Scouting is an important element of capturing good photographs, particularly when traveling to new and unfamiliar places. Scouting involves discovering interesting subjects. It also involves identifying good vantage points as well as determining what time of day might work best for a subject. Finally, it helps to take as many of the logistical surprises out of the equation in advance--such as where to park.
Florida State University
While walking the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee, I was on the lookout for an iconic image of the gateway to the campus. I wasn't sure what the area was called, so I tried looking over the campus on my phone using Google Maps to locate it. After a few tries, I eventually found what I was looking for--Westcott Plaza.
I wasn't sure what time of day would be best for photographing the plaza. But, it was getting late in the day so I drove to the site in hopes of getting a shot at sunset. While there, I learned a few things. The subject is backlit late in the day. Parking is challenging. And, the plaza is packed with people! I left without taking a single exposure.
Based upon what I learned, I planned a return trip for sunrise the next day. My reasoning is that the plaza should be empty at sunrise on a Sunday morning. I also knew of a good parking spot from the night before. I checked an app called "Photo Sundial" by Rick Sammon to determine how the light would be hitting the building at sunrise that morning--and everything looked good to go.
The next morning I arrived at the location on schedule and captured the following images. It was just lucky that the fountain was operating and illuminated that early on a Sunday morning: