Photographing the photographed

Hermitage Castle, Scottish Borders

I once heard it said, I think by Brooks Jensen in his Lenswork podcast, that your best photograph is not a destination but a process. One of the problems of living at the busy end of a small island is that most ‘photogenic’ landscape locations have been photographed more times than Mrs Windsor. Every pier on the south coast of England, every lighthouse in Wales, every loch in Scotland has had its fair share of sunrise/sunset colour images and beautiful deep toned monochromes made of it by very accomplished masters of landscape photography. It would be easy to get rather jaded and think that it’s going to be real hard to create anything particularly original without winning the lottery and relocating to Iceland, the Lofoten Islands or wherever the latest trendy landscape photography destination is. However, I simply have to remind myself that I take photographs first and foremost for fun and my own personal fulfilment. So, does it really matter if the particular lighthouse, pier or in this case ruined castle have been photographed many times before? I don’t think so, but I have learned something important in the process of trying to make a better photograph in a well photographed location: it’s a tremendous learning experience in itself and just occasionally I feel I’ve inched slightly closer to a deeper understanding of that process.