Does the location really matter?

A while ago I was in a conversation with another photographer and the question came up of how important it is to know where a picture was taken. If you visit certain places it will be hard to hide the fact that you took a picture of the Eiffel Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge. Most of the time that actually is the whole point – look, the Eiffel Tower. Personally I would at least try to come up with a composition that is a little bit original but I admit that is quite hard.

But for other places – do you need to know? Does it improve or change your perception if you know an image was taken on a beach on the pacific coast or the atlantic coast? What happens if I won't tell you?

Some of the images I took in Death Valley last year I had printed and I am showing them in our gallery or at art shows and I had a lot of interesting conversations around them. Since I am not mentioning the location in the title or description people have to start to come up with their own origin story for what they see. The location does play a role in this but since they don't know the images get placed quite literally all around the world.

I feel I have succeeded I when that happens. A viewer has accessed his own imagination, created his own story from my image. I don't think there is a greater thing that can happen and I believe that if I tell you that you are looking at a specific place I am blocking the entrance to where imagination begins.


Do you agree? Or do you really need to know?