Is There Anything Left to Photograph?

“Everything that could possibly be invented, has already been invented.”

— Robert Thoms, U.S. Patent Office, 1892

Despite the prophetic wisdom of Mr. Thoms, a few more patents were issued in the 121 years since he said that. A few things happened in the automotive, aerospace, computer, and telecommunications industries, for example.


As a photographer, I’ve heard people say there is nothing left to photograph. All beautiful places have been canvased.  All the great themes have been saturated.  Everything that could possibly be done has already boon done.

Yet tens of millions of new, unique images are still produced worldwide on a daily basis.


If you go to a location where classic images have been produced in the past, it’s important to approach it with the right attitude.

Walk away from the classic vistas, the scenic viewpoints, the places you’ve seen done (better) by countless other photographers.

Seek something different.

Follow your own path.

You’ll find that even in a place that’s been “all photographed out”, there are still billions of opportunities to produce new images uniquely your own.

Death Valley National Park, 2006

not what you might expect…Death Valley National Park, 2006


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