When looking at a picture and thinking about that particular place in terms of setting, I like images that are striking, that evoke emotion or set a particular mood. When revealing where a scene is taking place, it’s often more powerful to do so through the character’s other senses, rather than merely running through a descriptive list of what is visually present.
For me, a picture often sparks ideas for how to describe those little sensory details, such as how a character can feel the slick brick sidewalk beneath his feet as he walks the city streets and tries to deal with the disaster his life has become, how she can hear the slow trickling of water that transfixes her as she nears the stream situated beside her childhood home, how he can feel the worn, smooth leather beneath his palms on the couch where he had his first kiss years earlier.
I like taking such sensory details and matching them to what the character is feeling and the mood of the scene. Visuals can go a long way in helping me discover those details.
Here are a few of my recent Setting Inspiration Finds: