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Top Ten Trips for Photographers

I took a trip down memory lane this week. Rummaging through a closet, I opened a photo album that holds snapshots of several trips I took decades ago. That sparked the idea for this week's newsletter. Are you pretty good behind a camera (or phone)? It was a major hobby of mine at one time. Film...remember that?) and my youngest brother is still an avid user of that medium . I was decent at it and even won an 'Honorable Mention' in a competition once. That was the pinnacle of my abilities, apparently. Whether you're great at it, or just so-so, if you like to record beautiful vistas and memorable moments on your travels, I have some ideas for you. It's been a few months since the first in my Top Ten series, so here we go again. Beware, however; some of my own photographic goodies are contained herein. The Bavarian Alps...hiking through the Bavarian Alps, you'll be right in the middle of the incredibly beautiful set of the classic movie, the Sound of Music. Breathe in the fresh air and snap some close-ups of the wildflower-lined trails or the crystal-blue lakes with Germany’s Alps as the backdrop. And get prepared for a shot of the most iconic castle in all of Europe, Neuschwanstein (below, left). I was able to visit the Alps on a brief trip while I was in the Navy (decades ago!). It's time to return!

Santorini (above, right) - Regularly voted one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Santorini envelops you in sunshine, warm water, delicious local wine, wile you savor deliciously fresh seafood. Snap photos of shady rooftop-cafes and unbelievable views overlooking its famous white-washed villages and the sparkling Aegean Sea.

The Canadian Rockies - Closer to home than the Alps, try experiencing the awe-inspiring Rockies on a bike tour. Take a moment to snap a photo of wandering mountain goats, snow-capped peaks or the iconic turquoise lakes. The land here is so rich in resources and minerals that emerald, jade, sapphire and indigo colors fill the lakes and rivers and your camera’s lens. I never get enough photos of those lakes! Norway - With over 20 hours of daylight on the summer days there’s no shortage of photo opportunities in Norway. The famous fjords are one of the most photogenic landscapes in the world, and you may just find yourself spending extra time behind the lens to perfectly capture the vibrant blues of the glaciers or the twinkling lights from the waterside villages. Point your camera in any direction and you’ll capture something worthwhile. The coastal Italian charm of Cinque Terre, or 'five towns' (below), is possibly the most photogenic series of villages on the entire Mediterranean. Whether you’re taking photos from the vineyard-lined trails above, of the fishermen’s boats bobbing in the harbors, or of the pastel-colored houses jumbled together on the cliffs, this is one place where you can’t snap the photos fast enough.

Yosemite National Park, is one of the three “Crown Jewels” of the US National Park system. It’s the place that made photographer Ansel Adams famous, is the home of the iconic granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome, as well as some of the tallest waterfalls in America, and the towering 300-foot Sequoia trees. Peru - I first wrote about it here. It's a visual buffet - the combination of llamas, indigenous ruins glaciers, mountains, and traditionally dressed locals create a dynamic opportunity for photographers. The colors of this living rainbow are vibrant. The people are just as bright and friendly and they love having their pictures taken.

Yellowstone National Park (below) - One of my top three favorite parks, it is only hours away from my backyard. You can have double the photographic opportunities by visiting two of the most iconic and photogenic national parks in the West when you include its neighbor Grand Teton National Park's iconic western landscapes. Snap pictures of bison, elk, bald eagles and bears with backdrops of uniquely beautiful geology; capture the bright patches of orange, red, pink and white coloring in the cliffs that line the “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.”

Patagonia, Chile. With soaring condors and colonies of penguins, the massive peaks of Chilean Patagonia offer more than enough to fill your camera lens for ages. It's a landscape that has inspired explorers, wanderers and the world's most legendary mountain climbers. The jagged peaks contrast with the starkly beautiful steppe landscape that flows earthward from the base of these mighty towers. Epic hiking trip? Most definitely. Bryce, Zion, Arches and Canyonlands, NPs - I think I need to do a national park newsletter. Bryce is definitely on my list of favorites - do the mule ride into the canyon for photos you'll otherwise miss. Zion is magical and quite different from the others, and Arches has all the arches (go figure).The Grand Canyon is worth the visit, but Canyonlands tops it, for me - this is my number one. I find it so much more visually accessible and moving - a must see when you're in Utah, and worth the drive from my house. Follow your lens through these very different national parks and you may never again be able to top this epic journey. Astounding rock formations, river-carved canyons, sheer cliffs and curious hoodoos are photographed with ease in the gorgeous light of sunrise, sunset and everything in between. There’s no other landscape in the world that comes close to capturing the unique magic of this red rock world of the Southwest.

Go. Take pictures.

'til next week.

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