Here are 10 world-wide photo destinations that I have traveled to before.
These locations are all world-wide photo destinations that I would return back to for more photo opportunities. In fact, I have already ready returned to many of them. I have been to Mexico 3 times, Patagonia 4 times, Alaska a dozen times, and Yellowstone is now breaking the record, at well over 50 trips. Consider this list of world-wide photo destinations a list of ALL number one locations. I firmly believe that you cannot go wrong heading to any of them for photos.
Multiple rainbows build with storm clouds over the emerald green waters of the Caribbean Ocean in Playa del Carmen Mexico.
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Coastal Mexico is a must-visit location. The Caribbean coast near Playa del Carmen offers up the opportunity to create magical sunset photos without straying too far from your beachside cabana and your umbrella drink. Pointing your camera toward the local people, markets, and cultural locations will also provide you with an abundance of subjects. Great food and drink, a minor language barrier, and a nice exchange rate made Mexico a great addition to my list.
Erosion of Navajo Sandstone by water has resulted in the dramatic contours of Lower Antelope Canyon, Antelope Canyon Navajo Tribal Park, northeast Arizona, USA.
Southwest Utah/Northern Arizona
Gather red rocks and gorgeous mountain vistas together, mix in some sandstone canyons and arches and you have the desert Southwestern United States. Add a liberal dose of amazing autumn weather systems and you’ve got a recipe for some fantastic photo opportunities along the borders of Utah and Arizona. Photographs abound in any direction you look. Whether you drive your car to a location, or take a 4X4 into the back country and camp, you’ll find more than enough subject matter to provide you with days to create spectacular images.
The sprawling lights of Shanghai China spread out from the aerial view from the Pearl building.
China makes our list for two reasons. First, its natural beauty, often found far from the bright lights and big cities. Then second is China’s bright lights and big cities. In a nation as large and diverse as China you will find every photo opportunity you could ever want. It can often be as simple as pointing your camera right in front of you to create a stunning photo. The ability to photograph cultures in the hillsides around the cities is also another reason to head to China.
A long exposure of Spanish Bay on the Pacific Coast along 17 mile drive in Monterey.
CALIFORNIA BEACHES & MOUNTAINS
California is a large state, taking up most of the western seaboard of the United States. It could take you as long as 16 hours to drive from its northern most boarder to Mexico. Believe it or not though, if you time your day and your driving accordingly, a morning shoot in the Sierras followed by a sunset shoot on the beach in Monterey isn’t impossible. Obviously California isn’t just about these two photo locations. Think about photo locations like Death Valley, Yosemite, the Redwoods, Sequoias, Joshua Tree, the Salton Sea, the Mojave Desert, and Lake Tahoe – the list could take up this whole post on its own.
Heather Goodrich rides the best singletrack in the United States – The Lost Lake Trail in Seward, Alaska.
Many of the photo opportunities you will find in Alaska aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Think of massive, glaciated mountain ranges rising out of the surf in its coastal locations. From a wildlife photographer’s perspective there are brown bears (aka – grizzlies) the size of a small VW, and herds of caribou with numbers in the millions. There is no way you can go wrong with a photography trip to the largest state in the U.S. With Alaska’s low population density and large land footprint, you could spend the rest of your life photographing here and never get board.
The lower lava drainages in the rhyolite hills of Landmannalaugar National Park in Iceland.
The land of fire and ice is sure to never disappoint. Volcanoes? They have them. Stunning natural ice formations? Check, got them too. In between are stunning landscapes just waiting for your wide-angle lens. You can’t beat the Puffin as a cute, colorful, and comedic bird subject either. Natural beauty, dramatic weather and a rugged, unspoiled natural surroundings conspire to provide you with plenty of opportunity for some high megapixel enjoyment.
Sunset over the Cerro Torre spires in Los Glacieres National Park, Argentina.
Approaching the southern tip of South America brings you to the region known as Patagonia. Torres del Paine and Los Glacieres are two of the most well known world heritage sites on the planet. Both of these photo locations provide a dramatic and spectacular backdrop with a fairly low visitation compared to our National Parks. You might need a hardy constitution to get to this remote region of the world, but the benefits outweigh the long flights and bumpy roads. Guanaco, fox and even big cats like mountain lions are readily available subjects. Just in case the shear vertical mountains and snow covered peaks aren’t enough. Be prepared for long days behind your camera when you travel to this photography destination!
Sunset along Second Beach in Olympic National Park, Washington.
Washington state alone has one of the tallest peaks in the Continental United States, and a temperate rain forest with the largest average precipitation in the world. If you traveled north from California you would discover spectacular sea stacks through Oregon. With massive volcanoes on the drive as well. Photographing in the Pacific Northwest has you struggling where to set up your tripod first. Wet and green year round, much of the Pacific Northwest is home to many spectacular roadside waterfalls. Pattern and abstract photographs can be found in everything from the tree trunks to leaf detritus on the woodland floor. Morning and evening fog helps enhance dramatic lighting throughout the forest. Fresh batteries and plenty of memory cards will be required here!
Burned koa trees are silhouetted against sunset on the Mauna Kea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.
If Iceland is the land of fire and ice, Hawaii is its warmer, tropical counterpart. Hawaii has just as much fire and believe it or not ice on the highest volcanoes at certain times of the year. Volcanoes are as much of a subject as are the spectacular beaches here in Hawaii. Sunrises, sunsets, amazing weather and mountain ranges conspire to provide long, enjoyable and prolific shooting days! Night time shooting opportunities are everywhere. Molten lava interacts with the cold Pacific ocean to provide beautiful long exposures. Star trail photography over the islands can be magical, and when it snows in Hawaii, you can actually ski off of Mauna Kea!
Grand Prismatic hot spring through burnt wildfire trees in Yellowstone.
The Yellowstone Basin wraps up just about every desirable photo location into one. It possesses geysers, large and small mammals, fantastic landscapes with mountains, lakes and rivers, and clear skies for star trails. You will find all of these photographic subjects and more in America’s oldest national park. Among features not found anywhere else are The Grand Prismatic spring with its vibrant polarized colors and Old Faithful geyser which you can almost set your watch by. There is also a re-introduced wolf population that is returning the balance of predator and prey to the park. In addition, you will encounter daily sightings of eagles, bison, pronghorn, elk, fox, moose and other large mammals in an environment that is also a natural flyover for birds. You can see pretty quickly why Yellowstone is one of our favorite world-wide photo destinations.
WORLD-WIDE PHOTO DESTINATIONS NOT INCLUDED
Our planet could be classified as a photographer’s dream. Here are some world-wide photo destinations that I haven’t been to yet! Africa probably leads the wish list, but right behind it is also the Himalayas. Then don’t forget locations like Japan, a good chunk of Europe, Scotland and Norway! I think I am going to be busy for the rest of my life.