We know that with time some of our favorite routes can get a bit boring. Although I contend that there are often new things to see on our daily routes, it is helpful to jump start our walks by finding new places to explore. Here are a few suggestions:
Get a tour map/book for your city. Most of us would naturally purchase tour books when traveling to a new region or country, so pretend that your city or state is a new area to explore. I was amazed at how many walking books and maps there are for my region. Spend a few minutes browsing the walking/hiking sections online or in your local bookstore and see what you can turn up.
Join a photo club or walking Meetup. In addition to meeting interesting new people, you can discover new areas to walk and photograph by joining a club or a Meetup. Most organize walks on a regular basis, so you can benefit from their research to find new locations.
Use apps. There are many apps that can help you search new areas. I just discovered Stuck on Earth, a free app created by the folks at Stuck in Customs. You download it and are greeted by the lovely voice actress, Karen Hutton, who guides you through the app. It gives you a beautiful map with photos posted through Flickr with options to save trips, as well as a list of 50 ways to get inspired. I took a look at Seattle and saw some great photos with the location marked, so that I can go out Camera Walking.
Change the time of day. If you normally walk in the morning, try going out in the late afternoon, or during your lunch hour. It is true that the morning and late afternoon light is what most photographers seek, but you can take some great photos during the middle of the day by understanding the light. As an added bonus, a recent study finds that going out for a walk during your lunch hour can boost your creativity, your ability to handle stress, and if you take your camera or smart phone with you, you can capture some great shots. An added plus!
Get in the car and drive. Although I like taking off Camera Walking from my front door, it is helpful to get in the car and venture into to a new area It makes the walks and the photo opportunities fresh to be in a different place with new scenery.
Go to the mall. Walking outside gives you many benefits, however, the weather isn’t always cooperative. In fact right now most of North America and parts of the world are experiencing extremely cold weather and snow. If you can bundle up and drive to the mall, you can still walk and actually have fun taking photos of items in the store windows. Try it, you might be surprised.
Let us know what strategies you use to jumpstart your Camera Walking by commenting below, posting on our Facebook page, or sending us an email at email@example.com. We would love to hear from you!