We all love a good bit of landscape photography. There is something about the way they represent the beauty of the planet we live on that makes them both inspiring to look at and wonderful to take. Whilst some of these incredible places are in remote isolated locations difficult to reach, others are much more accessible. Today we are going to look at ten of the most popular spots for landscape photographers concentrating on locations that are relatively easy to get to.
Iceland – Gullfloss
Iceland has become a major tourist destination. One of the reasons for this is the stunning scenery on the doorstep of its small but pretty capital Reykjavik. Whist the more adventurous head into the woodlands of the north, an hour or two from Reykjavik is the Golden Circle, a route that takes in incredible geysirs, mountains lakes and Gullfloss. Gullfloss is a huge and beautiful waterfall. Not quite the size of Niagara but unlike its American counterpart it stands in splendid isolation amid a wild landscape.
Its layout allows photographers to photograph it both alone and using other people in shot to hint at its sheer scale. Iceland’s weather can be very fickle, even at the height of summer so be prepared to wait for a sunny day or embrace to low Atlantic overcast.
The weather is rarely perfect but Gullfloss is always spectacular.
Peru – Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu sits amongst one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Its remote, sitting above an isolated valley in the Peruvian Highlands but such is its draw that infrastructure is in place to get your there comfortably. The site itself sits atop a ridge overlooking the Urubamba river and every way you look there are stunning opportunities for images. The site opens at 6am so make an early start and you will catch the light and avoid the masses.
At 11000 feet above sea level, the scenery is breathtaking.
Greece – Santorini
There are so many things to love about Greece, the food, the people and of course the landscapes. If one landscape sums up Greece in a single shot its the island of Santorini. Whitewashed houses perched above cliffs that plummet into a beautiful blue sea. Blue is very much the theme here, domes of churches, garden gates and the national flag all feature the colour. Santorini is the remains of a volcanic caldera and is infinitely photogenic. The beautiful Mediterranean weather more or less ensures great light at any time of year.
Blue and White just like the Greek flag.
Another remote but accessible location is Patagonia. This vast region of towering mountains and spectacular lakes straddles Chile and Argentina and covers much of the bottom part of South America. Many of the most stunning landscapes are accessible by road but there are also many tour companies that traverse this beautiful landscape. Some of them are dedicated to photography. Like Iceland the weather can be unpredictable but the sheer beauty of the countryside often negates any poor weather.
The stunning landscapes of Patagonia.
England – The Lake District
Some of the finest wordsmiths of the English language were inspired by the landscapes of England’s Lake District. Unlike some of the other landscapes here, the Lakes are a combination of lower, but rugged mountains and compact lakes. It is very accessible although this makes it very crowded, especially in the summer months. It is also one of the wettest parts of the United Kingdom so expect rain. The weather however can change in five minutes to beautiful sunshine and lonely wandering clouds.
Soft, endlessly beautiful scenes await you in England's Lake District.
Norway – Lofoten
Tiny, colourful fishing villages sit amongst jagged peaks and surrounded by deep blue water. In the summer the suns shines for 24 hours, in the winter the skies are illuminated by the Aurora Borealis.
Lofoten is an archipelago in the north west of Norway. The surprising thing for landscape photographers here is the colour. The timber houses are often painted red, whilst the small wooden fishing boats are yellow, both contrasting the sparse green and grey of the surrounding mountains.
Lofoten is a place that can be photographed in the height of summer where the long summer days afford great light. Alternatively in the winter where the snow, Aurora and lights of the towns illuminate the landscape.
One of the most beautiful places on Earth.
New Zealand – South Island
If the beauty of a location was ever more beautifully captured on film it was actually by the three films in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. So stunning were the locations used that an entire tourist industry has built up around them. Fjords, falls, lakes and mountains combine to make this one of the most beautiful locations on Earth for landscape photographers. Throw in the beautiful light and you have photographic Utopia.
Waterfalls, mountains and Gollum are things you might find in New Zealand.
USA – Yosemite
If it’s good enough for Ansel Adams, it definitely good enough for us mere mortals. Yosemite National Park is nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. It is a location that can be photographed in all seasons, each bringing a different look to the many iconic locations the park presents. The weather also plays a part in creating the unique atmosphere that makes Yosemite such a fantastic place to capture. Low mist, clouds rolling over mountain tops, snow ice and sunshine combined with accessibility make this a true photographer’s playground.
Ansel Adam's playground is easily accessible.
Italy – Tuscany
You could spend a lifetime in this central western part of Italy and not even touch on all the photographic delights the region holds. From iconic renaissance cities such as Florence and Pisa to medieval villages perched on mountain tops Tuscany features a picture postcard at virtually every turn. Its greatest landscapes are those sculptured by man. Scenes of Italian agriculture sown across soft rolling hills with even softer light all easily accessible by road make this perhaps the top spot in Europe for the landscape photographer.
Tuscany is a stunning landscape sculptured by man.
Halong Bay – Vietnam
Perhaps the only fully coastal location on our list, Halong Bay is a stunning landscape of thousands of small islands called karsts. These towering limestone rocks climb vertically out of the deep green sea that surround them. Add in the picturesque water villages, junks and local people Halong is a photographer’s delight and a must visit location on any trip to Vietnam.
Halong Bay is a photographers playground in any weather. By By Jason Row Photography
Of course any list is going to be entirely subjective. Let us know in the comments your favourite locations for landscapes and remember, they have to be relatively easy to get to.
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