When planning a photography trip, one of the worst things you can do is to plan everything down to the last minute.
I often find images near popular locations, and I'm only able to find them by giving myself some time to get to know the place.
A couple of days ago I visited the Santuario de Santa Luzia in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, a very busy location. After making a few images of the main attraction, I started to wander around trying to find something nearby.
It took me only a few minutes to find the ruins of an old building. I was able to step inside and make a few images of this place. I loved the one I got of the three windows and the two beams.
That same day, and after photographing the also popular location of Forte de São João in Vila do Conde, I stumbled upon a beautiful chapel with a stunning round shape. I saw it from the distance and I knew I had to get there. I made at least a couple of images that I also love.
Even though I had a few more spots on my list for that day, I'm glad I took more time on the ones I did visit. I believe that trying to fit as many locations as possible in very little time is the best way to end up with cliche, boring and forgettable images.
These two examples on the same day were a powerful reminder of why we should embrace some uncertainty in our photography. Having a plan can be very useful when visiting a place we don't know, but knowing when and when not to stick to it is much more important.