From the highest mountain views to ancient sites and wonders of nature, the world is full of amazing photographic subjects. You can find long and comprehensive lists with the best places for photography. But should you travel across the seas to photograph them?
Yes, a great subject matter can deliver an amazing photo, but a great subject matter alone is not enough. You need to find the most interesting perspective, the best light, and the best time of the year for your subject. And this means doing a lot of research. Check out the following tips for finding the best places for photography.
Choose the best place for your preferred type of photography
Not all types of photography need the same scenery. For example, landscape photos benefit from outstanding and isolated places, where just a few people can go. For landscape photographers, wild and unknown locations increase the chances of delivering unique photographs. On the other hand, a product photographer won’t leave the studio.
At the same time, portrait photographers need comfortable locations, where their subjects can easily arrive and relax. They also have to agree with their models on location and facilities. A travel photographer will try to discover unique civilizations and cultures, travel in remote locations, and use the location’s fame as much as possible.
Consider weather, season, and time of the year
Shooting conditions vary over a year. Not only weather and vegetation are different but also people’s lifestyle changes over the year. If you want to capture a specific holiday or festival, you need to plan your agenda around specific dates. If you want to climb mountains or capture the autumn foliage, you need to consider seasons and weather. Choosing the best places for your photos isn’t a one-time decision. You need to constantly adjust to natural and social factors.
Avoid crowded places
When a place gets famous it becomes harder to deliver unique pictures. Overusing means you have to come up with creative ideas that weren’t used before. How can you photograph Eiffel Tower in ways it wasn’t photographed before? How can you exhibit new aspects of the Egyptian pyramids?
Moreover, these places may be crowded or require special permission for taking pictures. Take some time to research a place and find the best time of the day to photograph it. You can avoid crowds by taking pictures at sunrise. Or you may find a day of the week when the tourists flow ease up. Doing your homework saves time and delivers the best conditions for photography.
Consider your budget
It may be interesting to travel across the world for a photo session but not many photographers afford it. Nevertheless, the greatest places for your photos may be in your backyard. Take time to observe your surroundings and notice the places you like. Write them down and use the list when needed.
For example, the light in the park nearby may be stunning at sunset and you can use it for a portrait photos session. The hill outside your city may provide the calm and quietness you need for macro nature photos, capture season changing, and practice landscape photography. The village where your grandparents live may be an opportunity to document a small community and tell its stories.
Not all great photographers were great travelers or explorers. Henri Cartier-Bresson and Elliott Erwitt photographed Paris scenes all their lives. Ansel Adams was in love with Yosemite National Park. You can find many other examples of photographers who found magical subjects in their neighborhood. It’s not so much about having a unique subject matter as it is about knowing how to spot it.
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