Do You Find the Unexplored Areas for Your Landscape Photography?

There are somewhere around 7.5 billion people on the planet, and with that many, it might seem as if every possible landscape photography location has been explored. But really, that's just not the case, and you might be missing out on some great opportunities.

Coming to you from Thomas Heaton, this great video follows him as he finds a landscape spot just 15 minutes from his home that he never knew about. If you look at landscape imagery nowadays, it might seem like there are no new locations to photograph. And while it's true that all the grandest, most obviously photogenic locations have been photographed countless times, I'm willing to bet that for most of us, less obvious locations in our locales are waiting to be photographed. These offer two obvious benefits: first, you're likely to get more unique imagery that hasn't been seen before. Second, all those popular locations are popular because they're readily photogenic. Finding a more hidden location will challenge your compositional skills and help you develop into a stronger photographer. This will in turn develop your eye to find even more potential locations you might not have considered before. Check out the video above for Heaton's full thoughts on the matter. 

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9 Comments

Because I take my dogs for long hikes, I have apps on my phone for finding hiking trails which often include nice landscape photography opportunities that I'd have never found otherwise.

David Pavlich's picture

I use other people's geotags. Not true, just being a smart ***. Seems fitting considering the many articles that FS has posted here.

All you have to do is to look at a night shot from space to see how much wilderness there still is. Then it becomes how willing are we to actually get off the beaten path to shoot. Some of us are probably not spry enough to be climbing or trekking for miles and miles.

user-220643's picture

Almost all of my photographs and vlogs are captured locally (within 30 mins drive) and at places I've discovered myself. It's very rare for me to see anybody else, never mind another photographer. There's something that I find immensely rewarding and personal about this approach. Of course there are tons of places left to explore but it requires time and acceptance & contentment in the fact that some of that time investment may not lead to a photograph.

William Howell's picture

I was lucky enough to spend my younger years in the Appalachian mountains and I loved it. But the best thing was the strip mining operations, that tore off the tops of mountains and in the process created some of the best motocross trails in America. I mean miles and mile of trails.
Now though the strip mines are gone and all the land reclaimed, you can’t even tell there was mining going on. But the trails are still there and most people have four wheelers instead of dirt bikes. Four wheelers are nice, but dirt bikes are cooler. And of course with an all-terrain vehicle I can pile up the photographic gear and not worry about light. Good times, good times.

That's odd. I lived in East Tennessee for a while, about thirty years ago, and the mountains never recovered from the strip mines. Reclamation consisted of, as they say, 'A lick and a promise' but left behind huge swaths of kudzu as a reminder. :-(

William Howell's picture

Hmm that’s weird, they have where I lived. I’m 56, and I know what you speak of, but by the time 1980 and later, our coal companies did a fine job of reclamation. Some of my favorite photography was taken on reclaimed land. Why I marveled at how great of a job our coal operators actually did. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve sworn that someone from The Sierra Club had reclaimed the land!
;- )
Where abouts in Tennessee where you?

Nope. The Sierra Club doesn't fix anything, they try to make it worse so they'll have more to complain about. ;-)

I lived in a very rural area, dominated by people who did the absolute minimum reclamation. Don't misunderstand...they were the nicest people you'd want to meet!

William Howell's picture

Ain’t that the truth.

Marco De Maio's picture

I found new spots to photograph, but once I posted the photos on instagram, I saw that other people went there and then end of the story, of course I had geolocalized with a generic position. ;)