I've had a little break from blogging in these past few weeks, having been feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything and figuring that there's no harm in backing off the intensity for a little bit. With the various competitions happening at the moment, I was having a browse through my catalogues of images from this year so far, and the thought dawned on me, is there more value placed in an image taken from an Iconic location, or an ambiguous location?
I think you know what I mean, but let me explain it further.
Ambiguous Location – those little “quick, pull over NOW” types of places. Freeway traffic may be roaring past at speeds you only feel by the suction void that shakes your little compact car as you leap out of the vehicle, grab your camera and run down the embankment... in thongs. You’re hurtling towards something that you saw out of the corner of your eye whilst you were supposed to be focusing on driving. As your sense of adventure kicks in you run into a field chasing the clouds, a passing bird or a lone tree, not even aware that your rental car is sitting on the side of the road, all doors open and hazard lights flashing brighter than a road works warning. Guilty as charged.
Maybe you have a favourite spot in which you like to go, relax and unwind. It’s probably also pretty photogenic. It adds justification to the saying “The journey can be as fun as the destination…” I’ve gotten some really great shots from these types of situations.
This category also includes those non-descript locations that contain beautiful fallen trees, lakes, ponds, hills, single trees, much of the “everything else” that surrounds the roads and the journeys that we take every single day.
Need I mention what an Iconic location is…
The ones you travel around the world for, the Cradle Mountains, Iguaçu Falls, Lake Moraine, Angkor Wat, Lake Tekapo, Antelope Canyon, Jokulsarlon, Uluru… I will go blue in the face if I list every single one in the world. By definition, the Iconic locations are the ones that feature on postcards flung around the world and admired on image sharing sites, the ones that create a sixth sense in the mind of photographers and force them to click many buttons and book themselves on flights to these places, in spite of what their families or credit cards say.
I find value in both types of images, some of my favourite shots are from the no-name, transit locations...
But the question remains, which do you prefer?
What ultimately wins? Is there a winner, does there have to be?