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Skiers on the Swiss side of the slopes in the Alps

  • 2021 IN REVIEW

These are the best travel photos of 2021

Explore the world in 18 stunning images from our contributors.

Even with an unsteady return to travel, 2021 proved to be a time of renewed exploration. The photographs we published this year reflect an intimacy that comes from staying closer to home and looking deeper into the landscapes and cultural traditions all around us.

Our National Geographic contributors shared surprising glimpses of regions they know well, from the urban trails of San Francisco to the untamed lands of Patagonia to the watery wilds of Alaska. These images reveal the enduring essence of inspiring places.  

( Best of the World: Here are 25 incredible journeys for 2022 .)

The year ahead promises a grand return to travel, and we’re eager to hit the road. We hope these photographs reignite your desire to discover, spark your adventurous imagination, and set you off on your next journey, near or far.

Grape harvesting at Cheo in Vernazza in Italy

Correction: The correct name of the Greek church is Agios Onoufrios. 

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The Best Travel Photography of 2023

By Hannah Towey

The Best Travel Photography of 2023

There's nothing quite like the power of a photograph to truly capture the heart of a place—and awaken the travel bug inside us all. But with social media inundated with images of far-flung destinations, the search for high-quality travel photography can often be a tougher pursuit. So, in place of scrolling, why not let an expert panel of judges filter out the best of the best for you?

This week, the international Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) awards announced their 2023 winners, selected from more than 20,000 images taken by amateur and professional photographers from over 150 countries. The judging of the competition takes place over three rounds; all 16 judges are leading photographers or experts in the field and are not made aware of the identity or nationality of any entrants.

Ranging from ethereal landscapes of the Italian countryside to striking portraits in Pakistan and Russia , the winning shots—including the celebrated work of Travel Photographer of the Year AndreJa Ravnak—reflect a “subtle elegance," says TPOTY founder Chris Coe.

"This comes through in both of AndreJa’s winning portfolios; one takes us into simple landscapes, with delicate colors and a textural beauty, the other into the hop fields, out of season and undressed ready for the next planting," Coe says. “Neither are obvious subjects, neither photographed at an optimal time of year, and yet they are both engaging and rather beautiful.”

Ravnak's winning submissions consists of eight shots photographed in the farmlands of Italy , the Czech Republic , and Slovenia .

“From my personal experience, I know it's not easy to judge photography. Images are not measurable, so being a judge is a complex task and responsibility,” says Ravnak, a professional architect from Slovenia. "Congratulations to all the winners; together, we are enthusiastically documenting this wonderful world, and perhaps this is a small contribution, a reminder to preserve its wonder for future generations.”

Below, see the 2023 winners of the Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) awards, featuring Japan's Lake Shirakawa , volcanic eruptions in Iceland , Shamanic rituals in Siberia , wildebeest migration in Kenya —and more.

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “Early in the spring the first rains allow wheat to grow in the...

Near Pienza, Tuscany, Italy

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “Early in the spring, the first rains allow wheat to grow in the rolling fields. Due to the cold nights, the landscape is often shrouded in beautiful mists on clear mornings during this period. This agricultural landscape is sparsely populated, with land being used to its fullest potential. Farms are located on the top of individual hills.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “Early in the spring the first rains allow wheat to grow in the...

South Moravia, near Kyov, Czech Republic

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “In early spring, the soil is still too cold for growth. An interesting pattern occured while a new orchard was planted on the slope of the hill, making the scene very abstract.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “In search of suitable land for cultivating fertile soil for...

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “In search of suitable land for cultivating fertile soil for agricultural purposes, humans have sometimes covered entire hilly landscapes with fields. Hills without natural vegetation are very exposed to erosion, which creates unusual waves on the slopes. This agricultural landscape looks like a soft, undulating carpet, completely otherworldly, as if it had been created by AI. In addition to erosion, the problem with these intensively cultivated areas is also the increasing exhaustion of fertile soil.”

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Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “A tractor driver maneuveres a high trailer with a crew of...

Savinjska valley, near Zalec, Slovenia

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “A tractor driver maneuveres a high trailer with a crew of workers on top, manually tying strings to steel cables for hop growing. In the spring, the fields must be prepared for a new season and new strings must be strung. The process is done by hand, but there is not enough interest in this type of work in Slovenia, so hop growers hire workers from abroad every year. Seasonal workers from Romania are regular visitors to the Savinja Valley.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “When the hop strings are hung on the top steel cables an...

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “When the hop strings are hung on the top steel cables, an unusual curtain of threads is created in the fields. The threads dance in the wind and sparkle in the sunlight. They look like some kind of unusual art installation.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “The freely hanging strings need to be stretched and anchored...

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “The freely hanging strings need to be stretched and anchored in the ground. This is done by hand and is more often done by women. Here, Aurora, a woman from from Romania, is in a good mood, as the work team has a radio with them and they are playing Romanian music in the field.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “Once all the strings are manually stretched the workers ensure...

Savinjska valley, near Braslovce, Slovenia

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “Once all the strings are manually stretched, the workers ensure that the small hop seedlings start climbing vertically. Once this is done, they leave the Savinja Valley for a few months and return in late summer, when the hops are ripe for harvesting.”

Winner Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “The sheep are herded back to their pen at the entrance of the...

Chinle, Arizona, USA

Winner, Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 ( Caden Shepard Choi, USA, age 14) : “The sheep are herded back to their pen at the entrance of the canyon. They walk through a dust cloud formed by the steady kick of their hooves. The sheep are initially reluctant to enter the mouth of the canyon, but when returning home, they show no resistance. After a long day steering sheep, the two herding dogs now playfully trail behind.”

Winner Young Travel Photographer of the Year Age 1518  “The mist suspended on Marsh Creek lake's surface signature to...

Exton, Pennsylvania, USA

Winner, Young Travel Photographer of the Year Age 15-18 (Lilly Zhang, USA, age 17) : “The mist suspended on Marsh Creek lake's surface, signature to its early fall mornings, the quiet morning light illuminating the fall leaves, and the fishermen amidst the mist. Captivated by the quiet beauty of the scenery, I took this photo.”

Winner Young Travel Photographer of the Year Age 14 and Younger  “My father and I took a trip to Iceland to visit an...

Litli-Hrutur volcano, Iceland

Winner, Young Travel Photographer of the Year Age 14 and Younger (Zayan Durrani, USA, age 14) : “My father and I took a trip to Iceland to visit an ongoing volcanic eruption. I took this image on the first day through the window of a small plane. I love how the setting sun cast shadows through the hills onto the volcano.”

Winner Landscape and Environment Portfolio  “A lush mountain range covered of moss in the Highlands with a river snaking...

The Icelandic highlands

Winner, Landscape and Environment Portfolio (Armand Sarlangue, France) : “A lush mountain range covered of moss in the Highlands, with a river snaking between the reliefs from the above glaciers. It will carry precious sediments along the lands before joining a bigger river system, up to the coasts of Iceland where it will connect with the great ocean.”

