Put up your hand if you like shooting landscape photography, and are always looking for new places – but only photograph them once, maybe twice, and then think you are done with that area?
Should you revisit a landscape photography location or explore new unknown places? – That’s the question… and a great one indeed! It’s a question that all landscape photographers have faced one time or another.
If you photographed the same location every day for a year, it would be unlikely that any two photographs would be the same. There are many factors in landscape photography that can change the look of a photograph... weather, tides, and time of day can all greatly influence the look and feel of a photograph.
Conditions are never the same!
Each time you revisit a landscape photography location, the conditions are different. Sometimes these conditions are great and other times not so great, but nevertheless they are different. By revisiting a location, you’re increasing the odds that you’ll receive the conditions you’ve envisioned for your photograph.
Revisiting during different seasons is another positive for this side of the discussion and is something I try to do often. I frequently make an effort to visit my favourite locations during different seasons as this, much like weather conditions; can completely change the look and feel of a location.
I decided with all the current Covid restrictions to see whether I could find different compositions from one of my favourite local locations. This groyne (sea defence) is situated at Branksome Chine, Bournemouth, Dorset which is along the South coast in England. NB. The word 'chine' means a 'deep, narrow ravine cut through soft rocks by a water course descending steeply to the sea'.
The groyne has quite a few distinct elements to it which means I'm able to photograph it in its entirety as well as separate parts. I'm sure that I've still not totally exhausted all possibilities so I will still keep returning! Maybe when it's snowing or late at night??
New photography techniques
As you are aware, photographers should always look to find compositions at different perspectives by moving the camera from ground level to above our heads and all points in between! It's amazing how different things can look through the viewfinder when altering the camera's height.
Also, by employing different camera techniques, the 'feeling' of the composition can be altered as well. I have shown here a couple of these different camera techniques, regular exposure, slow shutter speed, high ISO, ICM and a very long exposure. Using your complete arsenal of techniques will ensure a great variety of images are possible.
With this particular structure I was always aware of keeping the top of the main post above the horizon line as much as possible to make sure it was shown clearly in the image. When shooting down on it from halfway up the cliff besides the beach, it was important to make sure any wave patterns didn't cross behind the top element.
Improvement as a photographer
The longer the gap between revisiting a photo location, the more your photography will have changed. This can be a great way to gauge your improvement as well. These images were all taken during 2020 and my later work gave me an opportunity to discover new angles and perspectives not seen at the beginning of the year.
I can now critique this body of work to it to see where I can make any improvements to the composition or time of day and tide when I need to revisit. Keeping these images in my mind when I next visit, I will ensure that I will start looking for new and better compositions. When I put the old set against the new, I will see how I might have improved as a photographer!
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