I was at the Ankara Castle, in the middle of the capital of Turkey, snapping some pictures and panoramas when this photographer walked down to this ledge. Initially I thought, ‘come on man, hurry up you’re ruining my shots!’ But then I looked through the viewfinder and found a better shot than the ones I had been taking. (the photo above is that shot)
This was a moment when I remembered an old saying I had heard about taking photos, especially of sunsets/sunrises, and that was to take your eye off the viewfinder and have a look around every now and then.
You just never know when your focused on something if there is a more interesting opportunity going on right behind you.
On another photo adventure, I had backpacked up to one of the tallest mountains in Thailand for an overnight camping trip. My group was camping about a 30 minute hike below the summit. I hiked up the last bit to enjoy the sunset and enjoyed a really nice light show. As I was packing up my gear to head back down I looked over my shoulder, and noticed that the sky on the other side of the sunset was also quite spectacular, but quickly faded.
I couldn’t believe that I had been so focused on the sun, that I had missed so other great shots. The following morning I was much more aware of my surroundings.
So I just want to encourage you to stop and look around once in a while. I find this especially true at sunset or sunrise, when the light is changing quickly and clouds can often become illuminated.
It is also a good idea to try and roll with what every enters your frame, and not become frustrated when people, or other photographers, get into your shot. Rather, look at it as an opportunity or a challenge. Sometimes and friendly word will also work to let you get your shot.