Tip #86: Make it Your Icon

Canoes on Lake Louise - Banff National Park, Canada
Canon 5D MarkII + Canon 50mm f1.4 @ f16

We amateurs, lovers of photography, need not feel intimidated by the millions who have preceded us. We travel to experience life and we shoot to practice our craft. It is inevitable that our journeys will cross paths where masters of the art have walked before; icons become icons because they did it first. This knowledge can be paralytic or liberating, the choice is yours. 
Here are a few ways that I approach iconic destinations...
  • I study the history and culture of the place, not the images others have made. Prior work corrupts my vision and restricts my creativity. I choose to be surprised by the unexpected rather than disappointed by the assumed.
  • Every time is the right time. I will visit before sunrise and shoot through twilight. Inclement weather and overcast skies are my friends. It is during the extremes that I have the opportunity to see and make something unique.
  • I play with my composition, my point of view and my depth of field. I strive to be excited by the experience and convey the excitement with my work. 
  • I think about the print that I will make or the post for my blog. This gives me a purpose for my deliberate process. 
Don’t be intimidated by all of the great photographers in the past, as there are many who are even better in the present. Shoot for yourself and make each icon your own.

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