Finding new locations in the city can be challenging, especially when fellow photographers may be unwilling to share their favorite, secret shoot locations. Fortunately, with a few changes to your usual pattern, you can find previously-undiscovered locations that can be the perfect place for your next photography adventure.
Mix up your routine
One very simple change you can make to help discover new shoot locations is to mix up your routine and take different routes to your usual destinations of work, home, friends’ houses and social hotspots. When you’re taking that different route, give yourself enough time to examine your surroundings and notice shadows, colors, textures, landscaping and architecture. Stop periodically when you see something interesting and snap a few sample images with your on-hand camera or phone so you have inspiration for a future trip to that location.
Take a walk
If you always drive, take a cab or ride the subway to your destination, take a step back and try walking instead. Driving saves time, but you miss most of your surroundings and never see important details that can make amazing photographs. Pay closer attention to everything as you’re walking, from the sidewalk cracks to the tops of skyscrapers and open up your perspective to really see the city and its nuances. When walking isn’t a safe option, try riding a bike as even that slower pace helps you explore and stop whenever you see something intriguing.
Seek outside input
Although you may utilize numerous online resources to find new locations, sometimes the best plan is to seek input by actually talking to people in person. See if any local photographers have suggestions on locations or even ask a local store clerk or owner if they know of any places with interesting scenery or a breathtaking view. Ask family members and friends about their favorite locations and expand your idea pool beyond online-only groups and forums.
Google has answers to almost every question imaginable and online research may be exactly what you need to narrow down potential locations. Enter as many specifics as you can during your search and narrow or widen the parameters as needed until you find a few good choices. When you’re looking for something truly unique, visit websites that focus on unusual, abandoned or forgotten places, but make sure you take safety precautions before exploring such areas.
Choose a location type
If you can’t handle the idea of setting out without some sort of destination, mentally choose the type of location you’re searching for on that shoot. Maybe you want a city skyline view, artistic graffiti, unique architecture or flowering gardens. Whatever you decide to shoot that day, you at least have an idea where to start and can head off in a good general direction.
Track your locations
Once you’ve found new locations, create a system for tracking their locations and decide what type of shoot would work best in that spot. Organize your sample photos, important information about the location, and specific map directions so it’s easy to return there for a longer shoot. With your Gmail account, you can add pins to Maps for favorite locations and give those names and notes for future reference.
Create a professional portfolio of all your new locations with Baboo Digital’s digital printing services and showcase your best images with our various mounting and framing options.
Featured image by Kenneth Garcia