If you love photography you know how thrilling it is when you visit a new location full of sceneries for the first time. Such is the photo curiosity that sometimes, we photographers, travel miles of distance looking for new places to take photo shots. New locations present new photo angles that you have never experienced before, making the photo session not only challenging but also interesting.
When I started photography I had lots of shooting locations because everywhere (even on my back yard!) seemed new to me with my camera but then, days went on and the urge to find new locations to photograph took over. You meet with your peer photographers and through discussions, a certain location becomes a ‘go-to’ spot for photo shooting. Eventually, you find yourself wanting to find new places to shoot every time.
Travelling around the world with my camera is my dream tour of finding new exciting shooting locations, probably never discovered before! But that would require means and time which I can’t afford for now. My photo shooting locations are limited to places within driving distance but you would be surprised that even at such a limited radius, I still find ‘new locations’ to shoot amazing photos. Here is a list of useful techniques that I often use to get new photo shooting locations in my local area which you can apply too.
1. Join a Photo Club
I used to think I have covered all interesting shooting locations in my locality until I joined a Photo Club and went for a photo walk. Meeting new people in your local area can be one of the best ways to find new interesting shooting locations. Don’t assume anything, even if the location has been your home for your entire life chances are someone else might have discovered an interesting spot or a new photo taking perspective unknown to you.
Joining a local Photo Club would be one way to discover new locations and especially through organizing occasional photo walks. You will have a chance to discuss new ‘go-to’ spots discovered by others so you will always have a list of shooting locations available. When you are in a pinch to get a shooting location, you can always go through the list and choose one that suits your time and interest.
2. Use Map and Location Apps
There are plenty of useful apps and tools that provide map and location data such as Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Maps etc. But do you know there are apps and tools specifically made to find locations to photograph? Stuck on Earth is just one of those tools that you can use to get amazing shooting locations. The app works by integrating Flickr location data and a map tool to provide not only shooting locations but also photographs taken by others on those locations. You can search locations from the list of top photography locations curated by actual photographers and the best part is that this app is free!
3. Make Locations New By Going at Night
You have this amazing place that you have photographed countless stunning photos and you already feel you’ve done enough. But have you ever thought the kind of shoots you can get from the same place in the middle of the night? You can turn an old location into a new location by shooting photos at night. Experience how night can change the way we perceive familiar locations, plus it is always thrilling to tackle new set of photography challenges by pushing your camera to its limits of low light image capture.
4. Use a Guide Book
If you have a passion in taking nature photos such waterfalls, guide books provides friendly information on what to expect from a certain location and the best time to visit for stunning photos. True, they may sound outdated but if you are looking for a detailed guide on how to go about shooting photos on Bowen Falls in Fiordland National Park including how picturesque the fall is and how difficult the hikes are, guide books from Amazon or other bookstores will come in handy.
5. Fill Up the Tank and Drive Away
This is one of my favourite techniques of getting new photo shooting locations. You don’t have to plan for the ride else you will miss the whole essence of this trick. All what you need to do is fill up the fuel tank, pick up a direction and distance to drive (say 50 miles, east) and drive off. After covering the set distance, take the first exit and arrive at unknown location/town/place with all sorts of new things and sceneries to photograph. You may take a friend with you for the ride, like I do to keep me company. Best still, your friend can help you to pinpoint shots so you don’t miss potential photography opportunities.