Do you ever find yourself walking away from a potential photo opportunity – a subject or a scene – because you already have a photo of it? Once you’ve captured that one classic or definitive image that sums it all up for you, you may think there is nothing more to say, visually speaking. This is a typical travel strategy because of time constraints: you get that picture-postcard photo looking up at the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal with its reflection, and then move on to the next shot on your bucket list.
But, if you are like me and don’t travel more than once or twice a year, you end up taking the majority of your photos near home. When I look through the images in my photo library, I find a lot of repeated subjects – the red door on Grannan Lane, the view from Fort Howe, or the giant shipping cranes from a vantage point under the harbour bridge, for example.
One thing I have discovered is that, although the subject may be repeated, I never take the same photo twice.
And another thing: the more I explore a particular subject, the more I have come to realize that there is no one definitive image. There is always another angle, a different time of day, a possibility of catching some activity or an interesting juxtaposition. Choice of lens and perspective can also tell a completely different story about a subject.
Returning to the same place or the same object can be a fantastic way to learn about how to make the best of the light or use your camera in a more effective way. Sometimes the best photo insights come in hindsight. When I take the time to critically examine a photo that really pleases me, I can always see some way I could improve it. And that might just mean taking a few steps to the left the next time, or using a different depth of field.
So here is a small gallery (click on a thumbnail to enable the slideshow) of some of my favourite images of the same subject, those two big blue cranes (and their predecessors, the red cranes), taken from my fave spot under the bridge. I hope this will inspire you to look through your images and put together your own collection. Enjoy!