I recently had a discussion on Facebook prompted by an image I'd seen that was similar to one of my own, about how many similar images there are of popular landscape locations.
About a week later I saw the other side of the arguement. Inspired by the work of fellow Suffolk photographer Antony Burch, I'd been planning on paying a visit to Sudbury water meadows so the next time the weather forecast predicting a misty start I headed over there.
Being my first visit I spent some time wandering around getting my bearings in the misty semi darkness when I stumbled upon a row of trees by the river that I recognised from one of Antony's images. Attracted to the view but determined to come up with something different I set about composing a shot.
However this wasn't as easy as it seemed, I tried various angles and focal lengths but by the time I'd made adjustments to avoid distractions while still keeping most of the row of trees in the shot I ended up with a similar view to Antony's. It seems some places have limited opportunities and similarities are inevitable but does that mean we should avoid famous beauty spots in a quest for originality or is it ok to travel the countryside slotting our tripods into well worn tripod holes?
Perhaps if you are aiming to license your images then it's going to be necessary to stay as step ahead of the competition and come up with an original viewpoint, stunning lighting conditions or unusual weather.
For most of us the pleasure of experiencing these beautiful places in the best conditions is what it's all about... the camera is our excuse to get out and discover the world around us. The great thing about landscape photography is that the landscape rarely looks the same twice, with light changing hour by hour, weather day by day and season by season so there's always a chance of capturing something unique.
My image isn't exactly unique and the conditions weren't the most spectacular but I certainly enjoyed being there.
See Antony's photography on his website... Antony Burch Photography