Top Travel Photographers Reveal Their Favorite Photo Locations Around The World – Part 2

Today I have very special treat for my readers. This is the second part of roundup post “Top Travel Photographers Reveal Their Favorite Photo Locations Around The World”. The first part of the post was published about 2 months ago and it was by far the most popular article on this blog.  It attracted a lot of attention from all over the world. At the same time our readers pointed out that we did not cover any destinations from Africa and Asia. Today’s roundup post should fix some shortcomings of the original article.

I asked top travel photographers from all over the world to answer one simple question.

If you had to choose what would be your favorite photography location?

So here are their answers!

 

Karen Hutton

Photography is why I breathe, baby. That’s lifelong, undying love and passion. It’s all about: Connection. Inspiration. Story. Humor. And Beauty. Who couldn’t do with more beauty in the world? I love photographers because they wear their heart on their sleeve and it lives in their work. Their breathtaking world view. Their intensely personal story… the one that we just HAVE to tell or our hearts will simply burst from the withholding of it.
www.KarenHutton.com

My favorite photo location has to be New Zealand.  I feel like I could spend a lifetime exploring all that it has to offer. Every frame is just stunning, no matter what or where; each new vista is just gorgeous beyond reckoning. The place has a thousand moods. It’s mysterious, brilliant, epic in scale.. and the varietal shades of blue are unlike anywhere on the planet. It fills you up from the inside out with deep inspiration and beauty on a scale that takes your breath away. Repeatedly! And although I’ve been there, it pretty much has a lifetime membership to my bucket list.

Travel Photography Blog: New Zealand

New Zealand. Milford Sound 
Loc: -44.67152, 167.9258

 

Nicole S. Young

Nicole is a food, landscape, and travel photographer living in Portland, Oregon. She can be spotted photographing waterfalls with her husband, Brian, or out in the rain walking with their dog, Kodak. Nicole writes books and creates educational content for her website, contributes articles about photography and post-processing to Photofocus.com, and also sells eBooks and other content for photographers in her online store.
www.Nicolesy.com

My favorite place I have traveled to so far would have to be Vietnam. The people are kind and friendly, the food is amazing, and there is just so much color! I photographed this image while on a ride through the Vietnam country-side as a passenger on a local’s motorbike. He took me to some of the back-roads locations where I was able to see parts of Vietnam that are a little bit off the beaten path. It was an incredible experience, and I can’t wait to return.

Travel Photography Blog: Vietnam. Nha Trang

Vietnam. Nha Trang
Loc: 12.232753, 109.183953

 

Colby Brown

Colby Brown is a photographer, photo educator and author based out of Denver, CO. He specializes in landscape, travel and humanitarian photography, as his portfolio spans the four corners of the globe.
www.ColbyBrownPhotography.com

For years, Myanmar has been shrouded in mystery as its oppressive military regime kept a close hand in keeping the country relatively locked down. This all changed just over two years ago when the country instated a form of democracy and since than their borders have opened allowing a flood of photographers and travelers into the country. One of the most beautiful places to photograph is Bagan, known for its thousands of Buddhist stupas and pagodas that line the valley floor. If you have the opportunity, check out Myanmar now, before too many people visit and it begins to lose what once made it so special.

Travel Photography Blog: Myanmar. Bagan

Myanmar. Bagan 
Loc: 21.172187, 94.858092

 

Joshua Cripps

Josh Cripps is a wilderness photographer, international traveler, and adventure enthusiast living in California’s breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains. During beautiful sunsets you will often hear him yelling like a lunatic.
www.JoshuaCripps.com

As you might expect, any area named after the most famous landscape photographer of all time is going to be breathtakingly beautiful. And the Ansel Adams Wilderness in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is certainly no exception. This vast wilderness boasts crystal clear lakes, numerous small glaciers, and stunning 13,000-foot peaks. There are no roads into the wilderness and access to the area is limited to a number of foot and stock trails. Two of North America’s most famous hiking trails, the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, also run through the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The remote nature of this wilderness gives it an almost primitive feel, as if it’s a landscape completely separate from our modern lives. Because of the endless opportunities for stillness and serenity it provides, along with its photogenic grandeur, the Ansel Adams Wilderness is at the top of my list for photography destinations.

