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Visit any of these spots, and we bet you’ll return reinvigorated and with countless capture-worthy images.
There are so many cities and countries worth visiting in the world, and the possibilities are endless no matter what kind of traveler you are. But if you’re packing a camera and yearning to flex those creative muscles, you might want to consider a trip to one of these 15 places.
We asked our friends — both professional photographers and hobbyists — what their favorite places are to photograph across the globe. Visit any of these spots, and we bet you’ll return reinvigorated and with countless capture-worthy images.
By Evgeny Tchebotarev
One of the most overwhelming places to visit and the world’s busiest street corner, Shibuya Crossing is best photographed from above. When in Tokyo, you’re likely to stumble across this area when sightseeing or heading for the train. Use a slow shutter speed and tripod to capture pedestrians in motion. This technique works well day or night. Check out Evgeny's awesome Tokyo-inspired Luminar presets.
Hop in the car for a road trip north from L.A. you’ll never forget. See the rugged stretch of Central California coast and prepare to be amazed by fairytale views. Bixby Creek Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in California, and we can see why. Stop at a vista point a mile or so south for pictures at sunset. Bixby Bridge is wondrously impressive from afar.
Hike the 15th-century Inca citadel with two essentials: lots of water and a wide-angle lens. For a unique view of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, arrive to Cusco early in the morning and climb Huayna Picchu, the steep hill behind Machu Picchu (there are ropes to help you along the way).
By Kah Wai Lin
East of Page, Arizona is a slot canyon on Navajo land accessible only by guided tours. Though it is a bit dark down there, a long exposure should do the trick. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to capture the perfect image when sunlight seeps into the canyon from above.
By Tanya Puntti
Maybe the most outlandish way to see a sight, but why not live a little and hire a helicopter to photograph the largest coral reef from the sky? Make sure your camera is set to a high shutter speed. A zoom lens is also ideal. A screw-on circular polarizing filter works wonders, too, in capturing what’s inside the water.
One of the most photographed landmarks in the world, South Africa’s stunning Table Mountain is best captured from below with a wide angle lens. Als ride the cable car up and secure a window seat for prime 360-degree views. Well-known Cape Town landscape photographer, Paul Bruins, has said that it’s crucial to use a tripod and find side-lighting rather than front or backlighting when photographing here.
One of the most easily recognizable structures in the City of Love and the world is the Eiffel Tower, the tallest structure in Paris and one that is (surprise!) illegal to photograph at night without permission. During the day, though, it falls within public domain so take advantage and get your shots during early morning or magic hour here.
By Dmitry Islentev
Arrive at the infamous Brazilian statue by taxi either in the early morning or late afternoon when there is better visibility, it’s not so hot, and there are fewer crowds. The best time to photograph the statue from below is in the early morning when the sky is clear and the sun isn’t high in the sky. If you choose to go for a hike, you can photograph Sugarloaf Mountain at sunset looking downward and catch a mesmerizing view of the city at the same time.
This volcano’s sure to be on your bucket list and for a good reason. You can take a bus or train to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo — all you need is a tripod and a little bit of luck. Professional Thailandese photographer Jirawat Plekhongthu says the most important thing when photographing Mt. Fuji is knowing your subject. Be at the right place at the right time and voila.
This whisky distillery sits in a lush pine forest surrounded by castle ruins (in winter, it’s all covered in powder-white snow) — could there be anything more idyllic? Even the barrels inside are impressive to photograph. Be prepared for variations in lighting here (indoor/outdoor) and slight double vision if you plan to participate in a tasting while photographing.
Capture Banff’s Northern Lights, or maybe its wildlife. Getting a good shot of the lights depends on how clear the sky is, so keep an eye on the weather reports when visiting. The best time for pictures here is between dusk and midnight. If your Banff travel dates are flexible, sign up for aurora watch, an email list that’ll alert you on when best to capture activity.
By Galyna Andrushko
This 275-square mile desert will take your breath away, especially during a full moon. Grab a permit, set up a tent for camping, and get ready to be amazed. The gypsum dunes are most exciting to photograph as the sun begins to fade and the sky changes from blue and purple to pink and orange. Sunrise will produce a different, but still beautiful, result.
Though not the easiest country to travel to if you’re from the U.S., Cuba is worth the work it takes to get there. Frozen in time, Havana still looks similar to how it did in the 1950s — this includes old classic cars and stunning (at times rickety) architecture. Focus on photographing locals here — they’re constantly on the move — as well as churches, graffitti, balconies, and the Malecón.
By Sarah Fields
If you’re into landscape photography, then Yosemite is for you. Avoid the National Park in summertime when it’s rife with tourists. Winter and spring feel like winter and spring here (seasons in California never cease to amaze us!), but both are great for shooting nonetheless. Capture dramatic light and fresh snow January through March. In spring, waterfalls and lush greenery make for a very different, but equally stunning, image.
When you step out from the Dubai Mall, it’s easy to spot the Burj Khalifa. It’s so tall, standing at nearly 3,280 feet, that the top of the building might get lost in the clouds. Your best bet here is to stake out a spot, arrive early, and photograph the tallest structure in the world from afar. Magic hour is a dream here except for one little problem: hoards of people trying to photograph the same thing. Dare to get creative, and you’re bound to be pleased with your handiwork.
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