Winner Best Single Image in a Landscape and Environment Portfolio  “For a period from the end of winter to early summer...

Lake Shirakawa, Japan

Winner, Best Single Image in a Landscape and Environment Portfolio (Kazuaki Koseki, Japan) : “For a period from the end of winter to early summer, Lake Shirakawa is filled with water from melting snow and a ‘submerged forest’ appears. The water in the lake changes colour between light blue and light green, and mist, combined with the reflections which look like a submeged forest create a fantastic landscape. In April, the season of sprouting had arrived in the submerged forest. In the soft light before sunrise, the submerged forest quietly welcomed the morning. I chose a bluish time before sunrise to erase the reality and emphasize the fantastic sight, and set the shutter speed to 30 seconds to flatten the water surface.”

Winner Nature Wildlife and Conservation portfolio  “A split shot of a Mobula ray fever cruising below the divers boat as...

La Ventana, Baja California, Mexico

Winner, Nature, Wildlife, and Conservation portfolio (Martin Broen, USA) : “A split shot of a Mobula ray fever cruising below the divers’ boat as part of their annual migration in the waters of Baja California.”

Winner Best Single Image in a Wildlife and Conservation Portfolio  “A yellow Gobby watches the ocean from the entrance...

Anilao, Philippines

Winner, Best Single Image in a Wildlife and Conservation Portfolio (Martin Broen, USA) : “A yellow Gobby watches the ocean from the entrance of his crystal palace, a glass bottle at the bottom of the sea of the worst ocean polluter on the planet.”

Winner People and Cultures Portfolio  “The Buryatian shaman Vitalli performs a ritual to connect with the spirits on...

Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia

Winner, People and Cultures Portfolio (Athanasios Maloukos, Greece) : “The Buryatian shaman Vitalli performs a ritual to connect with the spirits on frozen Lake Baikal, with the sacred Ogoi (Dragon) cape in the background. Siberia is considered the heartland of Shamanism, with Lake Baikal its most sacred place.”

Winner Best Single Image in a People and Cultures Portfolio  “Four members of The Special Eagles Nigeria's national...

Lagos, Nigeria

Winner, Best Single Image in a People and Cultures Portfolio (Jack Lawson, UK) : “Four members of The Special Eagles, Nigeria's national amputee football team, stand looking out into the ocean at a day on the beach.”

Winner Best Single Image in a Visual Stories Portfolio  “In Pakistan an Islamic Republic there is no coeducation in...

Kalash Valley, Chitral, Pakistan

Winner, Best Single Image in a Visual Stories Portfolio (F.Dilek Yurdakul, Turkey) : “In Pakistan, an Islamic Republic, there is no coeducation in public schools. Boys and girls receive Islamic education in separate classrooms and schools. The Kalash live within the borders of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, yet their schools are still co-educational. Gender diversity and unity are viewed as nothing to fear. Children are educated equally and together.”

Winner A Quieter Life category  “Walking on a white sand dune in La Puna Argentina.”

La Puna, Argentina

Winner, A Quieter Life category (Ignacio Palacios, Australia/Spain) : “Walking on a white sand dune in La Puna, Argentina.”

Winner Above Eye Level Below category  “Under the Highline 179 suspension bridge you get a completely different view...

Reutte, Austria

Winner, Above, Eye Level, Below category (Josien van Geffen, Netherlands) : “Under the Highline 179 suspension bridge, you get a completely different view when you look up. The bridge and the people on it now appear like a scene from an old video game.”

Winner Leisure and Adventure category  “As the last rays of the sun illuminate the iconic Treasury of Petra a Bedouin...

Petra, Jordan

Winner, Leisure and Adventure category (Andrea Peruzzi, Italy ): “As the last rays of the sun illuminate the iconic Treasury of Petra, a Bedouin enjoys jumping between the overhanging rocks. At sunset, it’s as if the once-lost city has two profoundly different souls, divided between day and night. When tourists leave this iconic destination, the Bedouins reawaken the ancient soul of Petra by repopulating the site, to eat around the bonfires and stay connected to the traditions handed down by their ancestors.”

Winner People's Choice Vote  “A young wildebeest lost in the Great Wildebeest Migration madness. He stands there...

Maasai Mara, Kenya

Winner, People's Choice Vote (Rohan Neel Shah, Kenya, age 16) : “A young wildebeest lost in the Great Wildebeest Migration madness. He stands there confused whilst other wildebeest rush to cross the river.”

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How to Take Travel Photos: A Complete Guide

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You can also select your interests for free access to our premium training:

Travel photography is one of the most exciting types of photography you can pursue. Combining two of life’s great pleasures—exploring new lands and taking photographs—is a thrill any photographer would enjoy. 

While travel photography is open to anyone with the drive to get up and hit the road, there are a few things you need to learn. That’s why we’ve compiled this in-depth article containing everything you need to know about travel photography. We cover everything from camera settings to the best travel gear, so keep reading to find out more. 

Great pyramid at Chichen Itza, Yucatan Mexico

What Is Travel Photography

Travel photography is simply taking pictures of different places around the world. But good travel photos are not mere holiday snaps. Travel images should show a location in a new light so they’re interesting even for people who have already been there.

Travel photography involves many different styles and techniques. You can incorporate landscapes and portraits into your travel photography. You can even use more advanced techniques like time-lapse and long exposures.

A travel photographer needs to show more than the obvious. They need to explore each location at a deeper level and look for elements that make that place unique and interesting. It isn’t enough to take pictures of the famous landmarks. A travel photographer needs to look deeper and go beyond. 

Far-flung exotic locations often hold the most romance for travelers, but you don’t have to go far to practice travel photography. Venturing to new locations is always exciting, but you can also photograph places you’re familiar with. Using your familiarity to your advantage, you can give viewers a deeper view of these locations.

Anyone can shoot travel photography. The first thing you need is a desire to explore the world, which is something you probably already have. But continue reading for everything else you need to know about travel photography, from techniques to gear.

Mastering Travel Photography

While travel photography is open to anyone with an adventurous spirit, mastering the art does require practice, knowledge, and skill.

Firstly, you need to understand your camera and its settings. You might be tempted to take the easy road and shoot in Auto mode. But you’ll get far better results and more interesting and unique images when shooting with semi or fully manual settings. 

You should also experiment with composition, and you can try both color and black-and-white photography. These are stylistic choices that’ll give your travel photography a personal touch. You also have to consider specific types of travel photography so you’re ready for anything when you’re on the move. 

The following sections cover mastering the art of travel photography. Click the links in the text for more information on each topic. 

Camera Settings

When it comes to camera settings for travel photography, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, make sure your camera is set to the right aperture and shutter speed for the type of photo you want to take. You’ll also need to adjust your white balance and ISO as you move through different locations.

To learn more about camera settings for travel photography, check out camera settings for travel photography .

camera settings for travel photography

A travel photography shot list helps you plan and capture the best photos on your trip. Research the location thoroughly, including famous sights, experiences, geography, and lighting conditions. Look at existing travel photos for inspiration, but aim to create something unique.

