There is this famous quote says ‘Location, location, location”, I can tell you there is nothing could be truer for photography in this case: landscape, nature, and et cetera.
This idea goes beyond the physical location aspect, it also encompasses the colors of the lighting, the angles reflect the best shadow, and of course how popular the location is.
I have always preferred to stay off the beaten path with the exception of if I want to visit some well-known locations that I think it will be great to enjoy as a traveler and a photographer, such as Yosemite National park, Glacier National Park, et cetera. But even in those scenarios, I always try to find my unique point of view. Sometimes I will discuss some location ideas with Keith, a fellow photographer, and a great friend, to make sure that I am not going to places that have been visited by many people already.
COVID-19 has changed things drastically in 2020 especially for travelers like me. Before COVID, I was looking on the map to find new destinations, regardless of the distance. During the pandemic, I started to look for places within driving range of about 3 to 4 hours. This led me to form a new routine:
- Visit/Discover a new place only every 3 to 4 weeks
- Avoid popular or tourist spots as much as I can
- If a specific location doesn’t resonate with me emotionally, just drive back home (or don’t even bother to drive there at the first place)
In the Instagram era, when most of us are staying at home or working remotely, it’s easy to get into the spiral where you “have to” produce content nonstop to reach a new audience or to please your current fans. But sometimes I have to keep reminding myself as an artist and a photographer, where I come from and who I am. The intention on that is always worth way more than alike from social media.