How to Photograph a Travel Location You Already Visited
Ever wanted to photograph a travel location you already visited? While it's tempting to move on to new places with fresh scenery, there are times when I want to go back to a destination to complete some unfinished business.
Why Return to Photograph a Travel Location?
There's something exciting about visiting a new location, and something nostalgic about returning to a place you already visited.
To understand why you may want to return to photograph a travel location, think back about your first visit. It's new and you don't know everything there is to see. Maybe you did your research before visiting and got a shot list. However, things happen.
Maybe the shot wasn't everything you wanted it to be. Another possibility is that you discovered something new and interesting, but didn't have time to explore and take your photographs.
One of the mistakes that bug me the most are when I'm exhausted and just don't have the energy to shoot more when I've already covered what I wanted. Yes, there are always more photos to take. Sometimes you just need to take a break, though.
Finally, you're a better photographer now. Maybe you have new skills, a new piece of gear, or something that helps you improve upon your level of photography.
So, it's good to go back. Whether you do it over or do things you didn't think about last trip, you can always find more subjects to photograph.
What Do You Want to Photograph that You Missed the Last Time?
The answer to this really depends upon your frame of mind.
When I visit Las Vegas, my reasons vary. Sometimes are for business, conferences and others for vacation. I stay in different resorts, and perhaps sometimes it's just the closest airport to get to Zion National Park in Utah.
Whatever the reason, Las Vegas is a target-rich environment for photography.
I visit Las Vegas for travel photo and also as a portrait location. Lee started her love of food photography because of the excellent presentation in the restaurants we encountered.
When something looks beautiful, you want a photograph.
However, the reasons I have for photographing the same subject over and over are pretty limited. I'm generally looking for a new take on an old subject. That could come from a different time of year, a better sunset or sunrise, or a better vantage point for my camera.
Most often, the time I think of reasons to go back to a photograph a travel location is just after I get home. When I'm reviewing the photos, I tend to think of subjects or opportunities that I missed.
Sometimes I'll consider how to combine my love of travel and portrait photography. There are plenty of models available in Las Vegas, some I know who moved out there from the Orlando area. You can also get lucky with some interesting street photography, if that's what you enjoy.
How to See a Travel Location in a New Way
If you want to get different photos from the same travel location, you can't do the same thing and hope for different results. You need to plan on making some changes.
Here are a few suggestions.
Shoot at Different Times
I don't mean shooting at different times of the day or night, though that will definitely change your atmosphere and lighting. You should also consider shooting at different times of the year.
Florida has two types of weather – rain and party cloudy. Other places have four seasons, which is why I have to travel to see them. My visits to Washington, D.C. brought opportunities for different photos in Winter than in Summer. It's not just about the weather, but also how the people dress and behave.
Choose New Angles or Perspectives
Unless you developed your style by always shooting from the same point of view, try switching it up. It's tempting to get as close as you can to some subjects, but the story is very different when you back off and take in a larger point of view.
You can try using different lenses – a fisheye is fun. However, don't underestimate the value of moving your feet. A super wide-angle lens can distort your travel subjects if you're into photos of buildings, while moving a few hundred yards away can show how your subject relates to its environment.
In Las Vegas, I like visiting some of the options to get high above the city in various restaurants, bars, or attractions.
Get the Shots You Missed Last Time
When you're traveling, there are always limits on your time. You can't get everything. Sometimes you can't even think of every shot you want until you had time to reflect upon your options.
This is a perfect reason to photograph a travel location you already visited. As I mentioned in the show, I'm returning to Cuba soon with a completely different vision in mind. I have subjects an a purpose that are completely different to my vision of the island on my previous trip, so it's worth a return visit.
Use Different Gear
Sometimes this may mean buying or renting a new camera, lens, or accessory. For an upcoming return trip to Las Vegas, it means going mobile.
Let's face it, DSLRs are large and obvious. When you raise one up in a tourist destination, it catches attention from those around you.
On the other hand, nobody really bats an eye at a smart phone, GoPro or a point & shoot camera. Blending in to your environment allows you to do some things that may not work out as well with your DSLR.
Visit During an Event
We're visiting Las Vegas for the marathon. While Lee gets to run down the Las Vegas Strip at night with 40,000 of her closest friends, it's an incredible opportunity for me to capture some of the event. It only happens for a few hours, once each year.
Switch Up from Still to Video
Mot of my experience is with still photography. However, there is an audience online that devours video content – particularly for travel locations.
Why not try switching things up by capturing some video to tell your story? It puts a spin on your creative vision unlike anything else.
Get lots of video clips on your trip and then put them together when you get home. It's an interesting and educational experience for any photographer or storyteller.
Don't Hesitate to Photograph a Travel Location You Already Visited
I know it's always tempting to see new places for your travel photography, but there are advantages to returning to a travel location. Many travel photographers often shoot places near where they live so they can keep working to get the perfect shot, or variations on a theme.
If you think you've already done it all, chances are that you're mistaken.
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