Carrying around our smart phones all day long likely means we’ve got lots of good and trashable photos eating up megabytes. Yes, we have our own Japanese gardens in Golden Gate Park, but sometimes you just want to get away. Directions: Take Caltrain south to the Palo Alto Station, then transfer to the Stanford Marguerite Shuttle and get off at Campus Drive and Mayfield South.
Stretching out along Santa Cruz’s gorgeous coast, this historic boardwalk has everything you need to have a day of fun (and great photos). Spanish Mission placed in one of the most lush locations in California means Pure photography gold.
You can’t live in or visit California without getting some of those classic shots of its dramatic rocky coast.
Directions: You can visit more popular locations by taking a Blue and Gold Fleet Ferry to Sausalito and a Marin Transit bus up to Inverness (the park offers shuttles), but if you want the freedom to really explore the area, driving is advisable. Catch a beautiful view of the San Francisco skyline while you watch the throngs who flock to this monthly football-field-sized antique fair. Over 3 million people have used this site to plan their California travel, find your adventure here. A 180 degree opposite from Yosemite, these two streets represent the glitz and glamour that have made Los Angeles what it is.
While Yosemite has some of the best waterfalls in the world, this little gem in Northern California looksA like a waterfall from a dream of heaven.
I know this is not a very uniqueA pick but I mean it’s really impossible to leave it off a post like this. Located 28 miles down a dirt road (you need a 4 wheel drive vehicle to get to here) this unique location is where the rocks seem to move on their own.
The range of mountains in the center of California, known as the Sierras, provide ample places to take stunning pictures. Probably my favorite beach to photograph at, the Sunset Cliffs in San DiegoA really have everything you could want.
Located in Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park and the Redwoods National Park, there are a lot of good ways to see these towering giants.
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About JoshMcThanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! I'm a travel junkie strapped down to one state, focused on seeing as much of it as I can and encouraging others to do the same. With over 800 square miles, the Smoky Mountains offer a unique view of Tennessee and North Carolina. The highest point in the Smoky Mountains provides some of the best views you will ever see…period. If you prefer NOT to walk up the walkway, you can still get some great pictures from the parking lot area, but if you can make the walk…you should definitely try. Once you get to Cades Cove, you can enjoy the 11 mile loop that will provide amazing pictures. While it’s not the tallest waterfall on the list, it certainly is one of the most beautiful.
These are just a few of the best photography spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Enter your email address below to sign-up to receive great local info, deals and events in your inbox! When it comes to the American Southwest, it’s hard to find a place that embodies that more than Moab, Utah. Arches National Park is located just north of Moab and is known for preserving over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the world famous Delicate Arch. Canyonlands National Park is located about 45 minutes away from Moab and preserves a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries. The real magic begins after the sun sets, when 95-100% of the people head back to their cars. After you get your fill of the arch, be sure to stop at all the pull-offs on the way back out of the park. One of the most stunning arches in all of Moab isn’t even located in a national or state park. To reach the trailhead for Corona Arch, drive north from Moab and turn left on 279 before you get to the Arches NP entrance. This view, looking through the North Window at Turret Arch in the distance, is another highly sought after composition from Moab.
If you have any hesitation at all about your ability to make this climb, don’t do it.
Quite possibly the easiest spot to photograph in all of Moab, Balanced Rock is also one of the most incredible formations to behold.
To get to Balanced Rock, just take the main road in Arches NP (Arches Scenic Drive) about 9 miles into the park and you can’t miss it. Arches National Park has quite possibly the most stunning entrance of any other national park.
To get to Double Arch, just head to The Windows Rd where you’ll find the North Window and Turret Arch. While Landscape Arch isn’t the most photographic arch in the park, it is certainly the most at risk for falling apart in our lifetime.
Again, Moab is a photographers paradise and you should absolutely make plans to visit this incredible part of Utah. Also, one other thing I noticed is how easily accessible most of these spots are, even for families with with kids.