Use a spreadsheet to organize your shots by day and time, considering factors like sunrise, sunset, and harsh midday light. Include a mix of portraits, environmental portraits, cityscapes, daily life moments, religious sites, festivals, food, transportation, landscapes, close-ups, architecture, night scenes, and wildlife.

Remember to be adaptable and respectful of local customs. With careful planning and a detailed shot list, you’ll be well-prepared to capture stunning travel photos that transport viewers to your destination. To learn more about creating a travel photography shot list , check out this in-depth guide.

travel photography shot list


Good travel photography composition captures the beauty and essence of a destination. Use the rule of thirds by placing important parts of your photo on the intersecting points of the grid. Or take advantage of symmetry by centering the axis of symmetry in one direction.

Direct attention with leading lines, using elements like paths or fences to guide the viewer’s eye to your subject. Frame spectacular views with windows or arches to provide context. You can also use bold colors to lead the eyes or balance the composition.

Change your perspective by moving around, kneeling, or shooting from a rooftop. Get close to fill the frame with your subject or step back to include surrounding context. Play with scale by including familiar elements like people to convey the impressive size of large spaces.

To learn more about travel photography composition , check out this in-depth guide.

travel photography composition

Black & White

Black-and-white travel photography can be a powerful way to capture the essence of a place. By removing color, you can focus on the light, shapes, and textures that make a scene unique.

Pay attention to contrast and tone in your black-and-white photos. Look for strong shadows and highlights that create depth and drama. Texture is also important in black-and-white photography, so seek out interesting surfaces like rough stone or smooth water.

Most importantly, use black-and-white photography to connect with your subject and tell a story. Whether it’s a portrait of a local person or a landscape that captures the mood of a place, aim to convey emotion in your images.

By developing your own style and vision, you can create compelling black-and-white travel photos that stand out. To learn more about black-and-white travel photography , check out this in-depth guide.

black and white travel photography

Unique Perspectives

Taking unique photos of famous places can be challenging, but with some creativity and planning, you can capture stunning images. Start by researching the location and scouting out potential spots for your shots. Arrive early to avoid crowds and take advantage of the soft, golden light.

Look for elevated views or unusual angles to create a different perspective. Use composition techniques like the rule of thirds to emphasize the landmark in an interesting way. Including people in your shots can add a sense of atmosphere and tell a story.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques like light trails or time-lapse photography . If you encounter photography restrictions, think outside the box and find creative solutions. To learn more about capturing unique photos of famous places , check out this in-depth guide.

unique photos

Documentary Photography

Documentary photography captures real-life events as they happen. It’s a form of visual storytelling that depicts the world around us. Documentary photographers often work on long-term projects to tell new stories through their images.

You don’t need to travel far to find good documentary photography ideas. Look for interesting subjects in your family or community. Focus on the people involved to help viewers connect with the story. You can also tackle big topics by photographing small, local stories related to them.

Visit and scout your locations before the shoot. Get comfortable with the basics of photography, like camera settings and composition. Keep your story personal and critique your work as you go.

If you want to learn more about documentary photography ideas , we have a detailed guide to help you get started.

documentary photography ideas

Train Photography

Train photography offers a diverse range of subjects, from historic steam engines to modern bullet trains. To capture excellent locomotive photos, research train routes and schedules to find the best locations and times. Use natural light to your advantage, with side or backlighting to highlight steam and texture.

Longer focal lengths can compress the scene and show the train in its surroundings. At stations, photograph details like wheels and logos to create atmosphere. Adjust shutter speed for sharp images or creative motion blur, and slightly overexpose for more detail.

For more insights on capturing stunning train photography , check out our full-length article.

train photography

Backing Up Photos

It is important to back up photos while traveling, and an external hard drive is a great option. They are compact, durable, and have large storage capacities.

Smartphones and tablets can also be used to manage photos on the go. With the right accessories, they can connect to external storage devices. This allows you to back up and edit your photos without a laptop.

For the best results, use multiple backup methods. This could include an external hard drive, a USB thumb drive, and cloud storage. By having multiple copies of your photos, you reduce the risk of losing them. If you want to learn how to back up photos , check out our in-depth article.

way to backup photos

Making Money from Travel Photography

Becoming a travel photographer takes hard work and dedication. You need to learn a wide range of photography skills for shooting everything from landscapes to portraits. Building a strong portfolio of your best travel images is key to attracting clients.

To get your name out there, create a travel website or blog to showcase your work. You can also sell your images on digital platforms like stock photography websites. Selling physical prints of your photos is another great option.

As you travel, look for photography work with local businesses, such as hostels or tourism boards. Capture great travel content and consider offering tours or workshops for extra income.

To learn more about how to become a travel photographer , check out this in-depth guide.

Travel Photography Jobs

Travel photography jobs can be an exciting and rewarding career path for those with a passion for photography and adventure. However, it’s important to understand the challenges that come with the job. You’ll need to have exceptional photography skills, business savvy, and the ability to handle tough physical conditions.

To succeed, you’ll need a strong online presence, including a professional website and active social media accounts. You’ll also need reliable gear that can withstand the demands of travel.

There are many ways to make money as a travel photographer, such as selling prints, licensing stock photos, writing for publications, and teaching. The key is diversifying your income streams and constantly looking for new opportunities. With hard work and creativity, finding paid travel photography jobs can be both fulfilling and profitable.

travel photography jobs

Get Paid to Travel

Getting paid to travel and take photos is a dream for many photographers. There are several ways to make this a reality. Selling prints of your travel photos through print-on-demand websites is one option. You can also upload your best images to stock photography agencies and earn passive income from sales.

Entering travel photography competitions is another way to earn money and gain prestige. Winning contests can help you promote your work and attract potential clients.

Building relationships with travel magazine editors can lead to regular paid assignments. Learn what they want and deliver high-quality photos to make their jobs easier. To further your success, get paid to travel and take photos by marketing your photography services to people who have the budget to hire you.

get paid to travel and take photos

Sell Travel Photos

Selling your travel photos can be a great way to make money with your photography. To get started, ensure you have high-quality, well-lit, and properly composed images. They should also be free of technical errors like chromatic aberration and noise.

There are many ways to sell your travel photos. You can sell them through stock photography agencies, directly to clients, or as prints. Each option has its own requirements and markets, so consider your goals before deciding which path to take.

Actively promoting your work is key to maximizing sales. Use social media, email lists, and other marketing strategies to reach potential buyers. If you’re working with a stock agency, ask them what types of images are in demand so you can plan your shoots accordingly.

Learning how to sell travel photos takes time and effort, but with persistence and a willingness to adapt, you can turn your passion into a profitable venture.

how to sell travel photos

Gear for Travel Photography

When packing for a travel photography trip, it’s important to bring the right gear. A lightweight and compact camera body is essential, along with one or two versatile lenses like a wide-angle and a medium telephoto lens.

