Travel for photography is wonderful — but most of us can’t travel as much as we want. For many of us, time is alway something we struggle with. Therefore doing photography close to home is essential for me in order that I not lose my sense of composition and technique. Close to home doesn’t mean that you just stay in your backyard. What I’m referring to is a place you can easily reach for just one night or one morning. For me the limit of what is reasonable is a drive within an hour and a half from home. But, in that time I can reach a lot of different places.
The most important advantages of photography close to home are:
-You can come back later if the light is not cooperating
We all know the importance of light and many times we miss out on the best light. I feel that going to places near where I live puts less pressure on me to make great photos. If the light is not cooperating, I just enjoy myself instead and try to the best pictures I can during the circumstances. Sometimes I take the opportunity to test and learn new techniques.
-You can easily follow the season.
It’s really exciting to follow the season and try to make images at the same place during different seasons. This often yields a great variety of pictures that could even be taken at the the exact same spot but still look different.
-You learn about the place and where to go in different light.
For me it’s essential to know my subject and being able to visit a place at different seasons is a great way to quickly learn about how the area changes during different seasons and under different types of light. Visiting the same area on a overcast day in winter won’t be the same as being there during a wonderful sunset in spring.
-You can constantly train your sense of composition.
This is the most important point. If you get out more, you will get better. Photography is not different from sports in that sense. If you train a lot you get better, and by having places near home to go to, training gets easier.
I have taken all the pictures below within an hour from where I live. I just love to be able to look at the light and get out if it’s good. And if it’s raining I just stay at home, working in the office.
Sunrise over the sea – Brösarps backar
Nikon D800E, 70-300mm @70mm, f11, 1/100 sec, ISO 100
Spring in the gorge – Söderåsens National Park
Nikon D800E, 85mm PC-E (tree image stitch) f8, ¼ sec, ISO 100
Late spring in tje woods – Maltesholm
Nikon D800E, 24-70mm @35mm, f13, 0,6 sec, ISO 400
Crashing wave – Kullaberg
Nikon D800E, 14-24mm @18mm, f11, ⅓ sec, ISO 200
Last light – Kullaberg
Nikon D800E, 14-24mm @24mm, f11, 1,6 sec, ISO 100