Getting great photos by going the extra mile


posted Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 2:11 PM EDT


Spencer Cox has written an article about looking "Beyond the Obvious Shot" for Photography Life. Some landmarks are so famous that many photographers visit them and they all capture similar images. To try and capture unique images, Cox says that you often have to, perhaps quite literally, go the extra mile.

Many people opt to stay close to the roads, parking areas, and other easily-accessible viewpoints. By walking sometimes only a few extra minutes, Cox says that you can capture better and more unique images. In some cases, you have to walk even further and go truly off the beaten path. Just because a famous landscape is famous, that doesn't mean it's the best one in the area. Sometimes an area becomes famous because of its accessibility rather than its beauty.

Cox goes on to say that you shouldn't force yourself to look for a unique shot, as you can capture a 'typical' image at a tourist destination in a unique way by going during the off-season, getting out and shooting before or staying out later than most people. You may not have to go too far for a unique image or to represent your artistic vision.

For me, living in Maine means being surrounded by tourists during summer and fall seasons. At these times, when all of the great parks are open, capturing new and fresh perspectives in places such as Acadia National Park can be tricky. However, by getting out before sunrise or staying out late into the evening, I am often able to capture unique images of oft-photographed places. Like Cox says, simply walking a few minutes beyond a viewpoint or parking lot has yielded great opportunities for me. Even with many people around or at oft-photographed places, there's always a unique opportunity if you're willing to put in the extra effort.

To capture this image, I walked only a few minutes from a busy road in Acadia National Park. Most people drive right by on their way to more popular destinations. Copyright: Jeremy P. Gray Photography

(Seen via Photography Life)