Don’t forget a sturdy tripod that fits in your luggage for sharp shots in low light. Filters like a circular polarizer and strong ND filter are small but open up creative options when traveling.

Cleaning supplies, extra batteries, memory cards, and rain protection round out the must-haves. With the right travel photography gear , you’ll be ready to capture amazing images anywhere your adventures take you.

Traveling with Camera Gear

Traveling with camera gear can be challenging, but there are ways to make it easier and safer. Use padded cases to protect your equipment from bumps and knocks. A shoulder bag is a good option for keeping your camera close and secure while walking through busy areas.

Always carry your gear in your hand luggage when flying. Most airlines understand the importance of this and are lenient about the weight of your carry-on bag. To deter thieves, hide or remove any camera branding using black duct tape.

Insuring your gear is crucial in case of theft or damage. Take down all the serial numbers and make sure your equipment is fully covered. By following these tips for traveling with camera gear , you can have peace of mind and focus on capturing great photos during your travels.

travel with camera gear

External Hard Drives

An external hard drive is an essential accessory for travel photographers. Memory cards fill up fast when you’re traveling, and you don’t want to carry a bunch of them around with you. It’s best to take an external hard drive to keep all your photo files in one place.

You’ll need something durable yet compact, which is why we recommend the LaCie Rugged Mini for travelers. It’s an easy fit for any travel camera bag. You have storage options up to 5 TB, and it’s the most durable external hard drive on the market. 

See more of the best external hard drives in our full-length article.

LaCie Rugged Mini

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Cameras for Travel Photography

The Canon EOS RP is a great mirrorless camera for travel photography. It’s lightweight, easy to handle, and has a 26 MP full-frame sensor that captures high-quality images in any situation.

The camera’s autofocus system is fast and accurate, even in low light. It also offers eye-detection AF for portraits. The EOS RP can shoot 4K video and has convenient Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

This camera is ideal for most travel photography needs. If you want to learn more about the best travel cameras , check out our detailed guide.

Mirrorless Cameras

The best mirrorless cameras for travel are compact and lightweight, but still capture stunning photos and videos. Our top pick is the Nikon Z50 . It has a compact body that fits easily in any camera bag. The 20.9 MP sensor produces bright, vibrant images with excellent low-light performance.

The Z50 is also great for travel vlogging. It records 4K video at 30 fps and has an articulating screen for easy self-recording. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth make it simple to share your adventures with friends and family back home.

If you want to learn more about the best mirrorless cameras for travel , check out our in-depth guide. We cover a range of cameras for every type of traveler, from beginners to professionals.

mirrorless camera for travel

Compact Cameras

The Sony ZV-1 II is a pocket-sized camera packed with features for modern travelers. It has a high-resolution 20 MP sensor and a versatile 18-50mm zoom lens. The f/1.8-4 aperture provides solid low-light performance.

Vloggers love the ZV-1 II’s 4K video at 30 fps and the special Cinematic Vlog Setting. A built-in mic and wind muffler make capturing audio easy. Real-time AF with face and eye detection keeps subjects sharp.

The Sony ZV-1 II is the ideal compact camera for travel vlogging. It’s a worthwhile investment for creating exciting content abroad. But we have more options in the link above. 

compact camera for travel

Lenses for Travel Photography

The best travel lenses give you a wide focal range in a compact size. Zoom lenses like the Nikon AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 are very popular. It has vibration reduction to reduce camera shake and improve low-light performance.

Prime lenses are another good option. They are usually smaller and lighter than zooms. The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is a great example. This pancake lens is ultra-compact but still gives you a versatile focal length.

When choosing the best travel lens , think about the size, weight, and focal length. You want a lens that is easy to carry but still gives you plenty of options. The lenses on this list are all fantastic choices for your next adventure.

Canon Lenses

The best Canon lenses for travel photography are lightweight, versatile, and capture stunning images. Our top picks are the Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM . These nifty-fifty lenses are compact, affordable, and great in low light.

Other top choices include the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM for its wide zoom range and the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM for landscapes. The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a popular all-in-one zoom for DSLR users. It has a constant f/4 aperture and weather sealing.

No matter your camera type, there’s a perfect travel lens for you. Look for a lens that’s light, has a useful focal range, and fits your budget. Canon lenses for travel photography help you capture amazing images around the world.

Canon RF 50mm F/1.8 STM

Nikon Lenses

The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S and Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G are the best Nikon lenses for travel photography. The Z 50mm f/1.8 S offers sharp images and a durable build. It’s great for low light with its f/1.8 aperture.

The AF-S 50mm f/1.8G is compact and lightweight. It also performs well in low light. The 50mm focal length is perfect for street scenes and portraits.

Both lenses are very popular with travel photographers. If you want to learn more about Nikon lenses for travel photography , we have a detailed guide that covers the best options for Nikon mirrorless and DSLR cameras.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S

Sony Lenses

When choosing the best Sony lenses for travel photography, consider weight, versatility, and image quality. Our top pick is the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS PZ , offering a wide zoom range, constant f/4 aperture, and effective optical stabilization in a compact design.

For APS-C cameras, the Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS is a great low-light prime lens. Its wide f/1.8 aperture and built-in stabilization help capture sharp images in dim settings. The Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 is an affordable and versatile prime for full-frame cameras, ideal for portraits and everyday shots.

Other notable lenses include the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS for its all-in-one zoom capabilities and the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN | C for its fast aperture and compact size. To learn more about the best Sony lenses for travel photography , check out our in-depth guide.

Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G

Travel Tripods

A travel tripod is a must-have for any photographer on the go. The best travel tripods are lightweight, compact, and easy to set up. They also need to be sturdy enough to support your camera gear.

Our top pick is the K&F Concept Lightweight Travel Tripod . It weighs only 2.4 lb but can hold up to 17.6 lb of gear. The aluminum ball head gives you great flexibility for positioning your camera. And the included carry case makes it easy to take with you anywhere.

If you want to learn more about choosing the right travel tripod , check out our detailed guide. It covers everything from key features to look for to our top recommendations in different price ranges.

K&F Concept Lightweight Travel Tripod

Travel Camera Backpacks

When choosing a camera backpack for travel, protection and comfort are key. The best bags are well-designed, roomy, and easy to carry.

Our top pick is the Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader . It’s sturdy, spacious, and versatile. You can use it as a backpack, duffel, or sling. And it has access from the front and both sides.

The Wandrd Duo Daypack is another great option. It’s made from quality materials that protect your gear from the weather. It has ample storage and the main zipper allows quick access to your camera.

If you want to learn more about the best camera backpack for travel , check out our detailed reviews. We’ll help you find the perfect bag for your next adventure.

Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader Backpack

Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader

The Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader Camera Backpack is a top choice for photographers. It has a sturdy design and plenty of space for your gear.

The backpack is comfortable to wear, even when fully loaded. You can easily adjust it to fit your body.

