Location scouting made easy!
Join “The Click” to receive access to the Scouting Guide above!
Not a member yet? Learn about the Lenspiration membership here, or read on to learn more about the Scouting Guide is and view a sample guide at the end.
What is the Scouting Guide?
Regardless of the genre they enjoy, I would venture to say that just about every photographer loves to explore! But successful on-location exploration comes only after careful online scouting and research. What locations are worth visiting to photograph? What are my options for vantage points? How will the light lay at different times of day? What’s the best time of day or year to visit? Will it be closed in winter? Will there be entrance or parking fees? What helpful things can I expect to encounter while exploring a new area with my camera for the first time?
Or how about this question: what field notes do you want to record about your favorite shooting locations?!
And what better place is there to store your field notes than on a map where others could benefit as well? With your help, the Scouting Guide will make online scouting and research a whole lot easier and time-efficient for any photographer, beginner or pro! Glean, store and share important field notes for locations all across North America.
How do I use the Scouting Guide?
Glean from other photographer’s field notes. For example:
- Determine the general area that you will be visiting or passing through and search the Scouting Guide for pins that lie close to your route (ie. you’re taking a vacation and will be driving through Kansas on I-70).
- Using the rating system, detailed area descriptions and your own personal preferences, determine which location(s) you will want to stop to explore (ie. you enjoy shooting old buildings and discover the Old Stone Church is just a few miles off the Highway).
- Use the GPS coordinates and Best Time of Day recommendations to include the stop in your travel itinerary (ie. you can arrange your schedule to stop in during the “late afternoon golden hour” because it is recommended as the best time of day; the GPS coordinates make it easy to know how far it is from your point of origin so you can arrive at the correct time).
- Continue your research of the area by following hyperlinks to other websites, searching keywords in Google Images, or plugging the GPS coordinates into programs like Google Earth or SunCalc.net.
Store and share your own field notes:
Did you know?
- Each location is carefully reviewed to make sure it only includes relevant and helpful content
- Every pinned location is a good place to shoot, even if it has a low rating. The rating system works like this:
- = It’s worth visiting, especially if it’s the right time of day; may not be worth any extra effort to get there though
- = It’s an interesting location with interesting subjects to shoot
- = Prepare to spend some time here as opportunities abound
- = Definitely worth the extra effort to shoot here; can’t leave without getting a great shot somewhere!
- = Unbelievable, drop-dead, or iconic scenery you could spend days exploring and shooting
- The Scouting Guide is membership-exclusive, accessible only to Lenspiration members
- Members may submit their own locations to add to the Scouting Guide
- Members may submit suggestions and changes to existing locations
Sample Scouting Guide
To see how it works, take a spin through the FREE Scouting Guide! With free access for everyone, here’s a sample map for you to explore and see how things are set up in the complete guide. Most of the locations are mapped from an excursion through California that I took with my brother and a friend in July, 2014. Please feel free to share this sample guide with others.