Just drop your best email address below and you'll join 20,000+ like-minded photographers who receive a ton of freebies like.. Whether you’re an instagrammer or Nikon junkie, isn’t it about time you got inspired to print out and frame a beautiful image? Hike, bike, or climb to the top, where you can actually see for hundreds of miles—it’s rumored to be the second-most expansive view in the world. And the tiny but mighty Hayward gardens (California’s first Japanese gardens) provide the perfect place to do that. Smiling faces, tasty treats, colorful, and historic, coasters… all there for the photo taking. Point Reyes offers craggy cliffs in spades, plus a smattering of historic buildings, coastal towns, and wildlife to keep things interesting. Diablo, Jonabel Perez, National Register of Historic Places, Thomas Hawk, Franco Folini, Nancy Pizzamiglio, Brett L. The editorial staff has mapped out and explored hot spots outside of San Francisco - without a car. They have all of the well-knownA spots like Grauman’s Chinese Theater, The Pantages, The Roxy, etc. It beautifully cascades down into the pool below and has water that flows not only out the top but also out of the middle of the falls. The Golden Gate Bridge is a symbol of California and one that you must visit and see for yourself.
It has Muscle Beach, the boardwalk, the street performers, the canals and of course the beach itself. It is so remote that it keeps a lot of people out, but if you make the trek it will provide an amazing reward to the photographer. I spend more time on the Eastern side, off Highway 395, but the Western side is where the national parks are. The beach itself is secluded and not over crowded, and it features a set of stairs that take you from the cliffs down to the beach below. The 60 mile drive along the winding Highway 1 will be one of the best drives you make in your life.

It is the work of one man named Leonard and it is his way of showing God’s love to the world. You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. For me it was worth it as I got to go to the racetrack and off road to an old abandoned mine. You see so many beautiful views when you visit the Smoky Mountains but where are the best photography spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
The Smoky Mountains offer a glimpse into the wildlife within the park that includes bears, deer, elk, turkey and more. Newfound Gap Road runs from Gatlinburg to Cherokee, NC and there are plenty of places to stop and grab some great pictures. This is a perfect spot to grab a sunrise picture (if you make it up early enough) and you can access the Appalachian Trail from this parking lot. The north end runs along the Little Pigeon River while the south end runs along the Oconaluftee River. You can get to Mount LeConte by hiking just under 5 miles from the Alum Cave Trailhead on Newfound Gap Road. While this loop is used for motorists, there are several places to pull over and get some great pictures. Once you make the 2 mile hike to the peak of Chimney Tops, you’ll be treated with amazing panoramic views. This 80 foot waterfall is just before the entrance to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and is 5 and a half miles roundtrip. Whether it’s hiking a trail to a majestic waterfall or never leaving your car, remember to always abide by park rules and regulations, never feed the wildlife and most importantly…have fun! If youa€™re a keen photographer youa€™ll know that there are few things more satisfying than capturing a really good photo.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s also hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks scattered across the landscape. I’ve spent a lot of time in this region over the past several years and am excited to share with you my favorite spots. This will put you less than a 5 minute drive from entrance of Arches NP and about 5 minutes from the main part of Moab. This is, without a doubt, the crown jewel of Moab and a bucket list item for landscape photographers around the world.
Despite the difficult hike, you’ll likely be sharing the arch with 50, 100 or more other tourists and photographers.
While there may be a few other photographers who stay as well, it’s very common to have the entire place to yourself at night, which is just incredible.
The hike to Mesa Arch is a piece of cake compared to Delicate but unlike Delicate Arch, Mesa Arch is a spot you’ll want to photograph at sunrise. Each time I’ve photographed Mesa Arch, we got to the arch about an hour before sunrise. The drive up 279 is incredible, with the Colorado River to your left and vertical sandstone cliffs to your right. However, it’s a bit deceiving because getting to this vantage point is actually quite dangerous. This giant rock formation is 128 feet tall and the boulder at the top takes up 55 of those feet (the size of three school buses).
For the first several miles, your jaw will be on the ground as you gaze up at these sandstone giants. After the parking lot for the Windows, just keep following the loop road to the next parking lot.
I am so happy for you in all that you have accomplished from going from a Cabela’s employee to self-employed and enriching photographers lives.
I just went to Moab and Arches NP this past March for the first time and absolutely fell in love with that area. Delicate Arch is probably the only exception as it is a somewhat longer hike up to it and you have to be more careful once you get up there due to the big hole in the middle of that area.
I was headed from Denver to Mesa Verde and realized I could squeeze in a brief visit to Arches with a big ol’ detour.
