Photography trips can be stressful! We intend them to be relaxing getaways, of course, just us and our cameras out in the world trying to learn, observe and create some art. That’s really what they should be, and for the most part — I hope — those are the kinds of trips most of us get to enjoy.
The stressful part of the expedition is usually planning. If you’re like me, then you’ve probably grown bored with a lot of the places near to you. It becomes harder to keep frequenting them and coming up with new creative ideas. This idea becomes ingrained in us, fills us with worry that when the opportunity comes along for us to go somewhere we’ve never been, we may not find anything interesting. Thus, the challenge, when planning a trip, becomes to pick the perfect destination, to find that one place that is absolutely certain to provide lots of opportunities for interesting photographs.
There are other things fueling this stress, too. Time and money, for instance. Nobody wants to spend a lot of both on a trip only to come away empty-handed. For that reason, this can become an all-consuming fear when planning a photography trip.
But we shouldn’t let ourselves be burdened by all these fears. The truth is, the world is a huge place. There are still interesting photographs awaiting you at all your old stomping grounds, even though you’ve frequented them so much that they become harder to find.
And all those places you’ve never been to? Well, interesting photographs are everywhere. Just because we’re not seeing them in a given place doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It only means that we’ve not found them yet.
Yes, it is important to plan our trips well. After all, we don’t want to forget essential pieces of gear or experience delays because of poorly designed itineraries. But we can alleviate a lot of the worries that come with planning these trips, particularly the parts about choosing an “ideal” destination for photography. The truth is, no matter what, no matter where you go, you’re going to find something.
It’s all about being open to the possibilities surrounding you. It’s about you and your creative mind, not the locale. The more open you are, the more you’re willing to explore and take chances even when you feel a photograph may not work out, the more photographs you’ll end up taking. And when you’re taking more photographs, the potential to take those with serious future possibilities increases. Don’t worry so much about choosing the perfect place. Everywhere has something of value to the trained photographer’s eye. Instead, focus on practicing that eye so that when the time comes, you’ll have the powers of observation needed to capture the unique elements nobody else is seeing. Perspective, insight, and creativity are what makes the image, not the exotic destination.