Photography Guide: Ten Hidden Paradises For Crowd-Free Photo Opportunities
We live in a photo-centric world. Take a vacation and there’s a strong likelihood that, no matter how far you travel or how remote the location, you’ll be sharing the view with an influencer intent on getting the perfect shot for their latest ‘gram post.
But the world’s a big place and there are many hidden corners that offer the perfect photo opportunity, if you know where to look. Here then, courtesy of Passport-photo.online, are ten top photography spots that fly under the radar, giving you the opportunity to drink in and snap some spectacular views without the crowds.
Stairway to Nothingness
High in the Austrian Alps near the town of Schladming, the evocatively named Stairway to Nothingness certainly lives up to its moniker. An extraordinary 1,300-foot-tall suspension bridge that meanders around the mountain before dropping down to a glass viewing platform, it offers jaw-dropping mountain views every step of its length.
The second highest peak in Ireland rising to 3,808 feet, Beenkeragh sits in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks range in gorgeous County Kerry. The long but manageable walk up its rocky slopes brings you to the summit of the ‘gate-keeper to Carrauntoohil’ (the tallest mountain in Ireland) and offers vast, sweeping views of the surrounding hills, mountains and lakes. And while you won’t have to worry about crowds contaminating your photos, the regular mist might not be quite so cooperative.
Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats
Bolivia’s salt flats have long been a right of passage for backpackers around the world, attracted by its otherworldly landscapes and miraculous photo mirage opportunities once the rains have settled. And while that certainly disqualifies it as a secret spot, Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt lake in Bolivia and at almost 4,000 square miles in size, is more than big enough to give you space to take the perfect picture.
Vantajökull Ice Cave
Iceland isn’t a country short of natural wonders, but its ice caves are perhaps its most surreal and photogenic treasure. Long and winding ‘like a fearsome snake’ running through the Vatnajökull glacier, Iceland’s largest, is the Anaconda Ice Cave. Also known as the Crystal Ice Cave, step inside and you’ll soon learn why – it is a doorway into a world of exquisite, shimmering blues descending more than 300 feet under the ice.
Waitomo Glowworm Cave
Iceland doesn’t have the monopoly on spectacular caves, as the Waitomo Glowworm Cave on the other side of the world in New Zealand very ably demonstrates. Hop in a boat and drift listlessly through these caves 30 million years in the making, lit by tens of thousands of indigenous and unique to NZ glowworms (Arachnocampa Luminosa) turning the cave ceiling into a glittering starry sky.
An area renowned for its exposure to the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), this remote archipelago off Norway’s coast is right out of the pages of a Tolkein book. Dramatic mountainous islands thrust violently upwards out of icy turquoise seas and lakes, pockmarking the landscape with once in a lifetime photo opportunities around every corner. And with fantastic cycle routes draped across its slopes, spectacular isolation is never more than a few pedal pushes away. A photographer’s paradise.
Perhaps not the first place that leaps to mind for a photography opportunity, but the Swedish capital’s underground railway is renowned for the vibrant, colorful art of its many cave-like stations. Turn up at rush hour and you’ll no doubt be surrounded by crowds, but as David Altrath proves in his gorgeous photo series Metro, pick your time and you can find them empty of people but full of potential for some epic urban photography.
Plateau de Valensole
Back in the open air, the Valensole Plateau in France’s Provence is home to thousands of lavender fields that, in season, blanket the landscape in symmetrical rows to the horizon. So abundant are they that their deep purple color appears to glow and merge into the sky, painting an extraordinary canvas that’s the very definition of a romantic photo opportunity. Go at sunset for added spectacularness.
Spanning the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada’s Rocky Mountains are the largest in North America and a wonderland of precipitous peaks, thick forests, glacial lakes, thunderous waterfalls and a diverse wildlife – all delicious ingredients in the recipe for a perfect photo. Take your pick, pack your best lens and you’re as good as guaranteed to find people-free photo perfection.
Namib-Naukluft National Park
Sprawled between Namibia’s Atlantic coast and the edge of the Great Escarpment, the Namib-Naukluft National Park includes the Namib Desert (the oldest in the world), the Naukluft Mountain Range and the Sandwich Harbor lagoon all of which are mouth-watering prospect for budding photographers. But it’s the salt and clay pans of Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, surrounded by near-blood-red dunes and dotted with the coal black skeletons of long-dead Camelthorn (Acacia) trees, that offer some of the most recognizable and photogenic yet least visited spots in the world.