Travel Photography Blog: California. Ansel Adams Wilderness

California. Ansel Adams Wilderness  
Loc: 37.689124, -119.206436

 

Vincent Favre

French Landscape and Wildlife photographer.

The nature and the great outdoors, I learned to love it small, while I was hiking in the mountains with my father. The camera in hand, it is now as I wander through the mountains, coastlines, landscapes, in quest of magical moments.

I like to bring back evidence of the beauty that nature offers us.
So I hope to touch the skeptics and convince them to make the effort to respect our beautiful environment
www.CristalDegivre.com

The Alps are beautiful mountains. If I had to show one, it would be the Matterhorn. The perfect mountain for me … slender, elegant, legend of mountaineering.

To photograph this mountain, and under his most famous profile, Riffelsee lake offers a perfect view, with a striking reflection of the Valais summit, reaching more than 4000m high

Travel Photography Blog: Switzerland. Zermatt. Stellisee Lake

Switzerland. Zermatt. Stellisee Lake  
Loc: 46.01345, 7.8002

 

Richard Bernabe

Richard Bernabe is an Internationally renowned landscape, wildlife, and travel photographer and author. Contributing Editor, Popular Photography Magazine
www.RichardBernabe.com

Deadvlei is tucked away among the largest sand dunes in the world in Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft National Park. This large clay pan is littered with ancient camel thorn trees which allow for an infinite number of compelling compositions and surreal natural landscapes. At the risk of sounding like hyperbole, since many locations are referred to as such, but in this case the claim really is true: Deadvlei is a true photographer’s paradise.

Travel Photography Blog: Deadvlei, Namibia

Namibia. Deadvlei 
Loc: 24.759385, 15.293156

 

Tracy Zhang

Tracy is a Canadian photographer currently based in New York. After first getting her start in headshot and portrait photography, she eventually found the world of travel photography when I moved to Europe in 2010, and proceeded to journey through 20 European countries. Born in Beijing and raised in Vancouver Canada, Tracy loves to capture the natural beauty and cultural essence of her destination. Her travel stories can be found at:
www.JustInTimeTravels.com

It always seems that we don’t truly begin to appreciate something until we loose it. I was born in China and spent many childhood years living there before my family moved to Canada. I didn’t remember anything particularly exciting about the country. It wasn’t until when I went back to China more than a decade after I’d left that I really started to see the country for the beauty it really is. Some of my favorite places to visit in China are all in the south, think Yunnan, Guilin, ZhangJiaJie, the region is filled with rugged mountains, tranquil rivers, and exotic minorities. But every time I visit, I always head first for the majestic Great Wall of China. There is nothing more satisfying than climbing a few hours on the man-made structure that stretches hundreds of miles, and nothing more gratifying than watching the sunrise over the Great Wall.

Travel Photography Blog: China. Mutianyu stretch of the Great Wall

China. Mutianyu stretch of the Great Wall
Loc: 40.355534, 116.008396

 

Jim Nix

Traveler, photographer, wanderlust sufferer. Writer, poet, blogger. I take photos, share photos, and write about things that interest me. My photographic preferences are landscapes and cityscapes, and I especially love street scenes in Europe. My photographic style is expressive and colorful – that’s just how I see the world. My camera is my accomplice and my co-conspirator. It compels me to get out the door and to go see something.

My hope is to motivate people to travel and take photographs, to inspire creativity in others by sharing what I create, how I create it, and even what I use to create it with. I hope to inspire people to go explore someplace new. I just hope to inspire people to get up and give it all a try.