This bag is perfect for any photography adventure. It’s a worthwhile investment for serious photographers looking for a reliable way to carry their equipment. To learn more about the Manfrotto Pro Light Multiloader, check out our full review .

manfrotto pro light multiloader

Think Tank Airport Essentials

The Think Tank Airport Essentials is a camera backpack specifically designed for air travel. It has a smart design, useful features, and fits as carry-on luggage.

This backpack offers secure storage with an efficient use of space and a special lock. The lifetime warranty makes it a one-time investment for years of use.

While it lacks some versatility found in other bags, the Airport Essentials excels at storage capacity, protection, and style. Photographers who want a Think Tank Airport Essentials for their travels will find this bag a great choice.

think tank airport essentials

Weatherproof Backpacks

Protecting your camera gear from the elements is essential. Weatherproof camera bags offer peace of mind when shooting in unpredictable conditions. They feature robust materials and coatings that keep water out, even in sudden downpours.

Our top picks, the Wandrd Prvke , Wandrd Duo , and Lowepro Freeline , have impressive exterior materials that don’t need a separate rain cover. The Prvke’s roll-top design is commonly used in waterproof bags, while the Duo and Freeline include waterproof zippers to secure even the weakest points.

When choosing a weatherproof camera bag , consider not only its water-resistant abilities but also its functionality for your photography style. Look for features like easy access points, ample storage, and comfortable carrying options that suit your needs.

Wandrd Prvke Backpack

A camera hard case is the best way to protect your photography gear while traveling. The Pelican Air 1525 is our top choice, with its tough exterior and foam-padded interior that keeps your equipment safe and secure. It’s spacious enough for your camera and accessories without being too bulky.

The Vanguard Supreme 46F is another excellent option, especially for adventure travel. It’s waterproof down to 16.5 ft (5 m) and can withstand temperatures as low as -40 C. The customizable Pick ‘n’ Pluck foam interior ensures a snug fit for each item.

For convenience, the Nanuk 935 is hard to beat. Its retractable handle and wheels make transportation a breeze, while the padded dividers keep your gear organized and protected. If you’re looking for a camera hard case that combines durability and ease of use, the Nanuk 935 is a great choice.

Pelican Air 1525 Carry Case

Travel Apps

Travel apps can make your photography adventures easier and more enjoyable. Snapseed is a powerful photo editor with a wide range of tools, from basic adjustments to creative effects. It’s free and available on both iOS and Android.

VSCO is another popular editing app that offers a simple, streamlined experience. Its presets are based on real film stocks, giving your photos an authentic vintage look. You can also use sliders to fine-tune the exposure and add fade or grain effects.

When you’re ready to share your travel photos, consider using Spot. This app helps you find picturesque locations and share your own discoveries with other photographers. With detailed maps and tips, it’s one of the best apps for travel photography .

Editing Travel Photos

Editing your travel photos can take them to the next level. There are many techniques you can use to improve your images, from simple adjustments to more advanced processes.

Cropping is a quick way to remove unwanted elements or zoom in on important parts of the photo. Sharpening will make details pop, while noise reduction can clean up high ISO shots. Straightening the horizon line is also important for a polished look.

Other useful techniques include adding a vignette to draw the eye, adjusting saturation and contrast, balancing highlights and shadows, and using digital blending for challenging lighting. For an extra level of refinement, you can even remove unwanted objects.

With practice, you’ll learn which editing steps work best for your travel images. Check out our in-depth guide if you’d like to dive deeper into editing travel photos .

Location Guides

Whenever you’re heading off somewhere new, it’s always best to do some research before you go. Your preparations will be more thorough and more specialized when you have a better idea of what to expect. That means you can hit the ground running when you arrive, and you’ll get better results. 

We have a collection of location guides for some travel photography hot spots. These posts give you a head start when taking pictures in these locations, helping you get unique shots in popular places. 

Let’s drop in on a few of the hottest locations in Europe, Asia, and the US. 

European Cities

Europe is a photographer’s dream, with its stunning architecture, charming villages, and beautiful countryside. From the centuries-old buildings to the cobblestone streets, there’s no shortage of photo opportunities.

Some of the best European cities for photography include Amalfi, Italy, with its medieval stories and dainty houses; Venice, Italy, known for its canals and seafood; and Dubrovnik, Croatia, a seaside location with picturesque houses and Game of Thrones filming locations.

Other notable cities include Prague, Czech Republic, with its historic buildings and Gothic churches; Oia, Greece, with its stunning white buildings and sunsets; and Amsterdam, Netherlands, full of incredible art and historical monuments.

Whether you’re interested in architecture, landscapes, or street photography, these European cities offer endless inspiration. To learn more about the European cities for photography , check out this in-depth guide.

european cities for photography

Paris is a photographer’s dream, offering countless opportunities to capture stunning images. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the charming streets of Montmartre, there’s no shortage of beautiful subjects to photograph.

One of the best spots for photography in Paris is the Trocadero, which offers a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. The Champs Elysee and Arc de Triomphe are also must-see locations, with the latter providing a great vantage point for capturing the city’s skyline.

Other notable photo locations include the Louvre, with its striking glass pyramid, and Notre Dame Cathedral, which offers both interior and exterior photo opportunities. It’s still striking even after the fire damage. 

For a taste of modern Paris, head to La Defense, the city’s business district filled with skyscrapers and unique architecture.

To learn more about Paris photography , check out this in-depth guide that covers the best locations, tips, and techniques for capturing the city’s beauty.

paris photography

London offers plenty of photography opportunities, from cityscapes to street photography and architecture. Some of the best locations include the Palace of Westminster, where you can capture iconic photos from Westminster Bridge or the south bank of the Thames. Tower Bridge is another well-known site, offering great angles for traffic light trails and sunrise photos.

The London Eye is a newer addition to the skyline, perfect for creative shots like zoom bursts or portraits inside the capsules. Don’t miss the photogenic wrought iron roof at Borough Market or the beautiful exterior of St Paul’s Cathedral.

For stunning views, head to The Shard, the highest skyscraper in the European Union. Buckingham Palace is a must-see, especially during the Changing of the Guard ceremony. If you’re interested in photography in London , these locations are sure to inspire you.

photography in london

Rome is a photographer’s dream, with stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture around every corner. From the iconic Colosseum to the beautiful Trevi Fountain, there are countless opportunities to capture breathtaking images.

Don’t miss the Vatican Museum, where you can photograph the famous spiral staircase. The Pantheon’s exterior and interior are equally impressive, especially during the blue hour. St. Peter’s Basilica offers great views of the city and a chance to capture the Pope if you’re lucky.

The Tiber River provides picturesque views, particularly from Ponte Sant’Angelo towards St. Peter’s Basilica. Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo are perfect for street photography and capturing traditional Roman scenes. To learn more about the best spots for Rome photography , check out this in-depth guide.

rome photography

Venice is a photographer’s dream, offering endless opportunities to capture its unique beauty. The best time to avoid crowds and oppressive heat is during the low season or early morning. Sunrise at Academia Bridge provides a stunning view of the Grand Canal, while Piazza San Marco is best photographed before tourists arrive.

