This might seem like an odd topic for a post, but honestly, I think about this all the time. When trying to figure out where to go and how to spend my time and money, I often struggle with trying to decide on doing something I have done before or doing something new.
This can be as simple as trying to decide whether to go to DC for the Cherry Blossom or returning to New York to shoot waterfalls.
Sometimes I think… I did this just last year, why bother doing it again? I often find it difficult to motivate myself. But then… I realize that each day brings with it different weather, different skies, different conditions, and therefore, very different imagery. Additionally, I bring different skills and intention to each adventure. In other words, a year ago, maybe I was tired or in a mood (good or bad), but this time I am energized and feeling creative. The imagery in these two instances will be entirely different.
With Road Runner (both the Meetup and tours), I often get the opportunity to shoot the same locations more than once. In some case, like April in VA, I shoot the blue bells annually, going on 4 years. In other cases, like Iceland, I have traveled there for personal and for tours nearly a dozen times. Each time I am inspired by different light, different scenes, and different conditions.
On the flip side of this, I will also look for new places to experience. However, when I go to some place new, I find that I rush, trying to capture everything I see; yet I do this without seeing or experiencing. It usually takes a few days to settle down and get in to a rhythm. Take Cuba for instance. On the day we arrived and really for the next full day, I shot tons of images… frankly a lot of rubbish with a few nuggets in between. But after a day or so, when I settled down, relaxed and slowed my pace, I started to “see” Cuba and see scenes that I wanted to capture and convey for others. Because I was in Cuba for 9 days, I had the time to do this “settling down”. But when I travel to a place for say a long weekend, I am often getting ready to leave before I can get to this state of calm and focus.
It is truly for this reason that I love to return to places more than once. I feel like the first time works out the restless energy and the big scale scenes, while the subsequent trips allows me to focus more on the details and the smaller more intimate imagery.
Is it just me or do you experience something similar? Share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to know how you handle new places and whether you like to return to old haunts.