This weekend I made a trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum for the first time. Over the years, I've seen images of the museum from my Flickr contacts. I knew that the museum has a lot of different looks depending on your angle. Searching for the best images of the museum was tempting, but I decided not to.
Photographing a new location, I generally want some knowledge of the location. I'd like to see a few images so that I can imagine myself walking around it and viewing it from different angles. But I try not to look up too many images. I don't want to arrive at a location and feel that I already know what shots I want. I want to get to a location and let my mind take over and try to find the most interesting places to photograph from. I know some photographers that take this to the extreme and avoid seeing any images beforehand.
At the museum, I wanted to get some of those typical shots that I have seen before. But, as always, I wanted to find some shots that I haven't seen before. One way to get a unique perspective is to get as far away as possible and zoom in. Another way is to get as close as possible and use an ultra-wide angle lens. In today's image, I used a fisheye lens and put it up against the glass just outside of the building where the elevator is. I really wanted to shoot from inside the building, but this was as close as I got.
What do you do when planning to shoot a new location? Do you research it as much as possible or do you not even look at images before you go. Let me know in the comments!