10 Unusual Places to Shoot

"The Storyteller's Chair" by D. Travis North

This was shot in my father’s attic

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, You Can Photograph Anything, I wanted to give you a few examples of unusual shooting locations.  Think of these locations on your next photo shoot.

  1. Traffic – Night time or day, automobile traffic is full of movement and its own beauty.
  2. Alley Ways – I have seen some great photos outlining the micro-environment of the often ignored Alleys.  Trash dumpsters, propane tanks or workers on break make for interesting subjects.
  3. Restaurants – Excluding professional photographers hired for promotional shots, people don’t shoot enough inside of restaurants.  Shoot your food, shoot the bustle of the kitchen or even people waiting.  Just make sure you ask permission if you’re shooting people or if you might get in the way.
  4. Abandoned Buildings – I do not condone breaking-and-entering – but you may be able to get permission to explore vacant buildings.  As I have mentioned several times, the best examples of such photography can be found on Tom Kirsch’s Opacity website.
  5. Industrial Facilities – You won’t be able to get access to most industrial facilities, but even standing at the fence will give you opportunities for shots.  Among my favorite locations:  Quarries, steel foundries and boat yards.
  6. Train Stations & Subways – You can learn a lot by observing people waiting for the train.  You can say a lot by photographing them.
  7. Theme Parks – I love shooting at theme parks, because kids are always so happy.  I have a distinct advantage though, I have a ton of kids in my extended family, so I have lots of subject matter without making parents uncomfortable.  Even if you want to avoid the dirty looks, there’s plenty of machinery and interesting things to shoot.
  8. Basements & Attics – If you’re like many, your basement or your attic is a storage place for…stuff.  There’s no way to clearly define stuff.  But whatever it is,  it makes for some great shooting.  Arm yourself with an off camera flash and experiment with piling the stuff in different ways.
  9. Parking Facilities – Parking lots and garages are great places to shoot cars.  Garages even add a certain level of creepiness.  You will get some especially interesting shots if you shoot at night.  Just watch your color balance.
  10. Shopping Malls – People are always interesting subjects.  But Malls have some of the most interesting architecture.  It serves a specific function while trying not to distract you from the vendors.  But as a photographer, you notice everything, including how beautiful bland architecture can be.

About Author

D. Travis North is a professional Landscape Architect, a Freelance Photographer and founder of Shutter Photo. Ever since he picked up his first SLR, his father's Nikon N2000, he's been hooked on photography. Travis likes to photograph urban environments, architectural details and has a new-found interest in close-up photography. His work can be found at D. Travis North Photography. Follow Travis on twitter: @dtnorth.

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