Taking pictures is fun but when you take pictures in the same spots every time, you get stuck in a rut. No matter whether you shoot in your backyard, workplace, or university, regular shooting in these places takes away your passion for photo shooting. You aspire to find some mind-blowing and stellar locations to click yourself. Finding photography sites, in the current age, isn’t an uphill task rather a cakewalk especially due to the advancement of technology. Now, the question is, how to find places to take pictures near you?
We will walk you through some simple methods to facilitate locating some of the amazing and fabulous places close to you. Every passionate photo-enthusiast wishes to travel to new and unique destinations at different times for photo shooting. No doubt, the number of places to travel isn’t limited rather countless but all aren’t spanking for snapshots. But how to know if they are perfect for photography? All you have to do is just to make use of the internet access you have at your fingertip to know and finalize the shooting spot.
Do you have the necessary photography knack? Are you equipped with all the photo shooting gear? If so, get to know the following useful tips and gear up for the photo shooting tour soon adjacent to you.
When you search for websites and apps to find spots for shooting, you will get scores of them that will assist you to trace your preferred places to take pictures near you.
Google Earth is a magnificent tool for scouting photo shooting locations near you. The tool is designed to be used both on mobile and web platforms. It has some eye-catching features that will let you customize your trip plans easily and smoothly. The 3D view mode that it boasts will allow you to spot different areas in graphic detail. At the same time, you can also get an idea of the elevation of different locations. With its stunning street view mode, you can observe the areas exactly from your eye-level. In addition, the tool has many photos and videos integrated into it linking various Wikipedia pages that are also fodder to discover photography venues.
On top of that, the time slider that it boasts can showcase to you how the sunlight falls on different areas of a landscape at different times of the day and display you where the shadows will fall. This will help you not to schedule your photo shooting trip at times when the places are shadowed by buildings, thereby saving your precious photography. All in all, the tool is a handy one for finding exquisite and scenic places for photo shooting.
Google Maps is another conducive and straightforward tool just like Google Earth. Like Google Earth, this tool is also both mobile and web-friendly. It is primarily used for navigating to various geographical regions across the globe. It comes with aerial photography, satellite imagery, street maps, 360° panoramic view of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning to travel to a destination. With regard to scouting locations for photography, you can view public spaces, nature trails, and parks with this tool.
The street view mode of Google Maps will allow you to find elegant places in urban areas. When it comes to observing a particular place in vivid detail, the 360° panoramic view mode will let you do that when you zoom in on the place. This will also allow you to get a thorough idea of the place; how it looks like and whether it’s a perfect location for you to take pictures.
A free-to-use web app, ShotHotspot is a super fantastic tool for locating cool places to take pictures near you. It packs a big punch on the users with its mind-blowing and user-friendly features. All you have to do is to type your location on the search bar and you will get a map of sought-after places in the area. The app offers a rating system for various hotspots along with instances of photos that were snapped there. This will help you to notch up a holistic idea about various venues. The location data used on the website is from images of various sites including Flickr to automatically detect the most popular spots.
The biggest upside that you have in this app is you can get the sites categorized. Depending on the genre of your photography, you can pick venues based on categories like architecture, abandoned, wildlife, city/urban, astrophotography, and so on and so forth. Furthermore, you can also add information and comments on the existing ones in this app. With scads of facilities, the website also has a downside in its automatic updating system. The way it updates hotspots with new photos, there are chances that photos may pan out in the wrong locations. This will land you in trouble as you won’t notice the marvelous scenes in the spot after you visit that you saw in the photo. Even with this drawback, the website is a useful one to locate your majestic photo shooting spot.
Unlike ShotHotspot, PIXEO is a subscription-based iPhone app and website that offers a map of sought after photography locations. It gathers and uses data from Instagram and other popular photography websites. The spots shown in this app are based on the information and photos submitted by users and each venue is reviewed by a PIXEO staff. Hence, it doesn’t have similar coverage as ShotHotspot but the upside it has is you don’t have to worry about the mislabeling of photos with locations. PIXEO charges $0.99 per month following a 30-day trial period in the app while using the web browser is free. However, if you are an irregular traveler, you can even choose an annual plan allowing you to pay charges month-to-month as you need.
After you sign up in PIXEO, you get access to overwhelming photography spots. Currently, it has more than 1500 places in collection with more and more being added regularly. Don’t hold back to add your own photos to their library in order to win their monthly PIXEO Photo Challenge.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform around the world. It offers a myriad of benefits but one of the notable things existing on it is the local and varied user groups. There is barely any area of activity that doesn’t have groups on Facebook. No matter whether it’s on automobile, textile, electronics, fashion, or food items, groups on all these genres exist on Facebook.
Take advantage of this in-vogue platform even for scouting photography locations in your city or region. There are high chances that you would come across multiple groups discussing to find locations for photo shooting near you. Connect and network with them, share your thoughts and passion about photography, put forth your queries, and get valuable advice from the photographers of these groups. No doubt, these photography groups will be a storehouse of photography resources in your area and they can guide you to scout the perfect places to take pictures near you.
Instagram is a social media platform that can also be handy in terms of scouting for photo shooting haunts. You can simply type the city name, street name, or address into the search bar and see the locations and landmarks popping up. After you click on one of those results, you can see considerable recent photos of the site. Apart from this, you can also browse what other users have searched as you may come across some locations catching your fancy.
