I often find myself doing just that, and on the occasions when I force myself to stop, I very rarely actually carry out the entire motivation. There seems to be some form of weighing up the effort of stopping the car, walking back to the location that grabbed my eye, against the effortless motive to keep on going…..
I could perhaps turn this question around and ask – how many photos are made near the roadside? Should we not call landscape photography ‘car boot photography’ or ‘lay by photography’?
The image above, taken just outside Leknes, in Lofoten was one of those occasions where I saw something, and thought it looked like a great photo, but passed on by. I did it several times, and each time I did it, I wondered why I did, and why I was also, each time, attracted to the location.
I have a theory. Some places are very magnetic. You can’t stay away from them. They tend to be iconic, and require very little effort in recognising that there is something of value there. Other places, like my little photo above, are anonymous. They don’t register in the same way that iconic places do. But they’re beautiful in their own, understated way.
I loved the collection of little red buildings on the far left shore, and there was some minimalism evident to me in the space the sky and water provided. I needed to experience this for myself, and so I parked the car down a side road on a sheet of ice, walked precariously back onto the main road and set up my camera on a steep embankment overlooking the bay. I get myself out there by telling myself that it’s beautiful to just sit and watch the landscape, even if there’s no stunner of a photography behind the motivation.
And once I was there, I just grew into the moment.