Skip to content

Up for Discussion: Finding Places to Wander Around

The Weekend Wanderings posts are something that I really enjoy doing and I’ve been doing them for almost two years now.  For me they created a challenge of having to get photos for the posts, so I had to go out and take photos in places that I thought would be of interest to me and to you. I started them to show what a great place Melbourne and the state of Victoria are for taking photos.

sckyneton-hbw6297Finding places to photograph is the next thing. Sometimes it just happens, where I might be going somewhere for something else and I pack the camera just in case I see something, or there are opportunities to take photos.

The other thing I do is plan trips.  I have tended to go to places that I knew about, places I’ve driven through or heard about.  I also learn about some from people I know or talk to.  I love having places recommended to me.  I went to a gorgeous place yesterday on the recommendation of some friends, but you will have to wait for those photos.

I don’t tend to do a lot of research before hand, other than looking the place up on Google maps to see what I can find and to make sure I know where to go. I like to just wander when I arrive.  I find somewhere to park the car and I just walk around.  Usually walking around the streets scsr-h20120512-1377and wandering into shops and talking to locals can help find places that are interesting there as well.  I find being social really helpful.

I think wandering around is best, discover things for yourself and see what you can find.  I nearly always approach the first visit somewhere as a scouting trip and like to think I will go back.  Doesn’t always happen, but it means there isn’t a lot of pressure that first time.

When going to these places it is all about enjoying the atmosphere so I don’t tend to use a tripod unless these is something that I really want to get.  I just walk around with my camera and have my 24-70mm lens, which has become my go to lens.  I guess I am like a tourist, but I am often there to find the things that would look good in a photo.  Often that first trip gives me ideas of what would be the best time of day to be there to get the best photos, even what would be the best time of year.

I have seen so many places and been to many, with many more to see you.  The Weekend Wandering posts have been amazing for me in that respect.

sccreswick-hpm5666bSo how do you find places to take photos?  What do you do before you go and then when you are there? Do you do lots of photography trips?

Today I went through some of the places I’ve been to, but from a while back to show you. Sorry about the short post, hopefully next week won’t be as crazy.

Please remember if you are interested in doing a guest blog, I’m interested to hear what you would like doing.  Just send me an email, my contact information is in the contact section, and I will send you my guidelines. 

60 Comments
  1. You have a genuine interest in the places you visit, and your photographs faithfully record that fact.

    February 20, 2015
  2. I’m glad it’s not just us. Our valley is highly photogenic, but there does come a point where one has shot a place from every angle, in all four seasons, with and without sunshine. We sometimes just roam, making random turns until we stumble on someplace. You can do that in the valley. It’s rural and you never know exactly what you’ll find. But other, longer trips have to be planned … and which camera and lenses to take, too. Great post. Thanks!!

    February 20, 2015
    • I like roaming, I love taking roads I would otherwise take, I have found so many new things from doing that. Thank you Marilyn, wonderful to hear about your wandering.

      February 20, 2015
  3. Amazing photos Leanne 😀

    February 20, 2015
  4. How do I find places to take photos? Depends what mood I am in, what I want to photograph – Ruins? Streets? Gardens? etc etc I might have read an article somewhere that has sparked my curiosity. Or I might have a recommendation from a friend. Also, I carry my camera most of the time, as you just don’t know what you might see. If I expect to be taking specific images, eg long exposure, then I’ll go equipped with tripod and NDs, but other times I react when I’m at my venue. Etc etc!!

    February 20, 2015
    • I could’ve written this Sue, sounds a lot like what I do, I tend to take the tripod on some tripod on some trips, though it is nearly always in the boot of my car. Thanks for sharing how you wander Sue.

      February 20, 2015
  5. Wandering’s one of my favourite things, Leanne, but it’s only in the past year or two that a camera’s been an essential part of it. I just love finding beautiful places and the detail in them. 🙂

    February 20, 2015
    • I love doing that as well Jo, so much fun. I usually try to go with someone else, but went by myself somewhere yesterday and it was good. Thanks Jo.

      February 20, 2015
  6. Good idea to seek out somewhere different to go. I keep walking around close to home and taking routine shots of close up flowers and foliage.

