Where was that taken?
I get asked a lot by fellow photographers (and general public) especially at my appearances at camera clubs across the country about the location of many of my images even the ones that have an unusual view to them but the obvious viewpoint is clear.
Often people are surprised when I tell them the exact locations, down to the number of steps to the side. The reason? A lot of photographers are very secretive when it comes to publicising the locations of the images they have taken and some are outright defensive.
I for one believe that if you have confidence in your abilities and talent then you have nothing to be concerned about if someone asks where you took your image even if they are going to attempt to take the same image. For starters, no two images are the same and someone seeing your image and going on to take inspiration from it surely that's the sincerest form of flattery? If they copy it outright, well that's a topic for another day!
Just this past month, I have had several dozen emails complimenting my work and asking for advice or details on the location and I have always responded with links to Google/OS Maps and anything else I can think of to make it easier for the person to find the place.
One of my best selling images to date of the City Quay is hanging as a canvas in the foyer of the Apex Hotel and I overheard a couple of people talking about it whilst I was there one day. They were trying to figure out where I had taken it from and were discussing when they would be back to take the same shot themselves. Now I know that there are some locations that a lot of people will go and put their tripods on the markings from where the last photographer was and take the same image but getting a different perspective or view is not always impossible and should be actively encouraged.
Another of my images, the Bridge to Nowhere, is another location people have asked about (having stumbled across it myself by accident). It is a very easy location to miss and it's great to see emails from them later on with what they were able to get and asking about processing advice.
If someone does take a better version of one of my images, then I learn from it and next time I will make another image to make it challenging for them and to inspire them again!
Giving something back to the community, especially those new to the profession, is not a bad thing. For one it encourages a following of your work and helps build a network you can can come back to.
On this note, I hope to provide video tutorials/screen casts for free on my site so that I can share my experiences with others rather than just via e-mail when asked. Specifically how I achieve the results that (in-camera) and how I post-process my images, whether it is long-exposure landscapes or studio shoots. If you have anything in particular you would like to see me cover in the videos then please drop me a message!