No Filter: 10 Dream Destinations for Travel Photography

Forget Instagram and leave your VSCO filters at the door: these are the world's best destinations for photographers who mean business.



There's something about those rolling hills, echoed in that curvaceous Moorish architecture which is so compelling. In summer you can't beat the yellow dust sparkling gold as it mingles with what sun-dried greenery still remains - it's even better when kicked up by gallivanting wild horses.

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Fogo Island


It's not an overpowering landscape, but the stilted houses that perch between the rocks provide endless stimulus. For a photographer, the editing process can be a bit challenging - there are almost too many angles from which shots look spectacular.

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Marrakech is a photographer's dream. It has everything going for it: elegant shadows carved by sweeping arches and intricate Islamic windows; an ever-shifting mosaic of jewel-toned tiles; an endless thoroughfare of interesting faces; and a handful of architectural styles all layered on top of one another.

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It's so often used as a backdrop for adventure-photography shoots, and with good reason. It's a country of severe contrasts, one with both sky-high mountains and sprawling black beaches. In summer it's all felty and covered with lush green fuzz, come winter it's glossed over by ice.

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Valley of the Gods

Utah, US

It's unlikely that you'll encounter any wayward wanderers ruining the vistas here. It's like shooting on Mars, though marginally cooler and with a far higher survival rate. Everything in this surreal, fiery-red landscape looks like it's been recently scorched.

Lofoten Islands


It's a rambunctious, rocky landscape which bathes in teal waters: real Scandinavia. The fishing villages speckled throughout are gold mines for nosey photographers - their weather-hardened fisherfolk make for magnificent portrait subjects.

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East Asia

Photographs taken here could date from any point over the past century - you'll encounter wrestling, archery and bareback horse-racing competitions all undertaken in painstakingly handmade costumes. It feels like the land that time forgot.

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As a photographer, the difficulty here is avoiding tropical-island clichés (and keeping your equipment dry). It spoils the lens with its juicy rainforests and almost luminescent beaches, which are staggered with dusky-coloured fishing huts.

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Kamchatka Peninsula


This vast peninsula in the Russian Far East is a moody wilderness lacerated by icy streams and punctured with grumbling volcanoes smothered by smoky clouds. Those with enough patience might snap some wild bears - just watch your back as you go.