A lot of photographers are perpetually worried about location. It can be quite an issue, especially if you live in a place that isn’t necessarily photogenic. However, the photography duo Rachel and Daniel of Mango Street teach us in this video that you can create beautiful photographs just about anywhere.
PIXEO is a new crowdsourcing app designed to help you find the perfect locations. Whether on vacation or planning a trip specifically for photography, PIXEO wants to be your one-stop shop for finding where to take your camera.
At the moment, it’s limited to iPhone users, and it has quite a small community. At the moment, the website says it has 480+ users. But those users have uploaded more than 13,000 photos of over 10,780 locations around the world. And it’s only been live for a couple of weeks. So, there’s plenty of time for it to grow.
I can almost guarantee that, in terms of modern-day travel, there’s no such thing as secret location anymore. And unless you’re willing to travel hundreds of kilometers deep into the alps or rainforests of distant lands, you’re not going to be the first to discover a picturesque scene.
A recent article from Annabel Claire discusses whether photographers should share the locations of their photos, and to what extent it becomes beneficial over being detrimental.
So is there really any reason to keep the location details of your latest photo a secret?
There’s generally two approaches to landscape photography. The first is to just turn up and just photograph what you see as you notice it. It’s a somewhat haphazard, but very therapeutic way of shooting landscapes. And while you’re happy if you come home with great shots, it’s the journey that’s most important. The other type are the landscape photographers that plan ahead. Neither method is better than the other, and both are equally valid. If you want to plan ahead, though, location scouting is vital.
This video from German photographer Michael Breitung talks us through his location scouting process and why it’s so important to him. It really can make a big difference and offer you a lot more consistency and reliability when you head out to create images.
No matter if you’re shooting photos or videos out of the studio, location scouting is one of the essential steps. Ted Sim from Aputure meets Jeff Shepherd, a veteran location manager and a great professional at his work. Jeff has worked on the shows like Shameless, Parks and Rec, Straight Outta Compton and many others. In this video, he shares his top eight tips for location scouting like a pro.
For many of us in the northern hemisphere, we’re getting to that time of year when the weather isn’t so great. Sure, autumn (or “fall”, if you prefer) is here now, the leaves are changing colour, and we’re getting a great array of colour. But, we’re also getting the occasional day of rain. Or far more than just the occasional day if, like me, you’re in the UK.
Landscape photographer Simon Baxter uses days like these for location scouting. In this video, he explains how he finds new locations to explore, and the things he’s thinking about while surveying the scene. Simon also explains why does this during those bad weather days.
Sometimes even in the crappiest conditions you can make great photos. Although, I thought this was impossible in the part of the city where I live. However, this video from Jordan Matter helped me change my point of view. It shows you how to choose great locations for your headshots even when you’re limited to a very ugly neighborhood.
Jordan wanders around the neighborhood he says to be the ugliest in New York City (I don’t know which one it is, though). Only one block around his studio, he and his model Juliette Garrett managed to find five locations to make excellent portraits.
For me, finding portrait locations is fairly easy. But most of my shoots are in rural locations and I am able to pick locations well in advance. But sometimes you don’t have that luxury. I’ve experienced that, too. You find yourself in a town or city with a subject, and no particular location planned.
So, you have to use your wits to find somewhere on the spot, even in what might initially appear to be the least photogenic of places. This video from the folks at Mango Street offers up three tips to help you find locations while you’re out and about.
For anybody who shoots outside of a set or the studio, location scouting is almost a necessity. Whether you’re shooting video or stills, if you have a specific look in mind for the final result, you need to have a suitable location. Sure, you can skip the whole planning thing, and just drive around while shooting in the hopes that you’ll eventually find a spot. For some run & gun styles of shooting that might actually work, but for a lot of things, it doesn’t.
Location scouting allows you sort out shooting spots in advance. It lets you plan ahead and account for things that would otherwise be impossible to foresee had you just stumbled across it while out shooting. This free checklist from StudioBinder, helps make your location scouting life a little easier by reminding you of the things that you may need to check when at a location.
Panoramio has been one of my go-to location scouting tools for quite a while now. It’s an invaluable resource which combines Google Maps with user contributed imagery. Each of these images are GPS tagged, showing the exact spot at which they were made. Its design makes it fantastic for finding hidden gem locations nearby, or for checking out areas you’re visiting before you go.
In recent years, Google have been adding similar functionality into the main Google Maps service. Indeed, whenever you do a search for a location, there’s an “Explore” button at the bottom, and when you click it, a strip of images comes up. But for photographers, or others scouting locations, it doesn’t offer the most efficient workflow.