Instagram is a very popular photography app and users tend to upload their photos there as soon as they capture them. Hence, you can also get a glimpse of what is happening at the moment occasionally. You may discover that an event is going on nearby in your area but you are unaware of it. These photos besides acknowledging you about the event will also motivate you to take your own photoshoot.
Flickr is an image and video hosting platform that can also be utilized to search for photogenic photography locations close to you. The method of searching is identical to most of the other photography tools discussed above. Just simply type the name of the site you wish to visit in the search bar and you will get oodles of photos related to the site.
Aside from this, you can also click on the “World Map” option from the Explore menu at the top of the website. In this case, you can see geotagged photos on the map allowing you to zoom and scroll. The map’s search option will enable you to search for the venue by category like landscape, architecture, portrait, wildlife, etc. However, if you already have an idea about a particular site where you intend to visit, you can type the location’s name. With regards to taking pictures near you, just zoom in on your home city and pick your desired photo shooting spot.
Apart from the above ways, you can adopt a few other ways that can help you to locate mind-blowing shooting spots. Let’s walk you through those effective ways below.
Looking for some local photographers in your area isn’t a bad idea at all. There may be some hidden photography locations that local photographers are aware of and they can easily share with you. But they don’t show up in scouting apps and websites when you search for them. Getting in touch with them will also help you to garner some useful photo shooting knowledge that you can avail of during photo shooting.
Now the question is how to connect with them? Verily, you can connect with your local photographers online. You can Google the name of your city followed by Facebook Photography Groups. That should display you something effective. Alternatively, you can attend workshops, seminars, and classes organized by your local shutterbugs and that will easily create an opportunity for you to meet them.
Some photographers may suggest just simply go out to an unknown site and you may stumble upon a suitable and stunning place to take pictures. When we are suggesting you to explore, it doesn’t mean we are instructing you to wander around the regions aimlessly. No doubt, you have to set a goal before you start exploring to find a graceful photography location near you. Follow the guidelines stated underneath to scout fascinating photo shooting spots close to your area.
When you normally go out no matter whether for work, shopping, visiting friends and relatives, or even gym, take a different route than your usual route whether you are on a drive or stroll. Who knows you may stumble on a magnificent photography location that you never knew before.
Try to walk instead of driving when you go out. This will enable you to keep a close eye on your surroundings as you will get more time to view things as compared to viewing from a car. It’s very much possible that you may come across a lovely place to take pictures that you might have brushed aside earlier.
Many a time, you may be passing through some fabulous photo shooting sites but you are just overriding them simply for not trying out with different types of photography. Why miss such an easy trick? Expand your options and trace new and aesthetic locations by experimenting with various types of photography nearby.
Maybe, you are passing by many catchy buildings that are ideal for taking pictures but you are not snapping them as you don’t shoot architectural photography usually. Just take out some time to shoot architectural photography and refer to online resources if required. This will prompt you to think like you are an architectural photographer. So, next time when you go out, you will view everything around you with a fresh and different sight and that will be helpful in finding new locations for architectural photography.
This technique applies not only to architectural photography but also to other genres of photography. Portrait, landscape, wildlife, product, food, fashion, event, fine art are some of the other types of photography that you can certainly try out.
Think of something different and unique to generate more ideas to find places for photography. Do you fancy strolling through the forest? Hike trails through the forest to discover something outstanding for photo shooting. You may discover an extraordinary spot within the forest in between a wooded area and filtering sunlight that you never thought of before. In this way, you can broaden your mind and start thinking about more and more locations near you for taking pictures that you never even imagined in the past.
After you have tracked down desired photo shooting locations, what’s next? Let’s share some handy tips that you can utilize to enhance the quality of your photo shooting in different spots.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris is basically an outdoor planning tool for natural light that you can deploy to know where and when natural lighting will fall optimally in a particular location. You can even know the spots where shadows are likely to fall and when the golden hour will take place on a specific date. After you pick a spot on the Google maps, you can leverage a time slider allowing you to view the altitude and direction of the sun and moon all over the day. Apart from these, it has options letting you skip to key times like sunset, sunrise, and next moon phase event. However, the tool’s web-based version is free to use where the mobile app’s charge starts at $3.99.
The next thing that you should do is keeping track of all the plans you have made and it’s very important. If you have made loads of plans for your photoshoot, it’s natural for you to forget or mix up things. This is where the My Maps feature on Google Maps will come in handy. With this feature, you can customize maps drawing your own shapes and use pins, labels, and personalized icons to mark areas. On top of that, you can also incorporate notes for each of the areas to recall things. In case you mess up stuff in the future, these pins, labels, icons, and notes will remind you of your well-researched plans.
After you have scouted some fetching venues to take pictures near you, you have to go ahead to capture photos there. After you are done with your shooting, don’t be shy to show off your photography craft. Share them on various photography groups and social media platforms. If you intend to post them on Instagram, remember to add the right hashtags to allow other photographers to view them. This will also scale up your followers. Along with that, do upload these snapshots on your online photography portfolio to allow clients to see your craft.
That sums up all our thoughts and reflections on finding places to take pictures near you. We hope to have put forth all the necessary tips in this write-up along with answering your queries and removing doubts on searching for photography spots. Keep in mind that scouting locations for photoshoot aren’t a tough task. All you have to do is to garner some knowledge on the tools used for tracing photography locations in addition to doing some networking and exploring.
As a matter of fact, before you gear up to head towards a particular place to shoot near you, do brush up your photography knack by doing some indoor photography.
Until next time, just chill and enjoy! Stay safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.