Travel photographers seem to be going crazy for far-flung locations on Instagram. If you follow a bunch of them, you are bound to come across stunning photographs of some amazing places they’ve been making images of. It seems like everyone has caught the Scandinavian bug, seeing so many photographers flocking to Iceland or the Faroe Islands to capture those breathtaking landscapes. In this article, I will list the most popular locations for travel photographers on Instagram, but also include a few places you may not have considered.
I’ve browsed Instagram for days, going through some great collective accounts, and I found some pretty rad locations that travel photographers on the platform seem to be digging a lot. So, here is my list of inspiring places that travel and landscape photographers should consider for their next projects.
There is not one day that goes by without seeing a photo of the exceptional waterfalls of Iceland, notably that of Seljalandsfoss. However, Iceland is a land of ice and fire, where those contrasting forces of nature coexist, offering a wide range of possibilities for any travel photographer. I know the names might give you a headache, but make sure to check out the Skaftafell ice cave in Vatnajökull National Park, the Hornstrandir, and the dramatic views on Kirkjufell. Thórsmörk, a surreal valley nested between two glaciers, will definitely make a few photographers go crazy. And last but not least, my two favorites are the Highlands and the Þórsmörk.
Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion National Parks
There is no lack of great national parks in the U.S. for landscape photographers to visit and photograph. Yellowstone and Yosemite seem to be amongst the most popular ones. But Zion is equally breathtaking if you ask my opinion. However, those places have been photographed countless times, and you are bound to reproduce something similar to your peers, but maybe try not to overdo the mini-Drake-sitting-on-the-edge pose.
The Canadian Rockies
When you think about it, landscape and travel photographers need to be equipped like an experienced hiker to hit certain locations, and most of the time, it seems to be in the mountains. Well, what won’t you do to get the greatest pictures? The Canadian Rockies will not disappoint you. The landscapes are impressive at every step of the way with Peyto Lake and Moraine Lake nestled perfectly in the mountains. And the glaciers, waterfalls, and mountain peaks will make you feel slightly dizzy and excited at the thought of the photos you could realize. And if you want to see the Northern Lights in Banff National Park, plan a visit in August or September.
If you choose to go the northern way, make sure that you grab photos of the spectacular mountains and fjords, Sognefjord being the biggest. And if you haven’t noticed, places like Geiranger and Trolltunga are absolute favorites of Instagrammers. But make it a must to head to Eliassen Rorbuer or Uttakleiv beach on Lofoten Island and to Husfjellet, Senja Island. You will not regret it.
The Faroe Islands will give you a chance to slow down, breathe, and enjoy nature, but the most important thing for photographers is that it offers great scenery and seascapes. Places like Gásadalur Waterfall will definitely blow your mind.
Every time I hear mention of Scotland, I cannot help but picture the majestic beauty of the Highlands and the adventures that one could have over there. There are quite a few places all over Scotland that deserve to be photographed, but for now, take a look at Neist Point, the Old Man of Storr, and the Isle of Skye. To get a greater feel of the Scottish spirit, try Eilean Donan Castle. And if you are into hiking and photography, Glencoe and Ben Nevis will be the perfect fit for you.
There are many places in Germany that I had the chance to see but not get to photograph during my visit there. But if any of you are heading there someday, make sure to allow ample time to visit and capture the different possibilities it offers for landscape photographers. For those looking to tell a fairytale (I’m joking, but seriously, if you’re looking for a fairytale vibe), make it a point to photograph Neuschwanstein Castle. Like Eltz Castle, Neuschwanstein can be quite amazing to capture, especially on a misty day or in winter. And take to the southern border to photograph the Allgäu (where the Alps begin) and Schrecksee. The latter might remind you of Lake Ritom in Switzerland.
On my next trip to Europe, I have made it a must to visit Sintra and the Algarve beaches that showcase Portugal's charm.
Lake Baikal, Russia
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, Lake Baikal might just be the place for you, as you can walk on ice literally. It is the deepest lake in the world, and the line cracks in the ice will definitely make you want to capture the beauty of that dangerous and dramatic landscape.
The saying goes “when you have seen the world, there is always Greenland.” I’ve never paid much attention to the photographic possibilities that this Arctic country might offer, but some photographers actually travel to Greenland for workshops. So, I perused Instagram to see what photographers captured there and they all seem to say that western Greenland, Umanak Island specifically, is the place to be. If you fancy the Northern Lights, you’ll get your fair share if it’s the right time.
Recently, a couple whose wedding I photographed told me that they were heading to Namibia for their honeymoon. I did not know what to expect from such a place, but just around that time, Nat Geo Travel posted an amazing photo of one isolated but strange land in the Namib Desert. The Sossusvlei Dunes are a wonder and there are quite a lot of creative things a photographer can do there if they take their time.
Bolivia, they say, is a bit rough around the edges, but that country will win the heart of any landscape photographer whose eyes land on the beautiful mountains of the Cordillera Real and the Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats), where you can also do wonderful astrophotography. The Sajama National Park with its extinct volcano, the Nevado Sajama, and the Laguna Colorada with its surreal colors are also wonderful places worth your time.
If you ever decide to go to Chile, take it slow. The soaring peaks and the abundant rivers that make up the Chilean nature will remind you that untouched nature is sacred. Laguna Miscanti, the Torres del Paine National Park, and the Lagunas De Cotacotani are just a few places you need to photograph during your travels there.
There is so much more to Argentina than Tango. And for the landscape photographers out there, Patagonia might just be the perfect place for your next photographic escape. Make sure to check out the people’s favorites, Iguazu Falls and the Los Glacieres National Park, where you will come across the majestic beauty that is Mount Fitz Roy.
A photographer and friend of mine recently showed me some of the landscapes he photographed on his latest trip to Japan. Besides the most popular places, the Sagano Bamboo Forest, the Nachi Falls, the region of Hokkaido (and its Blue Pond), Hitachi Seaside Park, and the mystical forest on Yakushima Island are highly appreciated by photographers. My friend also recommends swinging by Lake Kawaguchi to grab a few shots of Mount Fuji.
There are so many places that photographers could travel to in the hopes of getting the best pictures, and I haven’t mentioned the very touristy ones (I hope). But if there are some gems out there that you are aware of, make sure to share them in the comments.
Lead image used with permission of Sebastien To.