How To Shoot Iconic Locations

We all do it. We see images online or in a magazine and we want to go and photograph that location. It could be Yosemite, The Grand Canyon, or The Smoky Mountains. It is always hard to come up with new and fresh takes on iconic images, but what do you do if you've never been before? This is how to shoot Iconic locations. My first time in Yosemite I wanted to photograph all the iconic locations that were made famous from people like Ansel Adams. I also want to shoot these locations with a fresh perspective. What do you do? Lets say you have only 3 or 4 days in Yosemite Valley. Maybe you are coming from the east coast or better yet, another country. You may not visit this location ever again. Do you forgo the opportunity to capture the iconic, overly photographed images, to get something lesser known?

I am not sure there is a right or wrong answer, but for me personally, I photograph for myself first. This means if I am passionate about a certain look, photograph, or location, I will shoot those images first.  If I have time to do more detail oriented photography I will, but at least for me I head to Tunnel View, Hopi Point, or Clingmans Dome. Once I fulfill my vision for those icons, I then move on trying to find a fresh perspective. If I happen to return to one of these iconic locations, then it becomes a whole lot easier to look for something new.

So in a nutshell, shoot what gets you excited about photography. A sunset at tunnel view is a great experience I would recommend to anyone. Who cares if there are 20 other people next to you clicking away. Who cares if thousands of images may look like yours. Unless you're on assignment with guidance to shoot something different, shoot what you love, then focus on the details.

This weeks post image is from Grand Tetons National Park. After photographing sunrise at the iconic Schwabacher Landing, the late morning sun was lighting these trees just perfectly.

Grand Tetons national park