It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am back, still in Northern Norway as I report to you this week on a topic I feel strongly about: – Iconic locations.
Up here in the Lofoten Islands there are some great examples of iconic locations that are shot time and again in exactly the same way. One such example is this quaint little orange wooden building in front of a triangular mountain on the edge of Reinefjord that lines up almost perfectly. It’s almost a guarantee that anyone that’s been here has a photo of this cabin lined up with the mountain and it’s certainly ‘Instagram famous’ and on the agenda for any passing photo workshop.
When the same place or subject becomes so iconic that this happens it usually causes everyone to shoot in the exact same way. The influencers generally lead the masses into taking the same photos and this is something I’ve called the Eiffel Tower Effect.
It’s so named because the Eiffel Tower is Paris is up there as the most photographed landmark on the planet, meaning almost all the compositions and conditions have been used by someone at some time.
Side note: I said ‘Paris’ just to differentiate with the Las Vegas version which has an interesting story when it comes to copyright. Google it if you’re into copyright and creative protections.
Anyway, back on track, the Eiffel Tower Effect is the result of these subjects being shot in the exact same way and there are multiple ways to defeat the influencers and not succumb to these effects. Here’s what I mean as an example: –
For this shot I took the same subject and made one simple move. I stepped to the left. Rather than lining up the mountain and the cabin, I sat them beside one another. I immediately broke the Eiffel Tower Effect and got a unique shot that stands out from the crowd, and it barely took much thought. What’s even better is that people will generally still recognise the location and subjects, but also recognise that it’s a different shot to those they’re used to seeing.
The Eiffel Tower Effect is a huge subject. So huge that I’ve written a book all about it. The bottom line is this: –
Shoot iconic locations differently. Stand out from the crowd and defeat the influencers.