So go see something new. Try something different. Travel. Take a photo. Create something. There’s a kind of magic that happens when you create. Have fun out there. We have a beautiful world on our hands, and it’s so worth going to see it.
www.NomadicPursuits.com

This is Leadenhall Market in London – an incredible sight in one of my favorite cities.

Travel Photography Blog: London. Leadenhall Market. 

London. Leadenhall Market. 
Loc: 51.51270, -0.08356

 

Brendan van Son

Brendan is a travel photographer from Alberta, Canada though he rarely spends much time in one place at a time these days, let alone home.  Over the past 5 years, Brendan has travelled to around 80 different countries photographing them all.  Well Brendan doesn’t focus on one brand of photography more than an other.  Instead, he’s always aiming to create a nice variety to his images of nature, cities, and people in which best describes the destination of the day.
www.BrendansAdventures.com

I had a blast shooting photography in China.  It is just such a varied country.  There is so much diversity.  One day you may find yourself in the rain forest, and the next in the desert.  I took this image in a section of the Gobi Desert near Dunhuang in China’s under-visited Gansu Province.  I was staked out at the spot waiting for the light for about an hour waiting for some nice light.  Finally, just after the sun dropped behind the dunes, I got some brilliant light on the sky and soft light baking the temple.  I only got one photo exposed before the light disappeared and went back to dull.  I’m glad I managed to capture this moment, because it was an awesome one.

Travel Photography Blog: China. Dunhuang

China. Dunhuang 
Loc: 40.331385, 94.148087

 

Christopher O’Donnell

Christopher O’Donnell is a coastal landscape photographer and educator based in Boston. Through his work, he likes to show a vantage point that is rarely seen in reality; a show of beauty, emotion, and serenity. There are countless mesmerizing scenes among us that are often hidden from society – his goal is to expose them to the world so that you may share the wonders he has seen.

After college, Christopher returned to the coast of New England to pursue his love of landscape photography and has made it his career. Maine is a particular favorite of his as it’s one of the few states that is relatively untouched by human interference, which in his mind, makes it the perfect landscape. Christopher’s work changes like the seasons of New England, which always presents him with surreal opportunities to create something unique.
www.christopherodonnellphotography.com

Favorite location: Five Islands in Georgetown, Maine. ”Maine: the rocky coastline, mountains, the ocean and the lakes all in one state. My favorite part about Maine is the coast, where you can live in a small town and still not capture every unique and breathtaking spot since there is so much variation to the coastline here. I also like the absence of big crowds – even during the height of tourist season in Bar Harbor, I still find it easy to slip away for a landscape photo in solitude.

What inspires me the most is the landscape. It’s ever changing – season to season, the different natural lights, new perspectives….I can shoot the same location twenty different times and come out with a unique photo that I never got before.”

Travel Photography Blog: Five Islands in Georgetown, Maine

Maine. Georgetown. Five Islands  
Loc: 43.82329, -69.7082

 

Viktor Elizarov

Travel photographer and graphic designer from Montreal (Canada)
www.PhotoTraces.com

My favorite travel photography location by far is the coastal drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco. And this is one of the most beautiful spots you’ll find on the drive along California State Route 1. You can spot it quite often in tv commercials and movies. It is located only few miles from Carmel and Monterey.

Travel Photography Blog - California. Big Sur. Point Sur Lightstation

California. Big Sur. Point Sur Lightstation
Loc: 36.326319, -121.894188

Lone Tree at the Rim of the Grand Canyon (Arizona)

When I was visiting Grand Canyon in the beginning of May as part of my travel photography trip to southwest, I could not complain about weather. It was decent. The temperature was around 20°C (70°F) with clear air and some clouds. The only discomfort was caused by very strong and gusty wind.

Every time I was planning my shot I had to make sure I applied extra pressure with my body weight to my tripod for extra stabilization. At some point I almost lost my gear when I was not careful enough trying to setup my Feisol on uneven surface at the edge of the cliff. That made me thinking that it is quite dangerous to hike at such a proximity to the canyon when rocks are wet or covered with ice, in combination with the strong wind it can cause some deadly slips. I started to guess how many people lose their lives every year from falls over the rim. Knowing that Grand Canyon is such a popular travel destination all year around I estimated that the number should be pretty high.

