jbj,

I think has it nailed down, It is the essential element of pre-visualization with passion. I have been envisioning a moody landscape scene at a particular location and have been visiting and revisiting it hoping to find the right mood that I feel in my mind have been there 5 times so far, trying different angles, perspectives, today I brought a ladder to get above my subjects and adjust the background as an element that experiences and shares something meaningful with the foreground. I had to step through 5 inches of mud and water for 30 meters to get there as the water rose all around my spot.
I try using long exposures on Ilford Delta pro 100ISO BW with a Tiffen 25A filter, stopped down between f16-f32 for overall clarity and sharpness and then I slightly underexspose and overexpose for comparison, and when I want more drama than your mama I stack on a linear polarizer to render sky as black, More drama still? how about SFX infrared film that renders all green foliage white? of course there is no better mood than is captured and conveyed with a good BW Image, and the print even more impacting on the emotions. Color seems only to dazzle us with a broad range of hues but does not engage the abstracted emotion evident with composition and tone in its basic form. However Fuji Velvia 50 and the new 100ISO Velvia are also deliciously moody color films.

What really makes the mood is your ability to reflect and relate what your feeling is the mood for a given scene and then interpreting that in the world through your own unique perspective.

I would like to experiment with adding people myself but there is a certain solitude in believing for even a brief time that you are the only person seeing a grand view, even for the viewer of a reprinted image.

Best of luck finding your feelings and capturing it in a frame.