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Shooting the Same Composition Over Three Years


I have photographed a small bay for over three years and I am not done yet. Despite all the images being taken within an area of just three meters (~10 feet), the results are very different. If you are persistent and visit your local spots during different seasons and different types of weather, you will definitely be rewarded with good images.

The big advantage with local spots is that they are, well, local. You are able to quickly reach them, and you are able to photograph them when the light is good. These things are often not the case when you need to book your trip in advance.

You are also able to photograph it in different types of light, and you will soon get a feel for the type of light that works for that specific location. Another great advantage with local spots is that you get very familiar with it and can get away with various compositions within a small area.

This special location is just a 10-minute drive from where I live, so I can easily head out when the weather looks promising. I have discovered over the years that high tide and low tide make a big difference for this spot. The way the water flows over the rocks, which rocks are visible, and which rocks are hidden. The right flow of water can really simplify a busy scene. Different tides may indeed reveal new compositions, so you get new challenges every time.

This location is not big, so I always use the wide-angle lens to stretch out the scene. When you get really close to your foreground elements with a wide-angle lens, just moving your tripod 30 centimeters (~a foot) can offer something completely new to your composition.

I have shot this location in autumn and in winter. At that time of the year, I can shoot directly into the sun and the sunlight hits the rocks in the small bay. It works superbly for creating a visual path for the eye, leading the viewer through the image. It also works great with reflective light that bounces off from the stone walls at either side of the bay.

When you are able to head out to a location often, you can experiment, become an expert, and get the most out of the scene. It’s a great way to fine-tune your skills.

Looking back now, I am surprised at how many decent images I actually got from this small bay, and I am definitely not done with this location yet.

About the author: Hans Gunnar Aslaksen is a landscape photographer and designer based in Norway. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Aslaksen is an ambassador for NiSi and Vallerret. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram.