"Often when talking to fellow landscape photographers, the subject of differentiating your work from other photographers' comes up. For landscape photographers, one of the most common ways to set themselves apart is shooting in hard-to-reach locations.
"Probably as old as landscape photography itself is the notion that a 'good' photographer is one that pushes the physical boundaries, hikes farther, climbs higher, suffers harsher conditions, endures pain – all to get to a unique location and be one of the first to shoot it. Many landscapers sneer at those who choose to shoot closer, easier to reach locations – as if the very effort invested in getting to a hard-to-reach location makes the image inherently better. I have seen images from fellow photographers which were dull, uninteresting, poorly lit and composed – but the photographer was irrationally proud of it after having to climb 1500 meters with a 25kg bag for it.
"Making a physical effort does not make your image inherently better, pure and simple. An image is a complex effort, and making it unique can be achieved in many ways. An image should indeed be unique, but there is absolutely no obligation to make it unique by hiking, climbing or suffering for it. This is but one possible way, but there are others. One can shoot unique angles of known places, shoot by night, shoot in less-photographed seasons or weather conditions. One can capture rapidly-changing landscapes like glaciers or volcanoes, and the list goes on."
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