    February 20, 2015
    • That is great too, I want to start doing more of that in my local park. Thank you.

      February 20, 2015
  7. Hi Leanne,

    I do both sides when it comes to where I shoot. When traveling, I often just take the camera and see what I can find to shoot. I can say the same when doing street photography. In both of those scenarios, I tend to travel relatively light with just the camera and maybe my utility belt that holds an extra battery, filters, etc.

    I also do planned shoots. Some of them are for club assignments, others are because I’m going someplace I’ve been before or heard a lot about and want to shoot. A lot of that is nature or landscapes. On trips like that, I bring more gear, including tripod and 150-500 lens.

    I’ve been doing some long exposure work of late, so that obviously requires a bit of advanced planning and more equipment since I can’t hold the camera steady for ten seconds or more!

    Ironically, I can’t say I favor one over the other. I’ve gotten great shots both ways, so I’m likely to just keep going that way.

    February 20, 2015
    • That’s great to hear John, interesting to hear how people go about doing the work.
      I agree John, it really does depend on the trip and what you want from it as to what you take with you.
      It all depends on me, where I’m going and what I think will work there.
      Thanks for sharing how you wander.

      February 20, 2015
  8. Love the b&w tree , where is that hotel ? And the abandoned house looks awesome 🙂

    February 20, 2015
    • Good question, it was some town out the back of Creswick I believe, the house was out that way too. 🙂

      February 20, 2015
  9. I spend most of my time close to home but sometimes I choose a trip that I think might reward me with opportunities but I don’t do the organisation that is really necessary. I admire your energy.

    February 20, 2015
    • Haha, I don’t know about energy, I can be quite lazy and often don’t really do enough, and I get home wishing I had done more.

      February 20, 2015
  10. Les #

    Seems that you do exactly what I have been doing for quite some time. There are many places around here that I can just grab my Camera and just go. I call it “Out There”. This is what I try to describe and show in my Blog. I do this most often during the Warmer months and not so much during the Winter, cause it’s just so cold. At times I’m “out there” all day, just snooping around what I see. Have fun, like I do! ~ Les

    February 20, 2015
    • It’s funny hearing that you go out more in summer than winter, whereas here we do it more in winter, go and take photos, much nicer weather and much better light. I do have fun, thanks Les.

      February 20, 2015
  11. sandlera #

    I go out on organized Meetups. We carpool and have fun meeting each other. Through this, I’ve made photo buddies. I also belong to a local online group and sometimes go out with them.

    February 20, 2015
    • They are great way to go out Anne, I do some of that, but mainly it is usually just me and a friend. I am trying to do more on my own though, easier to organise when it is just me. Thanks for sharing how you wander Anne.

      February 20, 2015
  12. I love the black and white tree. Gorgeous.

    February 20, 2015
    • Thank you, that is wonderful to hear.

      February 20, 2015
  13. as usual, great shots :-). Usually I am like you in one respect, we go on what we call magical mystery drives, we never know exactly where we are going to what we will find. Sometimes we just pull over on the side of a road near a dirt track and see where it takes us. Sometimes I have a fully mapped out plan. I did that when we went to NZ there were a few spots I really wanted to photograph, because I had seen great photographs and wanted to try my hand at it. These took a bit of planning. I love seeing where you and other photographers go around Melbourne, VIC and more and think, I would like to go there as well!

    February 20, 2015
    • Thank you Julie. I love that, when you decide to just go a different way and see where it takes you. I have found some amazing stuff that way.
      Great to hear how you tackle your wandering Julie. 🙂

      February 20, 2015
  14. Knowing where to go and how to get there is the most important thing for me when I’m visiting a place. Don’t want wasting time finding the place as I go along. Like you, I don’t usually plan what I want to see but I’ll just walk around and towards anything interesting I see. It is always very tempting to go back as I usually walk away from places feeling like there’s more to see. When I feel like venturing out (inner city suburbs or further out), I like to turn to Google and just have a read of the places. And if I like it, go. Because why not 🙂