From a Frank Lloyd Wright House to a Japanese Garden to a Tuscan-style vineyard, enjoy a visit to one of these top 10 photography spots in the Bay Area.
Also, you can see my favorite California photos here for inspiration and to find new places to explore.
It has waterfalls, forests, hiking trails, granite rocks to climb, rivers, vistas, you get the point. They also have the popularA stars on the ground and famous foot prints and hand prints from over the years. MacArthur-Burney Falls is large and has a lot of vantage points for unique shots, making it an easy selection that all photographers should see. The way the fog dances around it on an early morning or the light bounces off of it late at night will remind you why you got into photography.
You can get great pictures of everything from people to landscapesA just by turning your camera.
The rocks are on a dry lake bed and they have trails to show how they got to their current locations. Of course a trip to Mt Whitney is a good hike to give you a lay of the land, but a simple drive up to the 10,000 foot campground of Horseshoe Meadows will provide access to the Cottonwood Lakes, untouched and unseen by most humans, these high altitude lakes are sure to provide beautiful photographs. The beach is complete with rock carvings from the waves, tide pools and the small waterfall like moss, all of which provide an overload of beauty for the photographer. There are vistas at every turn, each one better than the last, bridges that span the coastline and a waterfall that falls gently onto the beach. It has been a labor of love for the last 30 years and is simply put a mountain that is covered in paint, a stark contrast to the desolate Salton Sea that it stands near. You will want to explore it from all angles and it will provide a nice break from photographing the Golden Gate Bridge.
Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments and make sure to subscribe to my blog to stay up to date on my posts.
I want as many people as possible to explore this state and you can help by letting them know about all of the great spots!
If you want to stay in your car, there are some great scenic car rides in the Smoky Mountains but what about those other places within the national park? To help with your vacation, we’ve put together a list of the best photography spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
While Newfound Gap Road is one of the busier roads through the national park, there are some opportunities to explore and get away from the traffic.
There’s a steep walkway up to the observation tower about half a mile from the parking lot. There are several different trails that you can hike to reach Mount LeConte, but the trailhead from Alum Cave is the shortest hike. Aside from the great wildlife, there are several old buildings like homes, churches a mill and barns. Remember though, waterfalls aren’t in the middle of a parking lot and will require some hiking to get to.
A lot of the hike winds next to the LeConte Creek, so you’ll have great picture opportunities on your way to the falls.
Also, check with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website before your trip as some roads are closed during the winter and others have specific hours of operation. Great composition, beautiful light and of course a gorgeous setting all help to create the perfect shot. An if that isn’t enough to get your blood pumping, the deep red sandstone creates an amazing scene as it vibrantly glows at sunrise and sunset.
I highly recommend a visit to this arch in the summer, when the Milky Way rises shortly after night begins.

Two of those times we were the only ones there and the third time one guy had beaten us to it.
If you go in the winter and the rocks are covered in ice and snow, it would be a suicide mission! Who knows if it’s true or not but I’ve never had any reason to doubt a park ranger! The trailhead there will lead you right to Double Arch, a pothole set of arches with a span of 148 feet wide and 105 feet tall.
There used to be a trail that led up beneath it, but massive sections of the arch have fallen down as recently as 1991 so the trail has since been closed. Add to that the dozens of people who dress as their favorite movie characters for photos and you really have a photographers dream.
I especially like the northern side of the bridge near the old army lookout point as it is an amazing vista of the bridge, but there really are a ton of great places to photograph it from that you can see below.
You can also walk to the Santa Monica pier pretty easily from here as well which is fun to photograph at night. You could always drive up to Mammoth and see the Sierras while exerting less energy as well.
You will see weddings, proms and family shoots going on half the time you are here, but there is enough room for everyone to have a good place to relax and watch the sun fade into the sea. You can explore and walk on the mountain andA I guarantee you will leave inspired to tell others about this spot.
Follow this guide and your vacation will be full of memories that are sure to last a lifetime.
You will need to maneuver around once you arrive at the top due to tall trees in the way of your shot. The drive to the trailhead is under 9 miles from Sugarland’s Visitors Center in Gatlinburg.
