A question I get asked often is, ‘where do you find the great locations to shoot at?’ Or ‘how do you find the cool looking location images you use in your composites?’
Well the answer is easy. I get out of the studio and I explore!!!! I recently purchased a compact Sony A5000 camera especially for my little adventures. My main shooting camera, I felt is too heavy and cumbersome for my location scouts. I needed something small, easy to carry and something that still shoots in RAW.
This weekend I went to visit my Grandparents in the coastal town of Scarborough in the UK. Scarborough is a town on the North sea, in North Yorkshire. It was founded in the Viking times, and has had a colourful history. With its castle sat proudly on the limestone cliff, it was the UK’s first seaside destination. I’ve been coming to (my Grandparents) Scarborough for over 25 years, it holds many precious memories. Tales I like to tell my son as we walk along the beachfront. I would claim to know every street in Scarborough or so I thought.
I got up at 5am Saturday, not too long after sunrise, and set off down to the seafront. As I was driving the usual route into the town, I saw a right turn I had never been down, and decided to take a little detour down. Suddenly I was seeing houses, streets, and hotels I had never seen before. I pulled up to something I can only describe as a little clock tower.
This was new, so out I got. Took a few photos and strolled down through the gate. It lead to a cliff edge, and I got an amazing view of Scarborough I had not seen before.
Looking across the sea, as the cold air brushed against my face, I felt quite excited. One right turn, off the trodden path, and already I had found 2 new spots. So I decided that my plan for the morning was to explore the streets and areas I walk past regularly, and never took the time to look down. As I stared across the water, I could see what is referred to as the old town. Just behind the seafront, where the arcade machine lights usually blink, and the children sit on wooden benches, forcing copious amounts of ice cream into their chubby little faces, lies the original part of town. I had seen glimpses of it, between the buildings, or seen the rooftops whilst running around the castle as a child. But not once had I had I took much notice of it. This was my morning destination!
Once at the beachfront, I spied an opening between two of the seafront buildings, and made my way through. It lead me into a series of old passageways called, The Bolts. As I explored I found cool little shooting spots at every turn. Old stairways leading up to, what looked like (with my little historical knowledge) Victorian buildings. Old style lamps littered the streets, and I even found some buildings still with the old wooden beams running through them. I was excited. You could feel the history dripping from every corner, and this is exactly what I was hoping for. My inspiration juices were flowing, and my head was buzzing with ideas.
As I moved on down the streets, through the old church and past the castle, I stumbled on so many new areas it would take too long to list them all. One of my favourites was an old building with a plaque upon its walls. Which after reading I found out was one of the original three ale houses to be built in Scarborough. How cool is that!
Finally after 3 hours, it was time for a coffee, and an ice cream! I finished by walking the full length of the Bolts one last time, and at the very end came upon one last alleyway. It still had echoes of the old fishing town present in the architecture. I could picture in my head the bustle of the fishermen, getting on with their daily duties. It was a great end to a wonderful morning.
So what is the point of this article I hear you say?!
Well it is to reinforce the fact that there are always places nearby to shoot, new locations to find. I always hear complaints about having no interesting or cool locations anywhere nearby. Rubbish!! There are places wherever you are, you just have to put in a little effort to find them. You get back what you put in. One day instead of turning left, take a chance and turn right! You may never know what lies just down that street, or beyond those trees. I have been visiting Scarborough for over twenty years, and only now found this little treasure trove of locations.
Get out and explore!!!!