For me, there are three ingredients that make a great landscape photo: an interesting subject, a though-out composition, and, maybe most important, good light and weather conditions that fit the scenery.
Getting all three takes a lot of work and luck.
First I need some inspiration, which I get from looking at photos of other photographers, by reading travel books and articles or by just picking a country and trying to find out what kind of landscapes it has to offer.
Then comes the planning phase, in which I research the places that caught my interest. I try to acquire as much information as possible to allow me to start pre-visualizing how I would photograph them.
For a recent trip to Mallorca those places where the Formentor peninsula in the North and the rocky coastline near Ses Salines in the South.
For such a trip I usually try to stay in one area a few days before heading to the next one. That’s why I didn’t try to circle the whole island during the 10 days I had on Mallorca but instead dedicated six days to the Formentor peninsula and four days to the Ses Salines area.
The key here is not trying to get as many different photos as possible. I rather concentrate on just a few landscapes, making sure to capture them in the best possible conditions.
First I do extensive scouting, starting by driving to different viewpoints, doing various hikes to more remote areas, all with the goal of finding the spots that are worth coming back to again and again, possibly sacrificing some other photo opportunities along the way. And this is important because I seldom get the right light on the first try, which was the case with the Ses Salines Lighthouse.
I photographed this scene three times, of which I count the first two as failures. Only on the third attempt did I get the light and weather that provided the drama I needed. In the video below, I have further details on how I approached this scene.
Although here it worked out perfectly, that’s not generally the case. Quite often the weather just doesn’t cooperate, even if I spent several days at a location. That’s also why the best photos you find of certain places are often captured by local photographers, who can dedicate even more of their time to get the shot. But still, even if it doesn’t always work out, planning in the time to return to a location several times can largely increase your chances of taking an epic landscape photo.