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Iconic Places to Photograph Worldwide

Author: Lauren Curd

The worst thing about any holiday is that they always end far too soon, so keeping memories alive with vibrant photographs is important. Take snaps of the places you visit, the food you eat and the people you meet - you will look back on those pictures for years to come and recollect happy thoughts; the colours of sunset bouncing off the white-washed houses in Greece; the aromatic flavours of Sri Lanka’s curries, or the warm and welcoming smiles of the Thai people.

Get creative with your photography! Try different angles, taking shots from above or below rather than square on, capturing landmarks in different lights or including different objects in the foreground to add context to a picture. Here we’ve shortlisted 10 of our favourite worldwide locations for discovering with the lens of a camera. Start exploring and practicing those dream shots and remember, there is no such thing as too many photographs so never be afraid of getting snap happy!

Maligne Lake near Jasper, Canada

Drive 30km outside of the city to Jasper National Park in Alberta and you will reach Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed places in Canada. Hikers and fishermen flock here during the summer months to enjoy the stunning vistas combining the Canadian Rockies, glaciers and the shimmering lake. Take your time to soak up the scenery on the road to/from the lake, and be prepared to stop with your camera at the ready – Magligne Lake Road is one of the greatest spots in the world for spotting black bears, particularly during berry season in early August.


Maligne Lake in Canada

Cinque Terre, Italy

Colourful buildings cling to the rugged hillside as fishing boats bob around in the azure waters below. This is Cinque Terre, a captivating collection of five fishing villages on the Italian Riviera, in the Liguria region of Italy. No cars are permitted in many of the towns, and with no museums or purpose-built tourist attractions, the main focus here is on enjoying the sensational coastal scenery and fine Italian food and drink that we all know and love. Your camera will be extremely happy here!


Colourful homes clinging to a rock-face, Cinque Terre, Italy

Tromsø, Norway

A strong bucket-list contender, the Northern Lights portray Mother Nature at her most spectacular. A perfectly-timed photograph of this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon will earn you mega bragging rights! One of the best locations in the world for sightings of the Aurora Borealis is the Norwegian town of Tromso, often referred to as ‘The Arctic Capital of the World’.


Brightly coloured Northern Lights in Norway

Namib Desert, Namibia

The colossal Namib Desert is one of the most uninhabited regions of planet Earth and provides photographers with a welcome contrast to the bustling cityscapes, snow-capped mountains and sparkling lakes that they may be accustomed to shooting. The most emblematic spot is the towering red dunes and contrasting white salt pans in Sossusvlei, where unique landscapes and dramatic half-dead/half-alive trees abound.


Large sand dunes of Sossusvlei in Namibia

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Africa’s most famous waterfall and one of the natural wonders of the world; Victoria Falls is an incredible sight when seen with the naked eye but also provides the opportunity for taking amazing photographs.  The volume of water falling varies throughout the year – from February to May it is in full flood, so the large amount of spray in the air may interfere with photos (and damage equipment!). July to September offers the best of both worlds – plenty of water to create an impressive scene but without the spray ruining the experience. If you plan to visit during the afternoon, a rainbow may even make an appearance!


Victoria Falls surrounded by mist

Maasai Mara, Kenya

The mighty Masai Mara National Park offers everything a wildlife photographer could dream of – vast open plains studded with acacia trees, immense grasslands where the big cats hunt and rivers brimming with predators who sit in wait for a migratory zebra or wildebeest to devour. A huge spectrum of animal species can be captured on camera with relative ease in the Mara, along with the most dramatic of sunsets.

Petra, Jordan

Another regular on many photographers’ bucket list is the rose-red city of Petra and ancient Al Khazneh (the Treasury). This fascinating archaeological site is incredibly impressive when explored at any time, but a night-time visit to the UNESCO site is a must for the most mind-blowing photographs, when the lost city is illuminated by candlelight and a canopy of stars is draped from the inky desert sky.


Aerial view of Petra in Jordan

© Contrasts-Studio

Jaipur, India

There are so many iconic sights across India that we could write a whole separate blog dedicated to photography in this enchanting country. However, the vibrant colours, architectural beauty, opulent palaces and Rajasthani culture of Jaipur combine to make a delightful location for exploring through the lens of a camera. Early starts are worth the effort as photographers are rewarded with wonderful light, bringing out the best of the pink city’s colours.


Edifice of the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Step back in time with a visit to the World Heritage city of Angkor Wat and explore the well-preserved temples with a wide-angled lens. A visual feast awaits all who visit but to take the best photographs, it is best to head there when the crowds are smallest – midday when people are eating lunch and sunset are pretty good times, especially when soft yet warm light is cast.


View of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Machu Picchu, Peru

Last but not least, the mysterious Incan ruins of Machu Picchu require little introduction. There is no mistaking this curious site, which is pretty accessible for most photographers to reach without too much effort. Trains and buses run up from nearby villages but perhaps the most rewarding way to travel is on foot, via the Inca Trail, Weavers Way or Moonshine Trail. Aim to get there early before the crowds and bear in mind that in order to use a tripod, permits are required and they don’t come cheap!


Aerial view of Machu Picchu in Peru surrounded by clouds


**This blog post was previously published on Medway Leisure Travel, now trading as Pettitts Travel**

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