A few years ago I saw an image in Outdoor photography magazine, it was an advert for Lee filters, an image taken by the renowned photographer Joe Cornish. I recognised the location overlooking Crummock water as this is about 1/2hr from where I live. It was a stunning image with crepuscular rays at sunrise over Crummock water. It inspired me to seek out the location and maybe get my own version from the same location. Knowing the area well I visited the fell overlooking Crummock on a number of occasions and often took what I considered some reasonable images. But I never found the exact location with the same foreground.
This had frustrated me somewhat, not that I couldn’t copy his image but that I hadn’t found the same location (I consider myself to be a good navigator) This January I again visited the fell getting up early reaching the summit before dawn. Sunrise was a non event. Using what little battery I had left on my phone I looked again at Cornish’s image and after 20mins wandering down the fell I found the location. I was delighted. The sun then decided to ‘play ball’ and produced some fantastic light for me.
Having bagged the shot I thought, well thats just a copy of someone else’s and proceeded to try and make ‘my own’ images. On the way home and later when processing the images I had made I thought about this some more.
As photographers we often use the internet or photoguides such as the very good fotovue books to find out where to go and take interesting & decent compositional shots so that we don’t waste our precious time. I find though that everytime you visit somewhere the weather conditions are different & the angle or focal length you choose produces your own image which may or may not be similar to the ones you had researched.
I met a fellow photographer one morning at ‘The Buttermere Tree’ after taking his shot he declared ‘ well I don’t need to come back here again’ I chuckled to myself as I never get sick of visiting the iconic tree. Its different every time. I have even shot astro images with it in.
The above image of 'the tree' shot hundreds of times by different photographers over the years was lucky enough to be commended in LPOTY 2017 proving to me that a new image of a very well know location can still provide something that is fresh (and I am happy to have it framed on my wall)
My point is, I guess, never feel bad about visiting a well shot location, they are popular for good reason (usually they make great compositions). They will be different every time. Don’t forget though to look for other shots on the way there & back as the conditions develop & change.