    Being a professional photographer is not something that’s on my mind. I just want to have fun with photography at the moment, have fun taking photos for my blog. And I am. The only planning I do before going out for photos is making sure my battery is charged up, a spare one if I’m shooting in manual mode and RAW, have enough space on my SD card and make sure the front lens is fairly clean. A few nights ago I went to a concert, stood at the very front, took some photos and I think they came out very well 😀

    Keep the Weekend Wanderings coming, Leanne. I know I said this before, but I enjoy them very much. Always good to see and read more of Victoria through your eyes and lens. Have a good weekend 🙂

    February 20, 2015
    • How to get home again too, nothing like being lost, thank goodness for GPS. It is nice to just wander see what you find. I do take a look at Google sometimes, but I don’t do a lot of research.
      Oh yes, always good to make sure the battery is charged.
      I will Mabel, no chance of me stopping now, I have so many photos from so many places that I have been to recently, so you will see lots. Thanks Mabel, you have a good weekend too, looks like it is going to be a warm one.

      February 20, 2015
  15. Hi Leanne. Lovely work as usual! I am usually taking photos while riding my mountain bike but recently had a hernia repair which means no riding!!! As part of my recovery walking a lot is recomended so I have been “walking” some of my MTB trails, and guess what, I am finding subjects which I have been missing by zipping by on may bike! Lesson, slow down sometimes and take a closer look!

    February 20, 2015
    • So it is like that saying, what is it, take the time to small the roses, or something like that. So you will have lots of new things to photograph. Great story Dean, thanks for sharing it.

      February 20, 2015
  16. Especially like the black and white interesting trees. Lovely work!

    February 20, 2015
  17. I wish I could do specific photography trips; but so far my life has not allowed that. But that time is coming, and soon. So far I have taken photos around the place where I live and during trips to different countries that I have visited with my family. For the latter ones I do prepare somewhat, as I want to use my time to the limit and see and photograph all that is interesting there. If I can, I steal a day, or even a portion of it, and go on my own. I like to get a feel for the place; to soak up its atmosphere. I like to stop at unassuming corners, peak through doors into courtyards, and visit the side streets. I like to go where tourists do not venture. I like to see how people live. In all that, I photograph what speaks to me.

    A question: May I ask what camera do you use?

    February 20, 2015
    • I think the biggest challenge can be photographing where you are, which is pretty much what I do. I live in Melbourne and I photograph it, I don’t really travel. I do day trips here and there, sometimes go away somewhere for a couple of days, but basically I am here.
      Sounds like my kind of wandering Sonia.

      February 20, 2015
      • Yes, sounds like you and I like similar wanderings 🙂 I live in the US now, in Pennsylvania, but I grew up in Poland and spend there the first half of my life. I go back to visit. I love being there. Well, Melbourne is on my list of places to go. Someday…

        February 20, 2015
      • It is great going out to take photos, one of my favourite things to do. I’m sure you will love Melbourne, of course I’m biased, I love it. 🙂

        February 20, 2015
      • I am sure I will. When my dream to visit Melbourne becomes a plan, I will let you know. 🙂

        February 21, 2015
      • Oh yes, do let me know. I love meeting new people. 🙂

        February 21, 2015
  18. lensaddiction #

    I do a lot of road trips out of town, its easy in NZ being so small and varied that an hours drive will get you somewhere quite different and another hour somewhere different again.

    Mostly I just like to go and wander and see what is there, tho if I am going a long way that I won’t have a chance to visit too often then I do my research for the good scenic spots, the highlights, the obvious places and hit them *and* allow time for wandering too.

    I find often the best places you will either stumble across or the locals will clue you in. I had a delightful experience in the middle of nowhere, had stopped at the top of a hill by some farm houses to take a shot of the valley across the other side of the road. On the way back to my car I was met by a very elderly frail man who told me how to get to the local cemetary. I followed his instructions and got several great images including one that still remains a personal favourite 🙂

    The Cemetary was well off the main road and not visible so I would have never visited otherwise, and I have been very fond of them ever since and drop in whenever I find a nice old one with interesting headstoned 🙂

    February 20, 2015
    • Melbourne can be a little like that, though possibly not as varied as NZ.
      I love going to places for weekends, so you can do some early morning stuff and some late night stuff, and sleep during the day.
      I found a great place yesterday from a local, it was fantastic. Locals who want you to take photos are fantastic.
      I love old cemeteries too, though I don’t tend to photograph them much.
      Thanks Stacey for sharing how you wander.

