Not to long ago I was chatting with some photog friends and I mentioned that I wanted to go to New York and find the pier pilings and shoot the NY skyline. A couple of folks said, “why would you do that, everyone has already taken that shot?” My response was, “I haven’t.”
Roll-forward to last week. In NY for work, I had the opportunity to get to Brooklyn. After walking over 11 miles through mid and lower Manhattan, as the sun was starting to descend, a friend and I hoped on the subway and went to Brooklyn. We got off the subway, just guessing on the best location and started walking and we found ourselves looking at an amazing brilliant pink, red, and fuchsia sunset, setting behind Manhattan.
We continued our walk toward DUMBO and found ourselves at the pier pilings. At this point, the sun was down and we were in the blue hour. On ice and snow, we made our way down the path and got positioned with some great leading lines into the heart of Manhattan.
This was the sunset that just kept on giving. Freezing cold (about 7°), super tired, and pretty hungry at this point… we stood there until there was no longer a purpose (too dark).
So, why would I shoot something that everyone else has shot. Because I hadn’t. Did everyone else get this sunset? Did everyone else get ice in the Hudson River? I am sure there are a few, but we stood there alone, so I know they did not get this shot. That’s why we go back, over and over to familiar locations. Someone before us, inspired us. Hopefully, we will inspire the next. Each day, night, sunrise, sunset, season gives us new perspective and opportunity. My advice is to not fall into the trap of “it’s been done,” because it hasn’t been done by you; and your vision is unique.
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