Saturday, February 23, 2008

Keep Going Back

One of the best traits a photographer can have is to keep going back to a location. It would be easy to think that would be boring and repetitive but it actually is the opposite. The weather changes, seasons change, or the light is different every time. I am amazed at the very different images I have made at the exact same location.

When business takes me to Wisconsin, I visit the same wildlife refuge several times on each trip. I often revisit the same location two or three times over a trip and have been to my favorite locations several times, on several trips over different seasons. Each trip yields me good yet different images. Some may have spotted that a few of my prior posts were taken at the same area in the marsh, yet I think those images were also very different.

Take this image here-it is a slough along the Trempealeau River. It is nothing special. There is no overlook. There is no sign. I don't know if anyone else has ever even considered photographing it. But as you can see by the guardrail, it is right on a bridge embankment. The first time I drove into this refuge, I took a snapshot out the window of the car and then looked for a place I could park and walk back to it. That was five trips ago and I go back every time. I have photographed this scene from late summer, through fall, to the cold snowless early winter, to the frozen depths of a snowy winter.

I enjoy each and every time here and look forward to my next visit. I wonder what the light will hold, how the cattails will have grown, or the trees will shine. From green, to red, to brown, to snowy white-every time is different.

I could do a portfolio of the seasons at this spot. And at many others.

Get out. Get out often. Keep going back. Who knows you might just finally find the perfect scene.

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