If you’re looking for the best places for photography around the world then your search ends here.
By the time you’ve finished reading this article you will know exactly where your next photography trip is going to take you.
I’m already getting itchy feet just thinking about these places.
What to look for in photography locations?
Choosing the best places for photography comes down to two things.
- Photography potential (locations, weather etc…)
- Accessibility (how easy it is to travel to, accommodation etc…)
These are the two things I evaluated when choosing which places made it into this article.
The old saying goes something like “a beautiful scene doesn’t necessarily make a beautiful photo”.
Which is true.
Just because the view from the top of a mountain is breathtaking, if it doesn’t have any main subject or focal point it will probably be difficult to compose a compelling image.
The same goes for the weather.
The weather changes throughout the year, obviously, so it will determine if a place is worth visiting for photography. The blue, cloudless skies you get during the summer months are a landscape photographer’s worst nightmare.
Great for a beach holiday, not so much for a photography trip.
Want to shoot astrophotography in one of the most remote places in the world where light pollution is kept at a healthy 0?
Then the Pitcairn Islands far out in the South Pacific would be ideal. But is the 32-hour journey on a supply ship from the nearest mainland worth it?
Likewise, is sleeping in a tent due to the lack of accommodation in the wilds of New Zealand’s South Island going to deter you from visiting?
Maybe. Maybe not.
So, I’m going to weigh these two things up and give you a rating for each of the places on this list.
These are 5 of the world’s best places for photography
The world we live in harbours some absolutely stunning locations that any photographer would be lucky to visit.
Here are just a few.
The Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are a part of Denmark, but the people of the Faroe Islands govern themselves.
They are effectively huge lumps of volcanic rock that rise up out of the North Atlantic Ocean.
The rugged landscape and dramatic weather have firmly placed these islands at the top of this best places for photography list.
The Faroe Islands are quickly becoming one of the top choice holiday destinations for photographers. They’re full of amazing landscape photography locations.
Many say that the Faroe Islands are the ‘new Iceland’.
Recently they have started to become a more popular destination for all kinds of tourists but are still, for the most part, unspoilt.
The weather is the most challenging aspect of photographing the Faroe Islands. Often it’s overcast, grey and dull but it’s this weather that gives images taken there a very distinctive look and feel. A look that is unmistakably Faroese.
Where to stay in the Faroe Islands
There isn’t a great deal of accommodation in the Faroe Islands. And what there is often isn’t available or is pretty expensive.
Gróthusið is a small, cosy lodge that is very reasonably priced compared to other places in the area. Its unique black stone structure complements the surrounding landscape.
It’s a small lodge that’s great for two people.
The Faroe Islands’ overall rating
Photography Potential: 9/10
Good food, good wine and great scenery, Provence in France is simply sublime.
France is the land of beauty and romance. So it’s no shock that the country oozes perfect picture postcard scenes just waiting to be shot.
Especially in the region of Provence.
The region produces a lot of lavender which is often grown in fields belonging to old monasteries. They grow the lavender in perfectly straight lines and it blooms in June, July and August.
The results are spectacular.
The endless rows of lavender are the main attraction for photographers. It’s something you can’t photograph anywhere else in the world.
Where to stay in Provence
Chambres entre Ventoux et Luberon is a guest house located in a commune which is home to a number of the famous lavender fields.
The house’s wooden beams are distinctly French and they add to its charming style.
The guest house gives you the opportunity to submerge yourself in the French countryside and be on-site for those early morning photoshoots.
It’s also less than 60km to the nearest airport.
Provence’s overall rating
Photography Potential: 7/10
Patagonia is home to some of the world’s most impressive landscapes. So, of course, the South American region made it onto this list.
Spread across two countries, Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is famous for its rugged mountain ranges and sprawling glaciers. It’s one of those places photographers should visit at least once in their lifetime.
If you love hiking through the mountains and love photography, then you should seriously consider visiting Patagonia.
It truly is a bucket list location for all photographers.
There are some established tours that will take you around all of the main locations so if you want an expert guide, be sure to check them out.
Where to stay in Patagonia
Patagonia is huge and it stretches over two countries so it’s hard to give just one recommendation. But I’ll leave a few places below that really stand out in terms of value for money and location.
Rancho Grande is a social hostel perfectly located within 10km of some of Patagonia’s most popular photography locations. Laguna Capri, Laguna Torre, Cerro Torre, Fitz Roy and Laguna de los Tres are all under 10km away.
Hotel Michelangelo is a modern hotel that is equipped with all the necessities to make your stay comfortable and relaxing after a day spent hiking and shooting photography.
Hostería y Apart Hotel Amigo del Mundo is a great option for anyone on a budget. The rooms are super affordable and are located in the centre of El Calafate.
Patagonia’s overall rating
Photography Potential: 10/10
South Island, New Zealand
Ok, so just saying New Zealand’s South Island is quite vague.
After all, it’s pretty much half of a whole country.
But the South Island is full of too many amazing photography locations to choose just one.
