Don’t Count on Second Chances

Photography Clips

Second chances to revisit our favorite places are wonderful. But everything is subject to change, so we can’t take those second chances for granted.

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Second chances really are a wonderful thing, and that’s why I’ve spent some time talking about these opportunities before. Sometimes, I think it’s necessary to go back to the places we’ve already been to, especially those places we’ve been to lots of times. That’s because it’s a creative challenge, trying to make new photographs where all the most obvious images have already been taken. This forces us to search for the things that are truly unusual.

Often, revisiting these spots can lead to some of our best work. That’s because we really have to work, and to think in the abstract to create something new in a place where it feels like everything has already been done. The process might be a slow one, but that second chance is a chance to approach a location or subject material from an entirely new perspective — and new perspectives are never a bad thing, where photography is concerned!

But there is a drawback to these second chances. They are not something that we can rely on. As photographers, we should never take those old stomping grounds for granted. Always remember that everything is subject to change, especially as the times between your visits to these places grow longer.

It’s an experience I’ve had lots of times over the years. Once in awhile, there will be a place that I’d like to go back to. A park that I used to love to visit for photographs or things like abandoned buildings. Landmarks and such. When I return? I might find that the park has been closed down, or the abandoned building I wanted to photograph demolished. Sometimes it’s not so extreme as this. Maybe something simpler like new landscaping changed the vista such that it’s no longer what I was hoping for, or that old, interesting building got remodeled into something less interesting than I’d anticipated.

That’s the thing about second chances. Over the years, any number of things can happen. As more and more time goes by, you’ll find more and more places change to something you’re no longer as interested in. If you rely on second chances to go back and take photographs you wished you could have taken the first time, then you could wind up disappointed.

Fortunately, we live in the digital age now. If you find a place, a building, a landscape, something that you truly enjoy? Sure, mark it down as something to revisit later, if you so desire. But also, take as many photographs as you can the first time around. There’s plenty of room on memory cards to create however many images we desire, so truthfully, you’re only really limited by the time you get to spend in this place. If you see an opportunity, take it now, because you never know what could happen in the future. Everything is subject to change. So while it’s nice to take advantage of second chances while we can, be mindful that these chances don’t always come.

About the author

Will Moneymaker

I love making photographs and exploring my surroundings through my lens. Follow along as I share my thoughts and adventures in the art of photography.