Future Shots – Cataloging Locations


Most people that I know, and who know me, always seem to be a little nervous when they’re in the car with me. I consider myself to me a ‘generally safe’ driver, other than a few minor hiccups there’s nothing to see here keep moving along. What I think people realize quickly is that while I’m watching the road I’m also watching everything else that’s going on around the periphery. I’m looking for photos. I do this so much in fact that I had stopped realizing that I was doing it until I almost ran off the road last week.

For the image above I originally saw from the car what you see below.


This mental cataloging process works well for me when I’m driving around locally when I have a chance to come back when the lights better or the weather’s different but doesn’t work so well when I most likely won’t have the chance to return or it may be a year or more until I’m able to stop by again. In those cases I’m trying harder to stop and take the shot even if it only serves as a sketch or record of a location that I should return to.

None of my cameras have built in GPS, although I know that is a feature in some, but my phone certainly does and so I’ll be making more sketches and record shots with my phone just so that I know where I want to come back.

What about you? Do you have a system for cataloging places that you want to take photographs? I’d love to hear about it if you do. How would you manage locations that you’ve got GPS tags for in photos?

17 Replies to “Future Shots – Cataloging Locations”

  1. with me … it’s completely random – like a lightning strike it becomes just clear to me that this or that place needs a try with the camera. I end up visiting the same place several times doing an idea in every visit.

    1. …and it sounds like when lightning strikes it makes such a vivid impression that you’ve no need for tools to help you remember!

      Good advice to return to the same location over and over to try out different ideas.

      Hope all is well!

  2. I don’t use the gps for that…yet
    Usually I don’t drive. I prefer not if I have the choice because I tend to look at clouds, trees, buildings, pedestrians…and from time to time I say “stop stop stop, please, stop” so I can take a picture. I also love to shoot with movement and put some music on, of course 🙂

    1. I spend way too much time in my car! It’s one of the curses of living in exurbia – too far from the city to be even considered a suburb.

      It would be fun to walk more. Your description made me jealous.

      1. I am sure it will have some advantages. I would also like to not be so dependent on public transport…but I guess that the best thing we can do is get the most of our circunstances 🙂
        Have a great day!

  3. I do use my phone to document places. Though if I have my SLR I’ll just use that. It has GPS and I’ve found it extremely useful to help me recall where exactly (and when) I took a specific shot.

    1. I believe that the latest version of lightroom has a map function built in so you can see where your photos were taken if they are appropriately tagged.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      1. Thanks! I don’t use light room so no idea if that’s the case. I usually just get the coordinates from the EXIF data and put it in bing maps. They even have the UK ordnance survey maps.

        1. I’d never thought of looking into the EXIF data – so obvious on reflection. I was amazed the first time I pulled up the OS maps on the computer. Very cool!

  4. I use my iPhone much if this time because it is handy. I have taken some pretty good pictures that way! It gives me a record and helps me remember those good places that I might want to go back to. I drive a lot every day, and always look at things through the photographers lens.

  5. Been there, paced that room and sang that song! Sorry, but I can’t stop myself…

    Excellent post!

  6. Sometimes I will go for a drive purely to scope out new locations, but I too am guilty of veering off to the scenery around me while I drive, and I’ve noticed that I’m always looking at my surroundings for possible photo shoot locations as I drive now more than ever. I’ve been known to make sudden and sharp turns to go back and take a look as my passenger says “WTF?!” and I’m just thinking, “Did you see how perfect that looked, we have to go back and see it!”
    As for cataloguing these found locations, if I’m driving, I’ll try my hardest to remember the area and when safe to do so I’ll pull out my iPhone and drop a pin at the location and save it to my phone. Sometimes I save them as screen shots, sometimes I save them as actual contacts in my phone. Then eventually when I’ve revisited the location, and it has become etched in my mind, I feel safe deleting the contact card/photo.

    1. Ha! Your description made me laugh and captured perfectly the sensation of seeing something that you absolutely must get an image of.

      Interesting use of the maps function on the iPhone. Hadn’t thought about that before.

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