Fstoppers recently covered a vlog that detailed the benefits of repeatedly photographing the same location. And now we have further proof that repetition can pay off in photography, this time from the Scottish countryside.
Scottish nature photographer Sinclair Cunningham has been visiting the same location for years. Though this location is his personal favorite, he keeps looking for new photographic perspectives on one landscape that he's grown quite familiar with.
This particular spot in the Scottish countryside exhibits a special attraction, one fondly named by locals "The Kissing Trees." Take a look at the photos below and you'll see exactly how these entwined duos of nature got their name.
Sinclair has been visiting the trees since early childhood, and began photographing them six years ago after receiving advice to keep shooting one subject or area repetitively.
What's the benefit to photographing the same place over and over? It may seem counter-intuitive, since typically we often feel that we've "conquered" a subject by creating something worthwhile of it. But by returning and making something unique, we are forcing our minds to be malleable and creative. This strategy brings us out of the box of everyday shooting, and reminds us that unique perspective, timing, and framing can be employed wherever we go. In other words, this exercise keeps us from constantly shooting in a uniform, predictable style.
The area has offered many other unique photographic opportunities.
In an email to me, Mr. Sinclair described how this area has been the source of various photographic opportunities spanning a wide array of gorgeous natural phenomena. In just this one spot, Cunningham has witnessed and captured with his camera "aurora, noctilucent clouds, 22 degree halo, snowscapes (they are pretty inaccessible during heavy snow!), light painting, rain reflections, star trails, the Milky Way, sunsets and sunrises — the list goes on!"
If you were to glance at these images briefly and not notice the repetition of the trees' presence, you might not realize that these photographs were all taken from roughly the same place. Obviously, Cunningham's creative use of framing, timing and angle has allowed for a wide array of styles. In one image, he even switches it up and uses his car's side view mirror as an unlikely focal point.
When asked what inspired the above photo in the rearview mirror, Cunningham wrote to me "This came about as I had made yet another journey up to the trees at sunset and was struggling to find a fresh composition. The idea popped into my head and I positioned the car so I could include the yellow rapeseed crops out of focus in the background which, along with the grass, mimicked the tones of the sunset/grass in the mirror looking back."
In one of nature's rarer moments, Mr. Cunningham recently captured a stunning pink-hued rainbow arcing over the landscape. Making the image even more magical, one end of the rainbow landed smack dab behind the famous trees. Cunningham produces a calendar every year to showcase his work, and is considering including this iconic shot in the 2020 edition.
Do you have a go-to location for inspiration that you find yourself returning to over and over? Please share your photos in the comments section below.