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For those of us who don't create art from scratch but are responding to what we find wherever we go there is this lingering question of where should I actually go?
And with that comes another question – should you focus on those beacons of attention, the iconic locations everyone knows and loves? Or will quite literally your backyard do as well.
Another point to consider is repetition. Getting to know a place and visiting more than once improves your understanding of what is there, you can find more details and if it is outside weather and time of day can make a big difference. So that favors the backyard then because it is a lot more accessible compared to – say – Antarctica.
So what about those famous locations. They are well known for a reason and the chances of finding a great picture there are very good – and don't be put off by the idea that it has been photographed millions of times before. You haven't photographed it yet and don't underestimate your ability to come home with a meaningful picture.
Plus visiting such locations come with the excitement of travel, of exploration and discovery.
In the end it comes down to personal preferences. One of my favorite photographers has decided to only make pictures in the area of about 50 to 100 miles around his home and drill deep into the details of this particular area. And his work is truly exceptional.
“But I don't live in a very scenic part of the world” I hear you say. Not true – look again. In my experience there is no such thing as a boring landscape (or city). Some things are just not as obvious as the Grand Canyon.
So where should you go now?
Unless you have a very clear vision of what you want to achieve I would suggest a bit of both. Traveling is very important to me and there is a special energy out there on the road. Feeding on that energy, getting into a flow that opens the mind and enables me to see more of what is around me and take it home through my camera is what makes traveling and exploring so special.
Staying closer to home allows me to make more conscious decisions, plan ahead and try out new things. I know the place, I know what to expect so I can play with different ideas. What would this look like as a long exposure, can I get closer, should I be further away.
The images below are an example of visiting a location more than once. I have been there a few times now, each time with a different idea of what I wanted to come home with.
So what is your sweet spot – home sweet home or a land far far away?
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