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One Man's List Of Natural Wonders To Photograph

Nov 19, 2018

The world is full of natural wonders, and for the most part they beat out everything man-made when it comes to visual awe. That's not to say we haven't built buildings and monuments that can take one's breath away (and make for excellent subjects for photography, come to that). But there's something about the beauty the world has presented us with on its own that is uniquely thrilling, and which can make a photographer's dreams come true. If you happen to agree, or you're already interested in capturing your own pictures of some of the world's best natural attractions, read on for my own list of natural wonders to photograph in life.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon might be the most famous natural monument on Earth. At any rate it's uniquely spectacular among canyons and cliff formations, including among several of its peers in the American Southwest. Naturally it's become popular among photographers, to the point that there are guides to shooting it, and once you get a look at it, it makes sense why it's such a breathtaking subject. The canyon is vast, the light plays off of its formations differently with each passing hour, and no two vantage points provide the same view. It's as challenging as it is beautiful.

Victoria Falls

There might not be another natural wonder that so clearly demonstrates Mother Nature's power as Victoria Falls, unless you want to count entire oceans, or natural disasters. Located on, and in fact comprising part of the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, this waterfall is the largest in the world (over 100 meters tall and a kilometer or so wide), and happens to be situated in gorgeous surroundings. It's an unparalleled subject for photography.

Cliffs Of Moher

There are sea cliffs in locations all over the world, but there may not be any as striking as the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. They're 120 meters high at their highest point, and tower directly over the cool, dark seas below, and seem frankly like a setting from some myth or fantasy.

Halong Bay

Speaking of places that look otherworldly, Halong Bay certainly fits the description. Comprising roughly 1,500 square kilometers in Vietnam, the bay is marked by peaceful green waters, innumerable islands, and cliff-like limestone formations that rise out of the water practically everywhere the eye can see. As with the Grand Canyon, no two vantage points provide the same view, which makes Halong Bay a desirable spot for photographers not just for a few pictures' worth, but for a full-fledged photography tour.

The Nile River

We have a little bit of a zany view of the Nile as a result of modern culture. The Prince Of Egypt shows it as an idyllic stream running gently through ancient Egyptian palaces. The video game A While On The Nile shows it as an animated setting covered in symbols of ancient Egypt. And really, most of us think of it as something specifically related to Cairo or Giza rather than the absolutely vast river it is. The truth though is that from rapids in Uganda, to where it bisects Cairo and Giza, to where it runs calmly past some smaller, prettier Egyptian towns, it offers tons of different scenes that can make for a whole collection of lovely photos.

Lake Tahoe

Frankly any of a number of lakes around the world could have been decent selections for this list. But personally, I'm partial to Lake Tahoe. Located in the region known as the Sierra Nevada, and technically stretching across parts of the two states of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is enormous, beautiful, and almost indescribably pure. It's a vague description, but there's just something crisp and clean about this particular attraction that it seems it would be a treat to try to capture in a still photo or two.

The Living Bridges

Atlas Obscura describes these fascinating Indian attractions about as succinctly and accurately as possible: centuries-old bridges grown from tangled roots. They are quite literally living bridges stretching across rivers near the India-Bangladesh border, and they're stunning to look at. They're an interesting travel destination whether or not you're considering things from a photographer's perspective, but in terms of taking pictures, it would be quite something to try to capture the lush surroundings and the living quality of the bridges.

The Azores

It seems a shame not to consider some of the world's more picturesque clusters of small islands on this list, and the Azores - well to the west of Portugal, but part of the country - stand out. They're stunningly pretty islands, and particularly when you look at the lakes and lagoons contained within their bounds, you can start to imagine the kinds of postcard images you might be able to capture.

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