Return to the Scene
No two photographs are exactly the same. You can stand in the same place, use the same camera set-up, and compose your image identically, but the result will still be different. The landscape is constantly changing. Each season will transform the landscape, while the time of day, light, and weather will dictate the mood. Your brief for this assignment is to photograph the same view at different times for an entire year, to capture how that view changes with each of the four seasons.
First, you need to identify a suitable scene to photograph. For convenience, opt for a view close to home that you can visit easily and regularly. Ideally, choose a scene containing trees and foliage so that seasonal changes will be more obvious. Try to compose your image identically on each visit to help highlight these seasonal differences.
If you can’t wait twelve months to finish the assignment, simply photograph the same scene at different times of the day-for example, at hourly intervals from sunset to sunset. Maybe even photograph the same scene at night, too. Or shoot in different weather conditions until you build a collection of contrasting shots.
Whichever way you interpret this assignment, it is sure to produce some stunning and richly varied results that illustrate that no two photographs of the same place are ever quite the same. Once you’ve captured your sequence, don’t forget to print the images and frame them together. The result might be four shots capturing the story of nature over four seasons; twelve shots creating a calendar of the characteristic light and weather of the different months; or half a dozen images telling the story of a single day in the life of a landscape.
View the images
- To help you compose each image as identically as possible, make a record of the focal length you used for the original. Keep a copy of the photo on your phone (or tablet) to use as a handy reference for when you return and set up again.
- Smartphone apps for plotting GPS coordinates and the sun’s position, such as SunScout and PhotoPills
- When photographing the same scene at different times of the day, use a sun compass smartphone app (such as SunScout) to calculate the sun’s path from morning to evening. This will help decide the best place to set up.
- You can capture GPS coordinates with a smartphone on your first visit and return to the exact same spot.