It’s impossible to predict what each season will bring and the more time you spend behind the camera the more you see those changes as the years pass by. It makes landscape photography more interesting that way because the same day, a year a part, can be complete opposites. The other reality is this happens everywhere. As a photographer how do you prep going into the field thinking it’s going to be one way and it’s something else? For example; here in Bozeman it’s the end of November and it looks like October without the fall color or the snow.
The biggest challenge is always figuring out what to bring and what to leave at home. Lets face it we all have to much gear, it comes with the job. The best solution is spending lots of time with that gear and knowing what works best as more all purpose. For example my two favorite lenses for landscape work are the 24-70 AF-S and 70-200 VRII because they are so versatile. This makes switching targets way easier. As for figuring out where to go to shoot, that comes down to watching the weather and just looking out the window. I spend lots of time doing both to see what areas are going to be best.