through packing and gear essentials to keep you ready for any photo opportunity that greets you on your journey.


  • Adventure photographers
  • Travel photographers
  • Landscape Photographers


Ryan Resatka is an adventure photographer based out of Los Angeles, California who has a passion for the outdoors and traveling. His passion for adventure has allowed him to work with a variety of world-class brands, companies, and tourism boards. Whether it be the arctic tundra or a tropical beach, Ryan captures the absolute best content for companies that allows them to engage with their audience and consumers. 



This is actually a question....regarding "park guidelines". Will you cover what permits are needed, costs; and most of all "insurance". I'd like to take my photography "pro", but these "hoops" appear to be confusing and expensive. Is there any way around them? Or to get the cost down to reasonable? I live in Nevada near Death Valley and travel to California often.