For some reason I never stopped thinking about it and I had to google it when I was in my hotel room later that day. Sure enough in 30sec I found official statistics from National Park Service. Park statistics show that about 4.5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year and only 2-3 people die from falls. This useless fact satisfied my obsessive curiosity and I could start preparing for my long drive to Bryce next day.

Travel Photography Blog - Arizona. Grand Canyon South Rim

Arizona. Grand Canyon South Rim
Loc: 36°3’42″ N 112°6’29″ W

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 4 Bracketed Shots (-2: -1;  0; +1) [Read more...]

Forillon National Park From Above at Sunrise (Quebec)

This is photo is from my latest trip to Forillon National Park which is located at the Atlantic coast of Canadian province of Quebec. I have already featured this spot in one of my Photo Location Guide articles.  This time the weather was not very favorable for travel and landscape photography. It was unusually hot with humid air and no clouds for the duration of my trip. The only time with the acceptable conditions was sunrise hours.

My schedule was simple. I wake up for sunrise, shoot for 2-3 hours and then leave all my photo gear at the motel and spend the rest of the day hiking, whale watching, kayaking bringing only point-and-shoot camera with me (Lumix LX7).

That morning I decided to climb Mont Saint-Alban to take some aerial shots from observation point. After steep hike with all my gear I managed to take few interesting shots before last cloud disappeared and direct sunlight made landscape lifeless and boring.

I was happy I could capture such amazing scene but I was dead tired and it was only 8am. The rest of the day I spend lying on the beach and sipping beer.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Quebec. Forillon National Park

Canada. Quebec. Forillon National Park. View from Mont Saint-Alban
Loc: 48.81119, -64.22419

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 5 Bracketed Shots (-2, -1;  0; +1, +2) [Read more...]

Morro Creek Dunes (California)

I took this photo while looking for a nice and cozy place for late morning picnic around Morro Bay. It was our first day of Pacific coastal drive along California State Route 1. It was unusually warm for the end of January and what was even more surprising is complete lack of wind. Pacific beach in the winter with no wind, go figure.

We were coming from Montaña Oro State Park and I’ve already taken plenty of photos of Morro Rock from different perspectives but I could not resist to take some more. I used beautiful Morro Creek dunes as foreground element of the composition with the rock as the main attraction. I also loved how morning light gave soft glow to Morro Rock.

Shooting against the sun I knew the only way I could pull it off is to use HDR photography processing. I took sequence of 5 bracketed shots and later process them for HDR in Photomatix.

Travel Photography Blog - USA. California. Morro Bay

USA. California. Morro Bay
Loc: 35.378528, -120.862712

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (  -2;  0; +1; +2) [Read more...]

Inspirations: LAKE POWEL – 30 Best of Travel and Landscape Photographs

Today’s theme for inspiration is LAKE POWELL.  Last year during my travel photography trip to Southwest one of my most anticipated destinations was Lake Powell. I was on my way to Page only 40 km from Lake Powell when I realized that due to landslide the US89 road was closed and I had to take alternate one which bypasses Lake Powell area.

Now I am starting to plan my next year’s photography trips and I want to make sure I visit Lake Powell this time.

[Read more...]

Photo Extract Weekly – Killer Resources for Improving Your Photography Skills

Travel Photography Blog - Photo Extract WeeklyThis is my weekly post; collection of the best photo related resources I came across in the last 7 days. I hope you can find something useful and interesting in the different fields of photography.

I included resources relates to: travel photography, landscape photography, HDR photography, history of photography, inspirational resources, humour and photo equipment. Please let me know if find my collection useful.

My Favorite Resources of the Week

[Read more...]