      February 20, 2015
  19. I am sure that where ever you landed, and no matter the time of day or season, you would create some great images. New places, visited either by planning or accident are just great, stimulating and challenging in many ways….. but the local familiar can be an equally good challenge often overlooked. Where are you taking us next?

    February 20, 2015
    • I think you are being too kind David, but thank you. The locals can be a wealth of information. You never know what they will tell you about. Good question, I don’t know, maybe Sorrento.
      Thanks David.

      February 20, 2015
  20. Hi Leanne lovely read, it encourages me to get out and visit other places more. We are travelling along the Great Ocean Rd in late March. Your two images with the line of boats, was that taken anywhere near Melbourne or the great Ocean Rd. I have a thing for boats and yachts and would love to find some unique shots. Any suggestions?? Those two images are just beautiful.

    February 20, 2015
    • I do enjoy getting out to see other places, sometimes it isn’t great, but you usually get the photos to prove it. Oh, the great ocean road, such beautiful scenery along there. The photo of the boats was taken on the Yarra River, so nowhere near there, sorry. I really only know about the area from Melbourne to Apollo Bay, but most of them have places for fishing boats. I did a post in August I think it was, on the one in Apollo Bay, let me see if I can find you a link, http://leannecolephotography.com/2014/08/31/weekend-wanderings-apollo-bay-part-2/
      How far along are you coming, maybe I could meet up with you for lunch one day or in the morning, we could go and take some photos.

      February 21, 2015
  21. Leanne, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and pictures with us, I enjoyed it very much!

    Greets, Angelina

    February 20, 2015
    • That is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed it, thank you Angelina.

      February 21, 2015
  22. Really lovely images you’ve shared with us. Great post too. I like to grab my camera and take it with me just about most places, or plan a quick trip get away and set out on an adventure. Planning can make a differnce to the outcome, but wandering is how you discover the pulse. I love stopping in places to photograph the area and always find one thing that really captures my interest, and then spend a bit of time trying different techniques, focus, light, angles.

    February 20, 2015
    • Thank you Tracey, I agree, there is always something. I tend to do more planning when I go back to a place, when I know there are things I want to photograph. Love what you do Tracey, thank you for sharing it with us.

      February 21, 2015
  23. As I’m dealing with a small country, I tend to know the most interesting places to go but I also keep, my eyes open for events and try to look at places for little details or in a different way. In winter I don’t go out much because I only have weekends and if the weather is lousy . . .

    February 21, 2015
    • I love finding new places, or something you didn’t know existed. We are the same, but for us it is summer, I hate going out to do photos in summer, the light, the shadows, too much contrast. I understand how hard it would be, maybe I don’t really understand, I find it hard to comprehend really cold winters. Summer will be there soon enough Gypsy, then you will be out and about again. Thank you for sharing what you do.

      February 21, 2015
  24. Your shots really capture the mood of each place Leanne!!

    February 21, 2015
    • Thank you Cybele, I try, don’t always succeed, but I have fun.

      February 21, 2015
  25. I have nominated you for The Power of Words Award because of the inspiration and education that your blogs provide! The post is here : https://pearlz.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/power-of-words-award/. Don’t feel obligated to repost, for me it’s just that you know your work is appreciated.

    February 22, 2015
    • Thank you so much Pearlz, have added this with a link back to you on my awards page.

      February 22, 2015
  26. Great post! And of course fabulous shots! Funny how you hit the nail on the head – at times I often wonder where next. I actually worked on a couple of things last summer – preplanned – and I must say it worked out well. I also have a plan for my next work break of two weeks here in Paris – a total exploration immersion of the city – something I have not done since living here (six years). I hope to find some interesting nooks and crannies.

    February 23, 2015
    • It can be hard to work out where to go, really hard, but sometimes nice to just go somewhere that you don’t know, see what happens. I am working on a project now that involves scouting and then going back and planning specific places and times of day that I want to do some shots, I like doing that too, seeing what you can do.The trip to Paris sounds amazing Debby, should be great. good luck with it.

      February 23, 2015

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: