There are many locations where photographers flock to by the dozens: Maroon Bells in Colorado in the fall, Yellowstone National Park in May and June, Delicate Arch in Arches National Park at sunrise. Their goal?: get the same photo as what they have seen in the magazines, posted on facebook or published in coffee table books. Why? Because these seasons and locations are iconic and have fabulous photo opportunities.
What that means for you is that you should rush out to these same places in the same seasons and get the same shots. We all look at scenery and subjects with very different creative eyes so your photos may turn out very different than the person next to you.
But once you are finished with those shots find something different.
For example, Maroon Bells is one of the most photographed locations in Colorado, if not the most photographed. In the fall, as seen in this photo, photographers by the dozens line up along the shore of Maroon Lake to capture the iconic shot of the yellow aspen leaves in the valley below the 14,000 foot Maroon Peaks, which, if you are lucky, are reflected perfectly in the calm waters of the lake.
My guess is that every nature photographer in Colorado has this shot in some variation.
My suggestion is to try this same location in a different season or from a different location. I have been to this area in all four seasons. Each one is very unique and special, but only the fall season, at least in the early morning hours before the hikers and tourists arrive, has the volume of people taking the same photo. In winter I was the only one along the shoreline. In spring, when the aspens are just turning bright green I was also the only one along the shoreline. In summer, when the wildflowers are blooming along the shore and in the valley below the peaks, there was a handful of photographers with the same idea but we all selected different locations.
This shot of Maroon Lake and Maroon Bells was taken in mid July. I have dozens of great shots of the area from this time of year with wildflowers in the foreground, fish swimming in the lake and macros of wildflowers.
So be your own photographer and get creative with the iconic locations.