Top 10 Travel Photography Destinations 2019

There are great photo ops wherever you go—and you don’t have to go far.

However, it does help when you find yourself surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, charming cities and picture-perfect moments that you’ve never encountered before.

We’ve researched and prepared shot lists for the top 10 places that are perfect for expanding and honing your travel photography skills. If you’re looking for that ‘next place’ to see and capture, look no further than this list.

1. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Milky way at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Lupins on the lake shore. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Mount John’s Observatory, Mount John. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Recommended shot list:
– Lake Tekapo
– The Church of the Good Shepherd
– Mount John
– Stargazing in Tekapo (Dark Sky Reserve)
– Lake Alexandrina (15 minute drive away)

2. Thimphu, Bhutan

Thimphu city, Bhutan
Dochula Pass. Thimphu, Bhutan
Thimphu Market. Thimphu, Bhutan

Recommended shot list:
– Dochula Pass
– Buddha Dordenma
– Domkhar Palace
– Tiger’s Nest (Takstang) monastery
– Thimphu’s ‘Weekend Market’

3. Chefchaouen, Morocco

Medina. Chefchaouen, Morocco
Medina. Chefchaouen, Morocco
Cascades d’Akchour, in Rif Mountains. Chefchaouen, Morocco

Recommended shot list:
– Old City and Medina
– Rif Mountains
– Cascades d’Akchour
– Plaza Uta el-Hammam
– Ras el-Ma

4. Lijiang, China

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Lijiang, China
Tiger Leaping Gorge. Lijiang, China
Lijiang Ancient City. Lijiang, China

Recommended shot list:
– Tiger Leaping Gorge
– Lugu Lake
– Lijiang Ancient City
– Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
– Dry Sea

5. Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia. Barcelona, Spain
Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter). Barcelona, Spain

Recommended shot list:
– Las Ramblas
– La Barceloneta
– Pedraforca
– Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter)
– Sagrada Familia

6. Kyushu, Japan

Hashima Island. Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
Takachiho Gorge. Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan
Mt Aso Caldera. Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan

Recommended shot list:
– Hashima Island (Nagasaki Prefecture)
– Yutoku Inari Shrine (Saga Prefecture)
– Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki Prefecture)
– Mt Aso (Kumamoto Prefecture)
– Beppu (Oita Prefecture)

7. Patagonia, Argentina/Chile

Bariloche in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Patagonia region, Argentina
Fitzroy and Laguna-De-los-Tres in Los Glaciares National Park. Patagonia region, Argentina
Puerto Varas with volcano Osorno in background. Patagonia region, Chile

Recommended shot list:
– Bariloche (Argentina)
– Puerto Varas (Chile)
– Los Glacieres National Park (Argentina)
– Puyuhuapi (Chile)
– Marble Caves

8. Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca city. Oaxaca, Mexico
Hierve el Agua. Oaxaca, Mexico
Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman. Oaxaca, Mexico

Recommended shot list:
– Oaxaca’s Zocalo (main square)
– Hierve de Agua
– Ancient Mitla Ruins
– Templo de Santo Domingo
– Zona Arqueológica de Monte Albán

9. Porto, Portugal

Porto city. Porto, Portugal
Ribeira—the old town of Porto. Porto, Portugal
São Bento Train Station, Porto, Portugal

Recommended shot list:
– Waterfront at Bairro Da Ribeira
– The Dom Luís Bridge
– Mercado do Bolhão (market)
– Vila Nova de Gaia
– São Bento Train Station

10. Sapa, Vietnam

Temple on Fansipan Mountain. Sapa, Vietnam
Thac Bac Waterfall (Silver Falls). Sapa, Vietnam

Recommended shot list:
– Fansipan Mountain
– Mu Cang Chai (rice terraces)
– Thac Bac Waterfall (Silver Falls)
– Sapa Main Market
– Muong Hoa Valley

To gain more practical knowledge into the wide world of travel photography, join our online course ‘Travel Photography with Richard I’Anson’ here.

The 10 Commandments of Wildlife Photography

There are some rules within every discipline of photography that are meant to be broken in the name of exploration and experimentation—but not these ones.

These are the 10 commandments every photographer should follow religiously when they go ‘wild’.

1. Thou shalt be ethical

When you step into the wild, you are stepping into someone’s home.

Showing your subject and its surrounds the respect they deserve lies at the core of wildlife photography. That means not baiting or feeding animals, leaving the natural order of things unmanipulated and undisturbed and always putting the welfare of your environment before the shot. 

2. Thou shalt shoot in ‘golden light’

Midday is not your friend.

The ‘golden hours’ are the two hours after sunrise and the two hours before sunset. This is when light is soft, warm and perfect for your shots. Not only is your camera better able to capture and render ‘golden  light’, but your photos will possess a quality that simply cannot be replicated.  

3. Thou shalt know thy subject

Behind every great photo is a photographer who did their homework.

Read up on everything you can about your subject. For example, if capturing animals, read up on their surrounding environment and behaviours, or for plants, when they are in full bloom and if they’re

The more you know about your subject, not only do you increase your chances of getting some great shots, but you can avoid putting both you and your subject in a compromising position.

4. Thou shalt know thy gear

It’s not about the gear you’ve got, it’s how you use it.

Whatever your kit looks like, make sure you know your gear inside out and intimately. Firstly, because there’s no point having a top-end telephoto lens if you don’t know how to work your DSLR settings, and
secondly, you never know what is going to pop up in your viewfinder, so you’re going to want to be ready with every trick at your fingertips.

But it’s not all ISO this and aperture that.

Make sure you have gear that protects your gear. If you’re hitting the outdoors, be sure to invest in clothing and accessories that provide you and your equipment with protection, safety and comfort.

5. Thou shalt go incognito

Camouflage is key.

If you want to capture animals in their natural state, you have to do everything you can to not alarm them or bring attention to yourself. That doesn’t mean you have to go into full commando stalker mode, but unless you’re just shooting trees, it does call for some efforts to blend in to the best of your ability.


6. Thou shalt not use flash

Most pros avoid using flash.

Not only is a sudden burst of white light a great way to scare off or even provoke your subject, but the flash also produces a harsh, unnatural lighting that cheapens your shot. Remember to disable it before your next outdoor shoot!

7. Thou shalt focus on the eye

It’s all in the eyes.

Just as we feel connected with each other through eye contact, the same goes for photos of wildlife. The eyes capture emotion and character and if they aren’t in focus, the image doesn’t quite have the same effect or connection.

8. Thou shalt consider the background

The background is just as important as the subject.

Avoid cluttered or distracting backgrounds so that your subject remains the focal point and doesn’t get ‘lost’. Also be aware of ‘ugly’ backgrounds. You might have pulled off a great shot, but if the background hasn’t been considered, you will often be forced to either crop or scrap your photo.

9. Thou shalt be patient

Patience isn’t a virtue. It’s a necessity.

The wild is exactly that. Wild. It’s unpredictable and doesn’t play to your timing. If you want that photo that few are willing to wait for, then get comfy because waiting will always be the name of this game.

10. Thou shalt practice

Practice makes perfect.

The more practice you put in, the more you’ll get an eye for what looks good, and when that happens, the magic happens.

To gain more practical knowledge into the wide world of travel photography, join our online course ‘Travel Photography with Richard I’Anson’ here.