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.
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.
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.
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.
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.