Don’t miss the iconic gondolas along the waterfront near Piazza San Marco, especially during sunset and blue hour. For a different perspective, head to San Giorgio Maggiore island to photograph the church and Venice’s skyline at golden hour.

Explore the backstreets of San Polo and Dorsoduro districts for charming piazzas, decaying architecture, and canal scenes. Murano and Burano islands offer colorful buildings and glassmaking demonstrations perfect for photography. To learn more about Venice photography , check out this in-depth guide.

venice photography

Budapest is another fantastic city for photographers, offering endless opportunities to capture stunning images. From the grand architecture of the Hungarian Parliament Building to the thermal baths of Széchenyi, there’s no shortage of photogenic spots in this beautiful city.

One of the best places to start is the Fisherman’s Bastion, a neo-Gothic terrace with breathtaking views of the Danube River and the Pest side of the city. Nearby, you’ll find Matthias Church, a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture that’s perfect for capturing intricate details and beautiful stained glass windows.

For panoramic views of the city, head to Gellért Hill, where you can capture the entire skyline from the Citadella fortress. And don’t miss the iconic Chain Bridge, which looks particularly stunning at night when it’s lit up against the dark sky. To learn more about the best spots for Budapest photography , check out this in-depth guide.

budapest photography

Japan is a brilliant destination for a photography trip. From stunning landscapes to interesting architecture and fascinating culture, there’s no shortage of inspiration for your travel photography.

Capture the vibrant cityscape of Minato, one of Tokyo’s special wards. Improve your food photography skills at Japan’s many cafés and restaurants, where every dish looks like a work of art. Take adorable photos of tame deer in Nara Park or sharpen your landscape photography in Hakone, with its hot springs, views of Mount Fuji, and gorgeous lake.

Don’t miss the breathtaking cherry blossoms in Japan’s parks during the Sakura season, usually from January to April. Visit the magical Blue Pond in Biei, go on an adventure in Kyoto’s Bamboo Grove, or document the commercial side of Japan in Shinjuku. For more inspiration on Japan photography , check out our in-depth guide.

japan photography

Tokyo is one of the world’s most vibrant locations, offering a diverse range of subjects to capture. From the bustling streets of Shinjuku and Shibuya to the traditional temples of Asakusa, there’s no shortage of incredible hot spots to explore.

For those seeking modern architecture and vibrant city life, the Tokyo Skytree and Roppongi Hills Mori Tower provide stunning views of the skyline. Harajuku, the heart of Tokyo’s youth culture, is perfect for street photography and capturing unique fashion trends.

If you’re interested in learning more about Tokyo photography , check out our in-depth article to help you plan your trip and find the best spots to shoot. With its mix of old and new, Tokyo is a city that will inspire and challenge you as a photographer.

tokyo photography

Etiquette in Japan

When taking photos in Japan, it’s important to be respectful and follow proper etiquette. Always ask for permission before taking someone’s photo, especially if you plan to share it publicly. If you can’t get permission, blur the person’s face to protect their privacy.

Be prepared to show your photos to the police if asked, and avoid using selfie sticks in crowded areas to prevent injuries. In cafés and restaurants, ask the staff for permission before taking photos of your meal.

At night, skip the flash and use a higher ISO and tripod to capture vibrant neon lights. Avoid taking photos in no-photo areas, of children without parental consent, geishas, people on public transport, and those in the middle of prayer. For more tips on photography in Japan , check out this in-depth guide.

photography in japan

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a street photographer’s paradise. From the colorful Venice Beach boardwalk to the iconic Griffith Observatory, there are endless opportunities to capture the city’s unique character.

The Santa Monica Pier is a must-visit spot, especially in the evening when the lights come on. Echo Park offers stunning views of the skyline, particularly at sunrise or sunset.

Downtown LA is full of hidden gems like the Bradbury Building with its intricate architecture and the bustling Grand Central Market. For a taste of old Hollywood glamor, head to Union Station or the Hollywood Bowl Overlook. Places for street photography in Los Angeles are as diverse as the city itself, so grab your camera and start exploring.

places for street photography in los angeles

New York City remains one of the most popular locations for photographers, with countless iconic locations to capture. Central Park offers a variety of scenes, from the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain to the Alice in Wonderland statue. The Brooklyn Bridge is another must-see, with its stunning suspension cables and brick towers.

Grand Central Station and the Chelsea Market are great for street photography and architectural details. Rockefeller Center provides both street-level interest and panoramic views from its observation deck.

Of course, no trip to New York would be complete without photographing the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. For breathtaking cityscapes, head to Brooklyn Bridge Park or find a unique vantage point to capture the Manhattan skyline. Don’t miss the Flatiron Building and the vibrant energy of Times Square.

To learn more about the best spots for New York photography , check out our in-depth guide.

new york photography

Photography Road Trip

Planning a road trip for photography involves choosing the right vehicle, deciding on accommodation, and mapping out your route. Your vehicle should be safe, comfortable, and suitable for the terrain you’ll encounter. Living out of your vehicle, like an RV or camper van, allows you to stay closer to photo locations and immerse yourself in nature.

When planning your route, prioritize the locations you want to photograph. Research potential spots using apps and websites like Pinterest, 500px, Flickr, and Google’s My Maps. Plot your route, campgrounds, points of interest, and photo locations to make the most of your trip.

Electricity is essential for photographers on the road. Ensure you have reliable power sources, such as a dual battery system, solar panels, or a 12v inverter. Always carry a power bank as a backup. To stay connected, use local SIM cards with data or take advantage of Wi-Fi at cafes and fast food outlets.

By planning your shots in advance and considering factors like lighting, crowds, and unique perspectives, you can capture stunning images that tell the story of your road trip photography adventure.

road trip photography

Inspiration from the Best Travel Photographers

Travel photography captures the adventures and locations you visit during your journeys. It involves many genres like landscape, architecture, street, and environmental photography. Travel photographers often tell stories through their images, focusing on special moments and atmospheres.

There are many approaches to travel photography. You can focus on people, take self-portraits, emphasize landscapes, or try aerial photography. Mixing these approaches can result in a unique style and help you gain recognition as a travel photographer.

If you’d like to learn more about travel photographers , we have an article that goes into greater depth on the topic.

Travel Blogs

Travel photography blogs are a great source of inspiration for your next adventure. They feature stunning images from around the world and provide useful tips for capturing your own travel photos.

Some of the best travel photography blogs cover a wide range of topics, from destination guides to photography tutorials. They showcase the work of talented photographers who have explored every corner of the globe.

Whether you’re planning your next trip or simply looking for some armchair travel, these blogs are sure to inspire you. To discover some of the best travel photography blogs to follow in 2024, check out this list of top picks.

travel photography blogs

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iPhone photography tips: How to take better travel photos on your phone

Capture your travel memories with these iphone photography tips.

Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay

When I’m in a beautiful setting — like The Chin of Mount Mansfield —  I’ll get out my iPhone and begin snapping photos. Some places are too striking to ignore, and I’ll want to capture the moment to share on social media or reflect on later. Over time, it’s fun to build up a library and look back on those places.

A memorable photo brings a special satisfaction

5 tips for optimal iphone photography, now you can create next-level memories.

Though iPhones are technological marvels, capable of taking vivid pics, there are ways to take your photography even further. Whether adjusting phone settings or capturing pics at specific times, you can turn your travel photos into amazing images. Here’s how.

During your travels, you’ve probably snapped a memorable shot now and then. That might’ve been the result of careful planning or happened while randomly viewing the surroundings. Either way, it’s fun to create these works of art, share them with friends, and store them for later. 

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For me, it was capturing the total solar eclipse on the summit of Mount Mansfield, the highest point in Vermont. As the moon covered the sun, a shadow enveloped the surroundings, highlighting the peach horizon, and Lake Champlain shimmering in the distance. I felt like I was on another planet. 

The following tips are simple, effective ways to optimize iPhone photography. Each gives your snaps that extra edge, taking them from good to great, enhancing your social media posts, and preserving the moment. 

Take pictures during the Golden Hour

The Golden Hour — the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset — creates ideal lighting for photos that glow. That’s because, during these times, the sun’s at a lower point in the sky, producing indirect light that enhances warmth, creates shadows, and optimizes exposures. 

Not only that, but with light changing minute by minute, every photo is different. Over an hour, you can play photographic artist, picking from a palette of lights and hues, for a library of shots.

Use Smart HDR for the perfect exposure

The right exposure — the amount of light that reaches the camera’s sensor — is key to producing vivid, clear photos. But when you’re hiking a mountain or exploring a city, you probably don’t want to fiddle with settings like shutter speed, ISO, or aperture. Your iPhone’s HDR (high dynamic range) feature does the work for you.

In HDR mode, your iPhone takes several pictures at varying exposures and then blends them into a single image, for an ideal exposure. Though you can manually turn on HDR, you can also configure it to automatically kick in. Just go to Settings > Camera, then switch on Smart HDR. 

Turn your phone upside-down for low-angle pics

Certain settings invite low-angle photos. Maybe you’re by a lake as the sun rises, and the still water shimmers just right. You could be in a bustling city and want to capture the street surface as cars and people fly by. But doing that with an iPhone presents a challenge, with the camera lenses positioned at the top.

An easy solution is flipping the phone, so the lenses skim the surface, letting you take low-angle shots with ease. With the phone mere inches above, you’ll take pictures that capture interesting perspectives and memorable moments.

Use Live Photos to create long exposure shots

Long exposure shots slow down the shutter speed to blur moving objects, while stationary subjects remain clear. Picture a heron floating under a waterfall, or a spectator watching race cars fly by. The technique adds life and energy to otherwise pedestrian shots.

On your iPhone — instead of fiddling with exposure settings — you can use the Live Photos features to create the same effect. After taking a photo in Live mode, then open it in the Photos app. At the top, open the drop-down menu, or swipe up to show “Effects”, then select “Long Exposure”.

Utilize grid lines for better composition

Just as important as a photo’s lighting and exposure are its composition. That refers to the positioning of elements within the frame, which helps create a shot’s unique feel. One type of composition uses the “rule of thirds”, which divides the frame into thirds, vertically and horizontally, and positions the central subject at the intersection of the grid lines.

Using that rule, the subject occupies about one-third of the picture, and the surroundings the other two-thirds, generally accepted to create a good-looking snap. To do that on your iPhone, click on Settings > Camera, then select Grid under Composition.

Sure, your iPhone can take good photos without any special techniques or settings. But that’s not what you’re after. When you visit Maui, Hawaii, or Lake Tahoe, you want pictures that capture the moment’s every detail. Not only that, but you want the mood to shine through. These techniques can help you achieve that and more, and better yet, don’t cost a thing. So pick a spot during the Golden Hour, dial in those settings, and create some memories.

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Mark Reif

Traveling by air doesn't come without its physical tolls. Hours spent in a pressurized cabin with limited movement and dry hydration levels can negatively impact our skin and immune system in ways we don't immediately notice. One of the simplest yet surprisingly effective ways to counteract these effects is by taking a cold shower after a flight. While it might not be the most appealing thing in the world to do after a flight, the cold exposure might just be worth it. Let's explore how this simple act can be a game-changer for frequent flyers. Benefits of cold showers after a flight

Revitalizing the skin One of the most notable changes that you may have experienced after air travel is how harsh it can be to the skin. The low humidity levels in airplane cabins can harm the natural moisture barrier on your skin and lead to dehydration or even breakouts. A cold shower can work wonders in this scenario.

The open road gives you opportunities to explore. Whether you embark on a set route or want to take it as you go, traveling by car puts you in the driver’s seat. But to ensure you stay on course, you’ll need a full-featured mapping app with accurate directions and useful features.

Apple Maps and Google Maps are popular navigation apps with particular nuances and visuals that may appeal to different users. While both offer trustworthy directions, their varying user experiences give consumers a unique choice either way.

If you're planning a trip to the Bahamas, one of the first things you'll need to sort out is your travel documentation. As a U.S. citizen, you generally need to have a valid passport book or passport card to enter the Bahamas by air or sea. While it's close to the United States, it's not part of the U.S. or a U.S. territory. As such, you'll need to meet the same entry requirements as you would for any other foreign country.

What you should know before traveling to the Bahamas There are some details to keep in mind when it comes to the required travel documents for entering the Bahamas. Can you use your driver's license to go to the Bahamas? No, a driver's license alone is not sufficient for entry into the Bahamas. Even though the Bahamas is a relatively short distance from the U.S., you'll still need to present a valid U.S. passport book or passport card when arriving by air or sea.


The best images of time travellers from throughout history.

Every now and then an image appears online which people claim shows a time traveller somewhere they shouldn't be. Are they real though?

Every now and then an image appears online which people claim shows a time traveller somewhere they shouldn't be. But are they just cases of people letting their imaginations run wild?

We've rounded up some of the best and most interesting images of time travellers throughout history. Some turned out to be plain fakes or cases of mistaken identities, but others are certainly intriguing.

Which have you seen before?

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The time travelling hipster

This photo was snapped in 1941 at the re-opening ceremony for the South Fork Bridge in British Columbia.

If you look carefully, on the right-hand side you can see an unusually dressed man in what appears to be modern clothing, sporting sunglasses at a time when most were wearing hats and smart jackets.

Many argue this is a time traveller, while others have countered that he's simply a man with a fashion sense ahead of his time. Snopes has shown his clothing is relevant to the time and the area, but it's still great to imagine.

World Cup celebrations

This photo comes from the 1962 World Cup and shows the celebrations as the Brazilian team lifts the trophy.

