Photographers tend to be rather territorial. Whether its returning to our favourite location for sunrise or sunset or wandering the streets of our favourite town or city. Returning to a familiar location time and time again seems to be commonplace among photographers. Building a familiarity with a location is a good and allows us to fully exploit our surroundings. It may be that the light on a certain street at a certain time of day works well or that the sun rises or sets in just the right place at a certain time of year. Knowledge of an area allows us to adapt easily to changing conditions and ensure that we don’t miss out on opportunities to make standout images.
There are two locations that I return to on a regular basis and I’m still managing to find new compositions each time that I visit. One location in particular I visit more than most and that’s a place known as Priddy Ponds on the Mendip Hills.
Priddy Pools is a 30 minute drive from my house. It’s an easy drive with little traffic and the location itself is rarely busy. You may get the odd dog walker every now and then but apart from that its quiet. It can be eerily quiet at night and extremely dark so not a location to shoot on your own if you are of a slightly nervous disposition. There can be some strange noises in the dark up there and its easy to let your mind play tricks on you. The tree itself provides a great point of interest but there are many other areas to explore as well as the pond which provides great reflections on a clam day.
Another location that I return to on a regular basis is the very famous wooden lighthouse located on the beach at Burnham-On-Sea. This location is particularly special to me as I was fortunate enough to have the image below printed in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016. It also made it onto the back cover of the book. This is the one of the few times I have had recognition for my photography so I take every opportunity I can to shout about it.
Again, this location provides masses of opportunity for different compositions and I’ve yet to explore many of them. I want to shoot it at high tide with the water around the legs of the lighthouse but so far ever time I have had chance to visit the tide hasn’t been right. At low tide there is great opportunity to capture the reflection of the lighthouse in the tidal pools. It can mean getting knee deep in the mud of the Bristol Channel but isn’t that what landscape photography is all about?
The other reason that this photograph is special to me is that it was this photo that convinced me to ditch my DSLR and go full Fujifilm. This shot was made with incredible Fujifilm X-Pro1 and superb XF 16mm 1.4.
I will continue to visit both of these locations and if you have a favourite location I would encourage you to do the same. You could visit the same location for 20 years and one day get that once in a lifetime shot. The large collection of images will also look good put together in a book when you feel the location has finally run its course and every avenue (or street) has been explored.
My favourite tree is going to be the subject of a long term project so if you follow my work I’m sure you will be seeing a lot more of it. I intend to use the GFX 50s to photograph it at when conditions allow and I’m excited to see what results I can achieve with it. This will be the subject of a future blog so stay tuned for that one.