There are numerous places of wonder, mystique and timeless beauty that travel photographers want to see and capture at least once in their lifetime. And while some such places have been deemed “iconic” for many years, others are being discovered and rediscovered in the present. Visiting such places can also become a spiritual journey for them to understand themselves and the world they live in. Today we will pack up our cameras and start an expedition around the world to see 10 amazing places you need to see, experience and photograph.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA
This is a natural convoluted maze through a sandstone canyon serving as a Navajo cathedral, a place of mystery where light, when captured at the right time, can shine inside, giving the place an aura of ethereal magic. You need to have a tripod with you and make sure you use long exposures to capture the beauty of the place.
Aurora Borealis, Fairbanks, Alaska
Many photographers chase the Aurora Borealis wanting to capture the surreal show of the night’s sky and Fairbanks is probably one of the best places in the world to achieve your dream. The auroral oval in Fairbanks (a ring-shaped area around the North Pole) is the place to be to likely shoot breathtaking sky colors.
Cinque Terre, Italy
This is probably one of the most beautiful places to photograph in Italy. Get lost in it for a few days to explore, taste and live the simple, amazing life of the locals. Cinque Terre is usually captured at sunrise or sunset, but the savvy photographers have a keen eye to spot the beauty of Vernazza, Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, and Monterosso also at the street level.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Visiting Machu Picchu means more than capturing stunning images of the Andes or the ruins, it means to understand a legendary ancient civilization, feel the mystery that still surrounds the place and take a trip back in time to get at least a grasp of human history.
The “Door to Hell”, otherwise know as Darvaza should be on any photographer’s bucket list. This fiery crater (set on a natural gas field) has been burning since 1971. If you are into experimenting with drone photography this is the place to put your skills in practice, as the entire scenery is best seen from above.
Vaadhoo Beach, Maldives
Get ready for a truly surreal experience of capturing the bio-luminescent micro-organisms of the Indian Ocean as they wash away on this beach in Maldives. Night photography will never be the same for you as you see with your naked eye the blue lights covering the shores in glitter. If you want an experience for a lifetime, slowly walk on the shore and see your feet turn neon blue as you disturb the shallow waters.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The world’s largest salt desert literally conveys the concept of the Earth meeting the sky, offering the visitor a unique experience of eternity and becoming one with the universe. The world’s largest floor mirror is the perfect setting for mind-blowing day photos and let’s all admit it, who doesn’t want to capture infinity?
Easter Island, Pacific Ocean
The statues of Easter Island – the moai – are iconic, mysterious and hard to comprehend, still giving scientists a lot to think about. Their majestic postures, their eternal silence and their haunting glow when captured at night under the starry southern sky spark anyone’s imagination and desire to learn more about their history and making.
A trip to Chernobyl is not for the faint of heart. The still, dead and cold city can send shivers down your spine with its emptiness. The place is haunting and perhaps haunted as well, wrapped in a shroud of deafening silence. It is an amazing place for black and white photography, but you should be able to master your own feelings, as Chernobyl doesn’t let anyone leave with his or her heart unbroken. Specialists in Chernobyl photography recommend you bring on your DSLR and exercise with long exposures.
Cradle of Humankind, South Africa
How can you not be tempted to see the place where all it began? How can you not visit this amazing UNESCO site and shiver as you lay eyes on it? From the outside you will not be impressed, but once you descend inside the subterranean limestone caves your whole perspective on life, human history and evolution might change in an instant.