Elle Bruce - Rock Beach Still Lake One Bird

Your Local Landscape is Exotic to Someone

Why you need to stop waiting for the next big holiday to take your camera out.

Elle Bruce - Rock Beach Still Lake One Bird

Looking at the many social media streams and websites filled with stunning landscape and travel images of far off and exotic places, I often find myself both inspired and saddened.  Have you ever experienced this?  I’m so inspired it drives me to scour the travel section of the newspaper and sink hours checking flight deals with dreams of all the images I will make when I finally get someplace beautiful to photograph. Then I feel sad… because for many reasons (all of which boil down to time and money) that feels far away.

But here’s the thing…it doesn’t have to be.  You don’t have to wait.  I’m not suggesting that you need to quit your job or bankrupt yourself to get a ticket to your dream photography destination.  You just need to shift your way of thinking.  Stop wanting what you don’t have and start noticing what you do have.

Compared to those wonderful fiery seascape sunsets and mountainous aurora images I’ve seen online, the locations I have at hand to shoot seem pretty mundane.  Mountains and sunset beaches are not in my backyard, but the truth is if I waited until I travelled to pursue my photography, I’d have precious few images in my catalogue.

Get Out & Shoot

So here is my suggestion for all of you who aspire to make those beautiful landscape photos like the ones we see on Instagram but are stuck in a place that seems uninspiring.  Get out and shoot local!  Shoot on the way to work.  Shoot daily.  Look for the beauty in your own backyard. Stop waiting and start making images.

You may not have black sand beaches, strewn with icebergs or snow capped mountains that descend into mineral blue waters but go for a walk with your camera.  Look for local beauty…I guarantee it’s out there.  Once your eye starts to look for it you’ll be surprised at how much you see.

Challenge Yourself

If you really want to challenge yourself – why not shoot your local area as if you were on assignment for National Geographic?  Pretend you are charged with the task of documenting all the beauty of the place you live.  Put fresh eyes to places you’ve looked at before and hone in on the unique and most aesthetically pleasing features of your location.  If the epic vistas are less than perfect then focus on the little things.

Weathered Lines of Time

Then for goodness sake be sure to share your images with the world.  There’s a good chance that the people who live in the places you find beautiful and inspiring are are bored with their sunsets and mountains but are aching to see what’s in your backyard.

Remember, there is beauty even in the most unlikely of places and your mundane is someone else’s exotic.

You can follow my discoveries of beauty on Instagram (elle_bruce)  If you like, feel free to join me and share your own images on Instagram by tagging them with #foundlocalbeauty  I can’t wait to see what you find.

About Author Elle Bruce

Bringing subjects to life, beautifully.
Elle is a Canadian photographer, artist and visual storyteller with a passion for landscape and outdoor life. Focused on creating impactful images, Elle also shares tips and writes on the topics of photography, creativity, and art. Elle’s vivid images and photo based art are available online for personal purchase and commercial licensing. Elle also welcomes commissioned work.

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4 replies
  1. Hans Petter Birkeland
    Hans Petter Birkeland says:

    So true, Elle! In fact, I have set myself a goal just like this: Within the next 18 months, I intend to have a collection of good landscape and nature photos taken no more than 20 km from my home in a rather mundane part of Norway. This project is intended to force me to get out as often as possible instead of just waiting for the next vacation. Pictures will be shared all around, on my blog at hpbirkeland.com and various social media.

    Reply
    • Elle
      Elle says:

      That’s fantastic Hans Petter! I am sure you will find it makes a difference. Norway is on my bucket list – so proof that your mundane is someone else’s exotic!! If you post to instagram feel free to tag your images with #foundlocalbeauty – I can’t wait to see the local beauty you capture.

      Reply

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