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How many of you have found yourselves in front of an iconic landmark and felt discouraged because every possible shot had already been made by thousands of tourists before you? You are on the trip of a lifetime. Your goal is certainly not to bring back pictures that look like the postcards at the souvenir shop.
Get the cliché shot out of the way. You won’t feel right unless you do. So go ahead and photograph the Eiffel Tower the way you see it in your head when you close your eyes. Got the shot? Okay, now think of different ways you could photograph it and create your OWN iconic images of the same subject. Frame it with trees, look for its reflection in a window or a puddle, include it with the local architecture, shoot it as a silhouette, etc. The sky is the limit, you just have to train yourself to look for those unconventional frames.
Afraid that you are going to miss other opportunities while you are looking for different ways to see? Practice at home! Every town has its own iconic landmark, even yours. It may not be a grandiose building, but it doesn’t matter. Whether it is the local historic grain elevator, or the statue of a famous local politician, go out with your camera and see it for the first time again. Work your scene and find a creative way to frame it.
Don’t forget to include people in your frame. They add interest, life and movement to your images. They also add a sense of scale which works well when photographing massive buildings.
This simple exercise will change the way you see photographically. The more you practice, the quicker you will spot those interesting shots when you visit a new place. Your pictures will never be boring again!
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