The popular thing to do, amongst non-photographers and photographers alike, is to rent either a car or a motorhome and set off on a road trip. That way you’ll be able to see the sights found off the beaten path.
The South Island is full of lakes, mountains and pristine nature. It’s what landscape photographers dream about.
Where to stay in New Zealand’s South Island
Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch is centrally located the centre of the South Island’s biggest city, Christchurch. It’s great value for money and a convenient starting point for exploring the South Island further.
Mt Lyford Lodge is a really cosy wooden lodge with big fireplaces where they burn logs during winter. Its position at the base of Mt. Lyford, surrounded by nature, means you’re guaranteed a peaceful nights sleep.
Rannoch Lodge a quaint homestay in the sleepy town of Mataura, perfect for getting away from the crowds and photographing some beautiful nature.
New Zealand’s South Island overall rating
Photography Potential: 10/10
Canyonlands National Park, USA
But one of the most spectacular national parks is the pockmarked and desert-like Canyonlands National Park.
Canyonlands is hands-down one of the best places for landscape photography in the US. The best thing you can do is make sure you pack a telephoto lens to reach across its vast landscape and pick out some of the finer details.
Getting around is obviously a challenge, especially if you’re not familiar with the park. So I highly recommend you check out some of the great organised tours that are available.
Where to stay in Canyonlands National Park
The most convenient place to stay when visiting Canyonlands National Park is in Moab.
There are some really interesting options but Rustic Inn is a perfect balance between price and comfort. It’s convenient for anyone who is road tripping to Canyonlands National Park.
Canyonlands National Park overall rating
Photography Potential: 9/10
15 bonus places that are also great for photography
Banff National Park, Canada
Moraine Lake, Lake Louise and endless mountains. How could you not want to visit Banff?
Isle of Skye, Scotland
A beautiful island off the coast of Scotland. The Isle of Skye truly is one of the best places for dramatic landscape photography, not only in the UK but in the entire world.
The Dolomites, Italy
Mountains that stretch for miles in all directions? Yes please.
Cityscape photographers and lovers of unique architecture eat your heart out.
Mt. Fuji, Japan
You might think Mt. Fuji is a one-trick pony. But the imposing volcano towers over the town below which gives you so many angles to play with.
Peak District, England
If you don’t mind braving the rain and the cold, then the Peak District is one of England’s top photography locations. Rolling hills, lakes and grand vistas are everywhere.
Lake Baikal, Russia
In the middle of winter the lake totally freezes over. It’s during these months that you can really get creative with composition using the cracks in the ice.
Zion National Park, USA
Another day, another stunning national park in the USA.
Bangkok is a street and urban photography playground. Be sure to pack extra SD cards, your shutter finger is going to get a good workout here.
Where history and future collide. London is full of possibilities to get your creative juices flowing.
New York City, USA
Another cityscape Mecca. NYC hasn’t become one of Hollywood’s favourite sets for no reason. The city is full of cinematic potential.
Kelingking Beach, Indonesia
An Instagram favourite, but are you surprised? Kelingking Beach is one of the top photoshoot locations in Indonesia.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
They say never work with children or animals. Well, when in Tanzania you can disregard at least 50% of that rule. Here you’ll get a chance to shoot the wildlife like nowhere else in the world.
One of the top landscapes to photograph in the world. The Lofoten Archipelago in Norway, with its picturesque villages made up of distinctive red houses, is just begging to be photographed.
Think bright colour, old cars, environmental portraits. Of course that’s Havana. The last place on this list is special for so many reasons.
How to find great nearby photography locations for yourself
If you can’t visit one of the places on this list right now, there are a couple of ways to find amazing places to shoot photography near where you are right now.
Use Instagram to find great places for shooting photography by searching for either the locations of places nearby or the hashtag of places nearby.
You’ll see what other photographers have been shooting in those locations. One very important thing to remember though is NOT to copy anyone.
This method should be used for confirming places have potential and for getting inspired. Don’t simply copy images you see on Insta. After all, where’s the fun and creativity in that?
Using Google maps 3D view
This method is best used if you’re looking for landscape photography locations.
If you go to Google maps and search for a place nearby that you think may have potential and change it to satellite view, you’ll get a great idea of the land’s topography. From there, look for the highest points (tops of hills, mountains etc…).
Once you think you’ve found a good viewpoint, put the map into 3D mode and, from a horizontal angle, you should be able to confirm whether you do in fact get a good view from that point.
If you’re lucky, there will be a road or path leading to that point on the map. If there is, pat yourself on the back. You just found a spot that’s worth scouting out in real life.
Out of the places I’ve listed, which is your favourite?
Do you prefer the dry, desert-like conditions of Canyonlands National Park? Or the picturesque French countryside?
Or maybe you have a different idea of what makes the best vacation spot for photographers?
Whichever it is, I want to hear about it in the comments below.
And after you’ve done that, check out our top 10 national parks for photography in Europe for more travel inspiration.