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11-07-2018, 04:14 PM   #1
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Location Hunting

What general methods, tips and tricks do PF members have for finding interesting photo locations?

Nature, landscapes, urban areas, abandoned places, industrial, etc, you name it.

Obvious one, browse around Open Street Maps / Google Maps / Bing Maps

For urban areas i recommend the top floor of car parks / parking garages. Next to a airports, train stations, parks or even downtown.

11-07-2018, 04:20 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I just go on goggle and ask for "most photographed places in "wherever.
11-07-2018, 04:30 PM   #3
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I try to give myself one day a week doing Urban location scout and shooting. Another good ideas are on train platform, walking bridge, and of cause I let people know my shooting location on my website and Instagram page.

Last edited by tokyoscape; 11-07-2018 at 04:43 PM.
11-07-2018, 06:19 PM   #4
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We're suckers for towers as long as the aren't glassed in. The more stairs, the better. European cathedrals are particularly great places for overlooks, interiors, exteriors, and street photography that are often located in the heart of the old city.

The other tip is to think about time as well as location: when will the sun stream directly down a street? When will the shadow of one object touch or overlap nicely with another? When will sunlight strike at a shallow angle across a textured surface to accentuate the shapes? When will leaves be budding, browning, or dropping?

Thinking about time also creates reasons to revisit locations at different times of day and times of year.

11-08-2018, 01:18 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by K1N8 Quote
What general methods, tips and tricks do PF members have for finding interesting photo locations?
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
The other tip is to think about time as well as location:
Thinking about time also creates reasons to revisit locations at different times of day and times of year.
+1 on considering more about when than where. Different seasons, Sundays vs. Mondays, different times of day, and even the same time and place, but the weather can make all the difference.

I also have to give credit to ex-Nat Geo photographer and Outdoor Photographer columnist, Dewitt Jones. He once said to me, if you don't see anything interesting, you're looking the wrong way. Where is the right way? Try 180-degrees in the other direction. This has worked for me many times when I struggle with a scene or a location, and then I remember the sagely advice, turn around, and sure enough, there is something really special behind me.

I'd also suggest getting closer. Something catches your eye, but it's cluttered by too much extraneous details. Crop tighter, or find a place where spot lighting highlights and separates your subject from the dark shadows, or even find an area that has potential of beautiful bokeh, and then wait for a foreground subject to shoot wide open.

Last edited by Alex645; 11-08-2018 at 08:58 AM.
11-08-2018, 09:44 AM   #6
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I add all the locations I visit to my website (see signature), this includes directions and write up of the adventure plus some of the images taken. I generally get the ideas of where to photograph from locations I have seen featured on PF, google maps and other social media websites, books and magazines etc. Distance wise generally anything within 3 hours drive both ways is good for me. Prefer sunrises to sunsets so often its a very early start between 1am and 3am for most adventures

11-08-2018, 12:27 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I suggest using Google Earth. There is an option in the menus to view photos and you can quickly see areas where people are shooting photos. Browse some of the photos to see what people are taking and then explore.
11-08-2018, 03:31 PM - 3 Likes   #8

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Pentax Forums, of course! I'll search old threads when planning a multi-day photo trip somewhere new, plan my general itinerary, then start a new thread to get more ideas.

I will usually browse Google Maps when I plan to visit a new area. Flip between maps, satellite, terrain to see if anything catches my attention. Turn on street view to see if any pins have been dropped near interesting landscape spots away from a road. As I find potential spots with my Windows PC, I'll save flags so they show on my phone as I'm traveling. for their Hourly Weather Forecast, with graphs that include not just the usual rain and temperature, but also cloud cover %, fog, aviation ceiling height, and visibility. is a quick resource for researching new cities. Geography, arts, culture, architecture, and other places of interest. is a good tool for finding side trips between my current location and my next destination. You can filter on many different categories. Available as a website and phone app.

The Photographer's Ephemeris - Web App for checking sun/moon angles and times. For research purposes I prefer the website version, available for free, because of the larger display. I also have the inexpensive companion Android app, The Photographers Ephemeris (TPE) on my phone. That plus a little trigonometry (for building height) is how I knew where to setup to get the moon behind the Empire State Building (photo below).

Sun Surveyor is another useful Android app. It uses the phone camera to overlay sun, moon, and milky way paths onto a live view. It's great for fine-tuning my setup spot when I'm on site. Photo Pills can do something similar, but I never used it because when I compared features Photo Pills was only good for Apple, missing too many features for Android.

11-08-2018, 05:39 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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Cemeteries. One of my favorite haunts for portraits.
11-11-2018, 07:33 PM   #10

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QuoteOriginally posted by bkpix Quote
Cemeteries. One of my favorite haunts for portraits.
I see what you did there.

Finding locations for me is a little different then other people. The reason I say that is because I have lived in 3 states and have travailed through or to something like 38 states. So for me at least, just remembering where I have been helps a lot when finding locations. Of course, I feel some of the best locations are out west.

At the moment, I am in Indiana and sadly, in the part that's flat. So, I have a list of nature preserves for the state. The problem though is, most of them are 2 hours or more away from me, and due to responsibilities I have, I don't get out much anymore.
11-12-2018, 11:46 AM   #11
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I search Flickr, Google Maps, and also use to get ideas of locations and subject matter in a particular area.

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