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Photo: mikebaird

American Photo asked photographers to reveal their favorite places to shoot. What are your picks?

COMPILED BY 25 professional documentary and travel photographers, American Photo‘s recently published list of the 25 Best Places in the World to Photograph is an assortment of destinations around the world that provide ideal backdrops for culture, wildlife, architecture, landscape, and underwater photography.

Photo: muha…

Each of the contributing photographers also shared their reflections on why their favorite destination stands out. Judging from the answers, scenery alone isn’t always what makes for the best photograph.

In addition to some obvious picks, the list and accompanying photo gallery included a few unexpected spots. The following selections and remarks captured my curiosity most:

Culture: New Guinea

“It’s like going back into the Stone Age culture,” Chris Rainier says of New Guinea. “And that’s pretty cool in the beginning of the 21st century.”

Wildlife: Antarctica

Paul Nicklen — “I will always be exploring ecosystems, documenting what is disappearing due to climate change. We are losing a lot more than just ice.”

Photo: adomas

Architecture: Oman

Jen Judge — “The contrast between the barren desolate landscape and the ornate ancient architecture seems like the ultimate balance between man and nature.”

Landscape: Namibia, Africa

George Steinmetz says, “Interesting things take time to reveal themselves.”

Underwater: Red Sea

Jeff Rotman — “Every place is unique. But the Red Sea’s special beauty is its lush and rich coral reefs…”

Though their “best” places to photograph are miles apart, the photographers share a common connection to their surroundings. They have explored a place enough to learn what time of year the colors change, where the wildlife congregates, and what the traditions of its people are.

Any location can become your “Best Place in the World to Photograph.” The most memorable photos don’t always come from the most beautiful places. Much like the richest travel experiences, great photographs come to those who allow a place to show them its secrets.

Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your favorite places in the world to photograph in the comments.

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Over at the Traveler’s Notebook, Paul Sullivan asks What’s the most photogenic city in the world?

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About The Author

Sarah Park

Sarah Park is currently spending her quarter-life crisis in the beautiful Eastern Sierra. She spends her days snowboarding, hiking and not at all slipping into a soul-devouring existential dilemma. Don't worry, she's kidding... kinda.

  • Hal Amen

    I’ve been to 0 of the places mentioned above, and I’m pretty sad about that.

  • Pete

    That’s a great list. 5 of those done, 20 still left to go! Three of my favs to add to the list.

    Prague after dark. In fact so many of the major European cities change when tourists sleep and the streets empty. Even better if it rains. I print very few of my own photographs, but I do have a few from Prague on my walls.

    The British Columbia Kootenays. From mountains to rivers to lakes, the Kootenays has so many quiet places to capture. A few weekends ago we did a little photo fun trip. I think we hit 10 lakes and 8 rivers in three days. We probably had 7 of those lakes all to ourselves.

    Oregon USA coast. Although weather can be challenging, there is nothing like the Oregon coast on a clear day. Whales, amazing trees and welcoming people create so many compelling photos.


  • Matt

    Me neither Hal. I better get my bags packed- sounds great!

  • Mike

    I prefer cities

  • Nina

    I would add Yemen and Socotra  to the list, to me, this is a dream photo destionation not to mention how photogenic it is – culture, people, architecture, nature……beautiful. Hope to visit next year.

  • Mei Hwa

    Every country has its own unique characteristics to explore, no matter where. Plenty of old and modern architecture and natural wonder in all continents. Please look at UNESCO website, you will be amazed by anything listed in each country. But my best favourite is Autumn in Plitvice Lakes, Croatia. Second to none!

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