What is it about a place that makes it a photographer’s dream? Ask ten different photographers and you’ll get ten different answers. It might be the grandeur of the surrounding landscape, the unique native wildlife or the visual vibrancy of the local culture. But although it’s difficult to pin down exactly what makes a place perfect for the camera, it’s not hard to recognize when you see one. We’ve put together a few particularly stand-out examples, making sure to take into account how easy it is to get there - some spots are absolutely picture perfect but they’re under the ocean waves or on the tops of remote mountains, making them a little challenging for your average photography buff to get to. So grab your gear, jump in the car and head for one of the most photogenic places on earth:
1. Bryce Canyon National Park, United States
You might have expected to find the Grand Canyon on this list, but when it comes to photogenic canyons you just can’t beat Bryce. Sure, the Grand Canyon is mind-bogglingly enormous but Bryce Canyon National Park
boasts a jagged, hoodoo dominated landscape that at once baffles the eye and draws you in. The wind and water hewn pillars of rock (hoodoos) are not unique to Bryce, but they are so prolific here that they combine to present an utterly alien vista. This is your pick if you appreciate bold, striking patterns and have an eye for just how bizarre the natural world can appear.
2. Queenstown, New Zealand
Choosing just one New Zealand location was a huge challenge but the nation’s adventure capital more than deserves to come out on top. In spite of the lake, the mountains, the far southern location, grand is not the term that this town evokes - exquisite would be closer to the mark. New Zealand is, after all, a young country and this is reflected in the landscape. The Remarkables mountain range bursts from the land sharp and fresh, still in its geological infancy, and Lake Wakatipu lies azure and mirror-like amidst its alpine surroundings. When you’re after classic “picturesque”, Queenstown
is always happy to oblige.
3. Denali National Park Reserve, United States
The one thing that you’ll take away from Denali
above all else is the sheer sense of scale. It’s as if you’ve stumbled into a giant’s backyard; a land designed for someone far less small and insignificant than you are. But far from being intimidating, the scope is exhilarating - offering you the chance to revel in a pure wonder that is so difficult to find in our modern world. If grandeur is what you want to capture, then there is no other choice.
4. Cape Town, South Africa
Nestled in the shadow of a giant flat-topped mountain, Cape Town
certainly looks beautiful from above, and those who travel down into the city itself will not be disappointed. It’s no surprise that this is Africa’s most popular tourist destination given its spectacular surroundings and pleasant climate. The singular Cape Dutch architecture (a mix of German, Dutch, French and Indonesian styles) is strongly represented here and well worth capturing - but if you don’t make a trip up Table Mountain you’ll be missing out on a glorious photographic opportunity. Cape Town provides an ideal balance between a fascinating cityscape and majestic natural formations.
5. Florence, Italy
You can almost taste the weight of history when you walk the streets of Florence
. Of course many tourists are drawn to Michelangelo’s sculptures and the wealth of Renaissance paintings that the city hosts, but really this represents just a tiny fraction of the city’s photographic potential. Masterpiece is a word that is bandied about far too often, but nevertheless Florence is full of them - from an ancient marble fountain to an antique, shop laden bridge to the mausoleum of the Medici family, one of history’s most influential dynasties. And don’t forget that you’re in Tuscany - outside the city lies a bucolic, sun drenched paradise dotted with vineyards and dusty roads. If it’s old world charm you’re after, Florence reigns supreme.
Have you discovered a place that rivals these 5 for photographic potential? We’d love to hear all about it - let us know about your experience in the comments!