Everybody takes an evening skyline photograph of San Diego from the exact same place. There’s no option — there isn’t any other good place you can shoot a skyline of San Diego from in the evening.
So I shot it from the same place as everyone else. You may say why bother? Fair question.
It’s hard to shoot some places without doing the same photograph everyone has. After all, how many shots are there of every square inch of the Grand Canyon?
It used to bother me to shoot something that has already been, pardon the pun, over-exposed. Then I realized something. When you go and shoot the same location that so many others have already shot, you learn a lot. You have to.
When you make your photo, you are hoping to bring something to the shot that no one else thought of. Sometimes you are fortunate and it happens. Most of the time you only wish you were so lucky. Either way, you learn a lot just from the mental exercise.
On the other hand, you always get the chance to compare what you are doing with what someone else did. You might say to yourself, “hey why can’t I get that color in the sky like so-and-so did?” Dozens of questions like that crop up as you work. They trigger new ideas for angles, settings, lenses, etc. that you take with you to the next shoot and the next..
So, go ahead and shoot the Grand Canyon just like everyone else. Maybe you’ll hit paydirt and come up with something completely new. Either way, I guarantee you’ll learn something.