A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to go out shooting with Larry through Hancock and Harrisville, NH on a crystal clear sub-zero morning. I had admired Larry’s work on Flickr and when I asked him where a particularly beautiful image was taken, he generously offered to show me around some of his favorite locations. My usual approach to photo exploration is go out on my own, or perhaps accompanied by our dog Nelly (she of infinite patience). I fire up my GPS and PhotoTracker, plug in the iPod and start wandering. There are advantages to going solo. My schedules and routes are my own and I only have to worry about getting one person out of bed before dawn. In the past I’ve found that larger photo workshops can get a bit hectic as personal preferences become subservient to the needs of the group and the magic of quiet pristine locations are trampled by many feet and voices. Shooting with Larry however reminded me that there is a lot to be gained by learning from someone else’s vision. Traveling through the classic New England mill town of Harrisville, NH, I was focusing on the light and lines created by the red brick structures, but Larry pointed out the shadow created by one of the towers. I would have cruised right by that remarkable image. One of the central excitements of photography is how two people looking at the same scene can come back with entirely different visions. Seeing through someone else’s eye is one of the best ways of expanding your own ability to see all the potential in a location. Of course it is also interesting to share experiences about technique, equipment and marketing strategy with friends, but I believe the advantages of four eyes and two different sensibilities is most valuable.
I expect that I will continue to fly solo on many of my photographic explorations, but I will also seek out more opportunities to expand my vision with others. Larry has my open invitation to come to my corner of New England to share SOME of my best locations.