This marina lies on the main route between my home and my work. I’ve driven past it a thousand times and I never really paid a lot of attention to it.  I’m sure many photographers can relate.  Sometimes we can be oblivious to the environment around us due to its familiarity and the beautiful can become mundane.  In travel and landscape photography this can be especially dangerous because it’s easy to be thinking of the next far off vista or location that beckons, leading us to miss the opportunities for inspiration around us every day.  As I drove home one evening, I drove over the bridge and couldn’t notice that the water in the marina was like glass.  I kicked myself for not having noticed it sooner, and quickly grabbed my gear.  I scoped out the location, found a great composition, set up my gear, and realised my batteries were flat. Rookie mistake!  I was gutted to drive home as the light was getting gorgeous, but I swore to myself that I’d be back the next night. Sure enough, the still air didn’t last long, so I had to make the most of the conditions I was dealt the next evening when I returned.  I ended up liking this image better than the one I initially framed up, but that’s often the way.

I re-learned a couple of valuable lessons through this little experience. 1) Take a look around your own back yard and home town for inspiration. Your mundane is someone else’s exotic travel destination. And 2) charge your batteries!  I’ve resolved to have a second look around my own back yard over the next few weeks and try to see it with fresh eyes.  Follow me to see what I come up with!

Landscape photo of boats in Tauranga Bridge Marina, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

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