You can also access Cades Cove from Gatlinburg by taking Little River Road to Laurel Creek Road. The trailhead to Chimney Tops is off of Newfound Gap Road, 7 miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor’s Center. The trailhead begins off Little River Road from Sugarlands Visitor’s Center towards Cades Cove for just over 3 miles. Connector.Nearest AirportCanyonlands Field Airport (KCNY) is about a 20 minute drive from Moab. Before the sunset light peaks on the arch, don’t let yourself get bothered by people standing beneath the arch and taking pictures, it belongs to them just as much as it belongs to you and me. It was made famous by a group of climbers who set up ropes atop the arch and turned it into a giant swing.
You’ll first have to make the fairly steep hike up the North Window, then scramble down the sandstone rocks to a path that leads off to the left. All that said, countless photographers have gotten to the vantage point before, but you are doing it at your own risk. The end of the trail (which you’ll also reach by car if you just stay on the main road) is pictured above. You can photograph the arches from the trailhead, but you’re also more than welcome to climb up the rocks and view them from beneath like in the photo above. Your willingness to share what you have found and what you have done is greatly appreciated!!! Death ValleyA itself is a beautifulA place for photography and I have included four more stops to see on the way to the Racetrack below. There are two parking lots available for those wanting to hike to the top of Mount LeConte. For those who still havena€™t braved the chill north wind and headed up to this part of the United Kingdom, youa€™ll be amazed by the wild unspoilt landscape you will find there.
If you can’t find a flight into Canyonlands, the next best option is Grand Junction Regional (KGJT) in Colorado which is just over an hour and a half drive.
My suggestion is to go in the late afternoon so you can arrive at the arch about 30 minutes to an hour before sunset.
The main different is that this hike involves holding onto chains as you walk across a steep slab of slickrock, climbing up a separate slab of slickrock while holding onto a chain and scaling a ladder to get over a boulder.
From there you’ll have to scramble some boulders and scale some other boulders to get up to a ledge. The hike is incredibly beautiful though and countless photo opportunities can be found on your way to the arch.
After a few (predictable) deaths, swinging from the arch was banned which is good, because you can still see the damage the ropes caused to the arch at the top if you look close. This is quite difficult to do with a camera backpack and tripod so if you have a friend to hand everything off to it will be much more doable.
Sign up to our email list to receive the latest travel tips, guides and photos straight to your inbox: Posted by Becky PadmoreCo-owner, content gatherer, writer and photographer from the UK. Either way, just bring plenty of water, some snacks and a handheld GPS and you’ll be fine! Once you reach the ledge, you’ll then have to climb up to an obvious point to get the best view of Turret Arch. Favourite travel destinations: Havana, Thailand, GalA?pagos Islands, Laos, Indonesia, California, Iceland, Italy, Amsterdam and Denmark. The GPS is highly recommended because while the trail is well marked by rock cairns along the way, it can be easy to get off track if you’re hiking back at night.
Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.25 Comments Laura22 November, 2013Totally agree with these picks!
I was just in Venice and took the same exact photo Laura recently posted..Postcards from Lisbon Reply Lily La18 November, 2013I love this post! If any one planning to visit those places I would like to recommend Canada first and then India.
Reply Wade28 October, 2013All of these are spot on…but I could not agree more with the India and Croatia categories! Reply Scott24 October, 2013You can’t go wrong with Italy, even scene is like a postcard! Paris Saint-Germain happy to go nose-to-nose with moneybags Monaco Reply Becky Padmore24 October, 2013Very true Scott, we love Italy! Reply Emma24 October, 2013I love the Highlands for photography the scenery is out of this world! Agness recently posted..Low Budget Guide To Florida Reply Becky Padmore24 October, 2013Looking forward to seeing your posts on India! Pleased you like the gondolas photo that’s one of Grays Reply Tiana Kai22 October, 2013Yeah, I live in one of the best!
Reply Rebecca22 October, 2013I just can’t figure out what it is about portraits with India. Great wide selection you have there Rebecca recently posted..Travel makes you fat a€“ Special guest a€“ The Heathrow Injection Reply Becky Padmore24 October, 2013Thanks Rebecca!
Reply Gvozdje21 October, 2013Great list… And I would recomend Italy to everyone, It is really most beautifull country in Europe. I haven’t been to India yet but have already seen so many great portraits taken in India! We're also joined by a team of self-confessed travel snobs and together we're on a mission to discover the world's most underrated and beautiful places.

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