Something that is being compared to a large, empty area of land, because it has no real value or interest
Look around you.
What do you see?
Like most Americans, especially in the Midwest, it may hard to see “nature” from your backyard. All the National Parks are miles, if not hours or days away and good scenic state parks are few and far in between.
The great photographers of our day, such as David Muench, Arte Wolf, or Peter Lik would not even give your area a second-look as they jet across the country trying to catch iconic places at their best.
As an aspiring photographer, you may not have the budget or time to compete with the full-time landscape photographers, but does this mean you should throw in the release cable and call it quits?
Why though? As a photographer you have something that other photographers do not.
You have access!
Access to what? Access to discover your local area.
Only you have access to the following:
- Only you can go to a location multiple times in a short period to capture that perfect composition
- Only you can visit during different seasons, creating multiple exposures that show the changes over time
- Only you can become the foremost photographer of a region, becoming a Master Regional Photographer
But I Live In a Photo Wasteland!
Although your area may not be home to majestic peaks, mountain streams, or desert canyons there is ALWAYS places to photograph that show just how special the place you call home is.
What and where are these places?
Photogenic places are all around and it is your job as a nature photographer to get into your backyard and discover what makes your home unique among every other location in the world.
Do you live:
- In the Great Plains – Tell the story of vast landscapes using sunrise/sunsets and great cloud formations to make it come alive.
- In the Gently Rolling Hills of the Midwest – Find a prominent vantage point or low point and contrast the rolling horizon with vast blue blueness of a cloudless day.
- By the Great Rivers – Water is always great for reflections of sunrise/sunsets. Find a bend or sandbar and experiment.
- By a State Park – Find out the reason why the park was created and create a series of photos on why this park is like none other on earth.
- In an Urban Area – Find the contrasts and struggles that make nature such an important part of the urban environment.
- Anywhere – Get in close and focus on the details of an area. Most photos in the “wastelands” will be more intimate and will not involve the vast landscape. Some of my favorite are focusing on a group of trees or rocks.
- Near Lakes or Ponds – You would not believe the sheer amount of great photos you can take when you incorporate bodies of water. It is most likely you live with minutes of a small body of water. Use this treasure to experiment with reflections throughout the year.
There Is No Land Out There That Is Not Capable of Telling a Story
If you keep this in mind and rely mainly on your creative expression rather than the camera you are using, there is no telling what possibilities you can open as you explore, discover, and photograph your homeland.
As you become more confident and consistent you will discover that you have seen your own “wasteland” in a way that no other has possibly seen it before.
So grab your camera and become the REGIONAL MASTER of your area!
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