06. Before & After: Niagara Sunrise – Combining HDR Processing and Panorama Stitching Editing Techniques

Today I want to share my photography workflow when it is necessary to combine two different processing techniques: HDR photography and panorama stitching.

Below, you can find my Before&After Widget, which illustrates twelve editing steps of my workflow. By clicking through the numbers, (orange squares) you can see how each image transforms from step 1 (original raw image) to step 12 (final published photo).

Before & After Widget

If you’d like to follow along, I’ve included my source files with this post (original RAW files, layered Photoshop file (PSD), and Lightroom preset). You can download all files at the end of the post.

I used to be a big fan of panorama photography, but with the popularity of social media platforms like Google Plus and Instagram, as well as with the wide spread of mobile devices, photos with wide panoramic orientation have become less and less popular. They just look too small in social media feeds and on small mobile screens.

These days, I only do panoramas when I intend to print my work.

But in the case of this featured photo, the reason for using this panorama technique was different. When I was scouting a location at Niagara Falls at night, I had no intention of shooting panoramas. The plan was to photograph at sunrise directly into the sun through the mist, thereby featuring three main elements of the composition: the falls, sun and Rainbow Bridge. Understanding that shooting directly into the sun would produce photos with an extreme dynamic range of 22-24 stops, I intended to use HDR photography processing to compensate for it.

What I did not realized was that the scene was a bit too wide and there was no way I could accomplish my plan with my 10mm lens on a Canon 60D cropped sensor. The only solution I saw was to use panorama techniques.

I shot 2 sets of bracketed photos sequences, five frames each, with an exposure ranging from -2 to +2 (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2). Later, I merged two sets of bracketed shots as HDR in Photomatix, and then stitched two HDR images in Photoshop. See my detailed steps below.

[Read more...]

Manhattan Sunset Skyline (New York)

This view was like grand prize of my latest trip to New York. As usual it was busy and exhausting day with lots of walking in hot and sticky weather with multiple short but intense rainfalls.

I was very happy that instead of driving to my hotel though busy tunnels I was taking ferry ride to Staten Island where I stayed this time.

It is not very often that you see such a beautiful summer sunset with clear air in New York City but that was the day. After three days of witnessing boring and forgettable evenings I finally could capture rejuvenated New York City skyline with new One World Trade Center at its best.

Travel Photography Blog - New York

New York. Hudson River
Loc: 40.681944, -74.046667

It was challenging to photograph from fast moving and shaking ferry with the strong wind blowing from the river. From the beginning I was planning to utilize HDR photography processing for this shot but using tripod was out of questions. I had to settle for 3 bracketed shots (-2, 0, +2) trying to hold camera as steady as possible. Out of 7 sets of bracketed shots I took only one was useable.

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (  -2; 0; +2) [Read more...]

500px Photo Walk in Montreal

Yesterday as part of 500px Global Photo Walk I was helping to organize the event in Montreal. The location for Montreal Photo Walk was beautiful René-Lévesque Park in the borough of Lachine.

24 hours before the walk we had major storm in Montreal. In my neighbourhood, which is located next to René-Lévesque Park, we lost power for 12 hours. Night before I was thinking about canceling the event for good. Even couple of hours prior to the start of the walk we had heavy rain with gusty wind and no hope for better weather. Then suddenly the rain stopped and 30 min before the beginning of the event we had blue skies with incredible cloud formations. By the end of the walk we had most beautiful sunset I’ve seen in Montreal in years.

It is shame that lots of people decided not to attend the event  due to weather. But we still had decent crowd of about 25 people. Thank you guys, it was fun. Let’s do it again next year.

HDR Photography - Canada. Montreal. Lachine

Montreal 500px PhotoWalk
Loc: 45.430421, -73.668736

Featured Photo

I took this photo at the park west end just before the end of the PhotoWalk.

HDR Photography - Canada. Montreal. Lachine

Canada. Montreal. René-Lévesque Park
Loc: 45.430421, -73.668736

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Post Processing: HDR Processed in Photomatix
[Read more...]