This is mandatory. If you don’t live somewhere that blows your mind, it's a lot harder to blow everyone else’s.
Ansel Adams lived in Yosemite.
That, right there, could be the end of this section. It doesn’t get more “case in point” than that. But I’d like to explain how I came to believe this with every fiber of my being.
A long time ago in a galaxy that feels very far away at this point, I lived in Monterey, California. Big Sur was my backyard. Making incredible images was a matter of a 20 minute drive.
I’ve since left Monterey, but miss it every day. Today, a 20 minute drive gets me exactly nowhere. Making incredible images now takes months of planning, plane tickets, a hotel, rental car, and praying to every god known to man that the weather will cooperate for the one day I’ll be there. There is no substitute for having immediate access to the incredible.
The reason Ansel Adams was able to capture as many stunning images of Yosemite as he did is because he could look out his window and see good weather condition forming. If he lived hours (or days) away, he never would have been able to capture all of the iconic images he did.