The real beauty of landscape photography is not what most people would tend to think; just a form of contemplative art, the quiet and calm setting of the countryside. Landscape photography can in fact be rather a thrust of exciting moments, a search to capture the ever-changing nature, with its different moods, locations and weather conditions.
The eye behind the camera, not only captures a landscape, but also the state of mind before the shot; he or she reflects the mood and atmosphere of the scenery. This is why landscape photographs can be quite unsettling and beautiful at the same time, there is a feeling of vitality, a peaceful or electric mood to the scene.
So paradoxically, if you prepare and study your shot before hand, you are most likely to be disappointed with the result. This is because photography is also a state of mind; it is the result of the emotion a certain scene provokes.
It is also true that, apart from the emotion you will also need to take the quality of light into account. A photograph taken within a couple of hours from sunset or after sunrise will produce very effective images. You may also try taking shots in fog or rain. The character of the light is a crucial component in images; a certain scenery will be completely different at midday than, say just before sunset. At sunset the sun will create long shadows, and the heat of the day will also give a hazy effect and soften the background images on your scene, thus forming a perfect backdrop for your shot.
Keep in mind that generally the sunlight at midday is uninteresting and harsh, so make sure you are at your intended spot, either two hours after sunrise or two before sunset, in order not to miss the best hours for landscape photography.
Often early morning light is clearer than sunset light, so your photographs will be crisp and have a more three-dimensional effect, although at times, depending on the location, morning mists may create impressive and moody effects on your landscape scenery.
This does not mean that if you are struck by a certain scene while around on the field, you should let it by. These suggestions only refer to the quality the early morning or late afternoon light will give to your photograph, not to the emotion or mood the scenery inspires.
In general terms, you should follow your intuition and get into synchronization with your camera and equipment, in order to act on instinct when you discover a scene you want to capture, you and your camera should be one, it is the artist in you that should transpire, not the technician!