Five Great Locations for Great Images
If I were to ask you to list five great locations for creating great images, what would you list? Here’s my list that might be typical:
- Big Sur
- The African Plains
These beautiful locations would almost guarantee a great image! Think of the great work done here: Yosemite and the iconic images of Ansel Adams. When I think of Iceland will I forever see the incredible iceberg images of Camile Seaman in my head. Or how about the work of Edward Weston in the Big Sur area or Michael Kenna’s incredible minimalistic work from Japan. And Africa…could anything be more definitive than the work of Nick Brandt?
But do you know what would happen if I were to visit these locations, say Yosemite for example? I’d be looking for the spots where Ansel created those famous images so that I could recreate them for myself. And while I might be able to create a pretty nice image, it would neither be original or be as good as Ansel’s. Remember, Ansel has already done Ansel and I’m not going to do him better!
And so it begs the question; do I need to photograph at places such as Yosemite, Big Sur or Africa in order to create great images? Can’t great images also be found in ordinary places?
Yes they can. I believe that ordinary places have just as many image opportunities as the exotic places we all dream of visiting. So let me suggest another list of locations where you can create great images:
- Your neighbor’s yard
- Your bedroom
- A greenhouse
- A hotel
- In your car
They don’t sound very exciting when compared to that first list, so let’s take a look at why I’ve chosen these ordinary and even mundane locations. First, they are very accessible: no passport needed, no time off from work and no travel expenses.
But there’s another more important advantage: Ansel and Seaman and Weston and Kenna and Brandt have not photographed there and so you don’t have their images floating around in your head. You are free to see these locations in a fresh and unique way, and you are free to be the first to create great images there!
Here are some examples of my images from those very “ordinary” locations:
My neighbor’s yard.
In my car.
Great images do not need great locations…or perhaps better said; great images can come from everyday and ordinary great locations!
Yes, I have traveled to many exciting locations around the world and and I’ve created images there that I’m proud of, but I’m just as proud of my images from these “ordinary” locations.
Here are a few more examples of images from ordinary locations:
At my feet.
Something my daughter made.
At a flea market.
Before my son’s senior prom.
The river in my town.
On the way to work.
At a local tree nursery.
On the side of the road.
At a family get together.
Along the railroad tracks.
At my kitchen table.
In my office.
Along the river.
The “key” to a great image is not location, but your vision and your ability to see differently than those who have gone before you.
It’s a hard thing to do, but it is the key.