It is an often debated topic these days in landscape photography. Should you shoot the same locations that everyone sees ad nauseam on social media? Watch this video to see one photographer's take on the subject.
When preparing to be one of the leaders of a recent landscape photography conference in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Thomas Heaton realized that one of the working sessions he was scheduled to lead was at the world-famous Mesa Arch. You've probably seen several hundred pictures of Mesa Arch at sunrise on Instagram; it's world-famous for a reason. However, as with most iconic locations, this fame comes at a cost, namely that there are always photographers galore all crammed together to shoot the same shot.
Heaton isn't suggesting not to pursue iconic shots. What he is suggesting is that landscape photographers spend more time studying and understand lighting conditions and exploring their surroundings instead of following the crowds and setting up for the same composition that they've seen in countless photographs. Case in point - the morning his group was at Mesa Arch, the weather conditions weren't conducive to capturing the classic shot of the first rays of light hitting the rocks and producing a beautiful glow. With poor lighting and a large number of photographers concentrated at the arch, Heaton focused his group on adapting to the weather and trying instead to uncover new possibilities.
What are your thoughts on shooting iconic locations?