See your hometown through the eyes of a tourist
August 5, 2007
Ever wondered why most tourists make crappy pictures? There’s loads of reasons, like lack of experience, lack of photographic talent and so on. One reason in particular I would like to address here, and that is timing.
Tourists are bad timers. They arrive at a location in the holiday season, when the location is packed with tourists and the harsh light blows out the skies on many holiday pictures. Why can’t they just wait ‘till the light is better and all the tourists are gone? Simple, they the tourists, and when the tourists go, they go. By definition. Period.
Sure, some tourists are lucky enough to catch a day with a nice sky, and some are even wise enough to visit hotspots on not-so-hot times of day. But most of them get there on a guided tour, and bring their own obstacles (i.e. their fellow travelers) with them.
You won’t do that, you’re a local, right? You will probably not even visit the hotspots. At least I didn’t. I visited all the hotspots in the cities I once lived in after or before I lived in that city. Not I lived there. I even passed some of these hotspots dozens of times without even noticing them.
Silly isn’t it? People coming from over the planet to gaze at the beauty of your city, while you don’t even notice. Even sillier when you realize you take better pictures than they do. You probably feel where I’m going by now? Right, go out there, and be a tourist in your hometown. Shoot the pictures they would liked to have shot but couldn’t because of the light or the crowds. You can go there anytime, right? You can wait for months to get that landmark against the background of a spectacular sunset. You can take your pictures when no one else is around. And you are a better photographer, remember? So you are the one to make (and sell?) the top shot of that hotspot.
All you need to do, is go out there. Go by foot or by bike, as I told you in my previous blog. And see your hometown through different eyes. Don’t look at your place like a local heading for the shops. Be amazed by the beauty of it, like the tourists are. And picture the beauty. With your better skills and better conditions, you will very likely end up with gorgeous pictures.