If you look closely though, you'll see in the bottom centre of the image what looks like someone with a mobile phone snapping a photo of the event.

Could this be a time traveller as well? A bit odd to think someone in the future might have a flip phone , but then they have been making a comeback recently and we know folding phones are about to be big too .

The time travelling sun seeker

This image from 1943 apparently shows British factory workers escaping to the seaside for a break during the midst of wartime. The clothes and beachwear of most people certainly fit the era, but in the centre of a frame appears to be a man dressed like Mr Bean checking his mobile phone.

Or maybe it's a time travel device? Likely a bit of a stretch or a case of overactive internet imagination, but we still enjoy the thought. Maybe there are no public beaches in the future?

Mohawk time traveller

This image from 1905 appears to show the usual happenings of the time - including workers and a banana boat delivering its goods.

However, if you look near the edge of the boat you can spy a man in a white shirt with what appears to be a Mohawk-style haircut. A very unusual haircut for the time and possible proof of a time traveller? Who can say?

Film footage captured during the recording of Charlie Chaplin's 1928 silent film "The Circus" appears to show a lady dressed all in black, wearing a hat and walking around the set talking on her mobile phone.

The footage is a little iffy as is the idea that anyone could be talking on a mobile device in the 1920s, but it's certainly got some suggesting it might be proof time travellers are among us.

The ancient astronaut sculpture

In Salamanca, Spain, there's a cathedral with multiple sculptures carved into its sides. One such sculpture appears to show the likeness of a modern-day (or perhaps futuristic) astronaut.

Considering the cathedral's construction dates back to 1513, people have taken this as proof that time travellers made their way back to that time. However, the truth is the astronaut is merely a modern addition to the artwork carried out by Jerónimo García de Quiñones during renovations in 1992.

Time travelling celebrities

There's an interesting trend of people who closely resemble folks from a bygone era. This could just be a spooky coincidence, but maybe it's proof that time travel is possible.

Perhaps these celebrities are living a double life in another century. Here, Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary Leader Mahir Cayan who was born in 1946 and died in 1972 is shown to bear a striking resemblance to TV star Jimmy Fallon. Is Jimmy Fallon living a double life as a revolutionary communist? Seems hilariously unlikely.

A man and his mobile phone

Some claim that this oil painting by Pieter de Hooch, which was lovingly crafted in 1670 appears to show a young man holding his mobile phone. In an age where such a thing would probably have seen him burnt at the stake, this one is hard to believe.

A description of the image also suggests the young man is a messenger and that's a letter in his hand, not a phone, but it's still nice to let your imagination run wild once in a while. We've often wondered what it would be like to be able to travel back to simpler times to see what life was like for ourselves.

The Adidas trainers mummy

A couple of years ago, an ancient mummy was unearthed by archaeologists digging in Mongolia. At the time, it was suggested the funky-looking footwear she was wearing bore a striking resemblance to Adidas trainers. More evidence of a time traveller visiting ancient times? Investigation of the body dated it around 1,100 years old. That's one heck of a blast through the past.

However, further unearthing showed the woman was more likely to have been a Turkic seamstress which might explain the fresh kicks. She was found with an ancient clutch bag, a mirror, a comb, a knife and more. But no mobile phone.

The time surfer

Another image of an out-of-place individual that people have latched on to as proof that time travel is a reality.

This image dates back over 100 years and shows some smartly dressed Canadians sitting on the side of a hill.

On the left-hand side though, sits a young man in what appears to be a t-shirt and shorts with ruffled hair. He was quickly referred to as the surfing time traveller due to how unusual his attire is. Others have suggested people in the photo appear shocked by his appearance, even pointing out the woman on the right who seems to be gesturing in his direction. Again, this a bit of a stretch as would a time traveller really go through time dressed like that?

A visitor to wartime Reykjavík

This photograph apparently shows a scene from downtown Reykjavík in 1943.

In the heart of wartime, soldiers and sailors can be seen everywhere in the streets among civilians. The man circled though, appears to be on a mobile phone.

We've really got a theme going with these smartphone using time travellers. Who is he calling? And how? And if he is a time traveller, why is he not in Berlin trying to assassinate Hitler?

The dabbing WWII soldier

There's an apparent theme to these time traveller photos that not only includes smartphone users, but also people visiting the second world war.

In this image, a young soldier is seen dabbing, a dance move that became popular around 2014, but certainly wasn't known in wartime.

Of course, it turns out this photo isn't an image of a time traveller, but rather just an image of some actors from 2017's blockbuster Dunkirk . The fact that most of the soldiers are smiling should also be a bit of a giveaway with this one.

Greta Thunberg

In 2019, the internet discovered a photograph from 1898 which showed three children working at a gold mine in Canada's Yukon territory.

The image seemed to show a girl with an incredible likeness to the young climate activist Greta Thunberg. Does this make Thunberg a time traveller who's come through time to save the planet? Weird year for her to choose, but it's a nice idea.

A woman clutching a smartphone (1860)

The painting " The expected one " from 1860, by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller appears to show a woman walking along a rough path, about to be accosted by an adoring young man clutching a pink flower.

A close look though and you'll see she appears to have her attention firmly glued to a modern smartphone. Is this woman actually a time traveller?

Vladimir Putin

A few years back, a number of images surfaced online that seemingly showed Russian President Vladimir Putin snapped over various decades without ageing. Either proof that he's a time traveller or perhaps just immortal?

If true, he's incredibly patriotic, with each image showing him serving his country in one way or another. Though it's more likely to just be a strong likeness.

The AI time traveller

Here's a time traveller with a difference. Stelfie the Time Traveller has been using AI to travel through time. Or at least to give the illusion of doing so.

This creative individual has been using Stable Diffusion to insert the likeness of a modern man into ancient civilisations including Egypt when the pyramids were being constructed, Rome with the centurions and the land of the dinosaurs . It's fun to imagine these as being real, though if you look closely they're clearly AI-generated. As this artificial intelligence improves we'll no doubt get even better images like this. Interestingly even the character taking the selfies isn't real here, but is also made using AI.


Outside Festival feat. Thundercat and Fleet Foxes.


A man sits in a hammock looking out at Concepción volcano in Nicaragua.

Should I Use a Travel Agent? Our Travel Expert Says It Makes All the Difference.

The new age of travel agents know how to find deals, book off-the-beaten path adventures, and get you out of any jam. Especially if you know who to use.

A man sits in a hammock looking out at Concepción volcano in Nicaragua.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! >","name":"in-content-cta","type":"link"}}'>Download the app .

I’ve always thought that planning my own trips was the most cost-effective way, but I’ve been hearing more about travel agents making a comeback and saving their clients a lot of money. What kinds of outdoor trips should I turn to a travel agent for, and are there any who specialize in working with adventurers like me?

Technically, I’m a professional traveler. As a journalist, it’s my job to research and connect with locals to get beneath the surface of a destination. So I have never really used travel agents. What could they plan better than I could?

A lot, it turns out. Over the years, I’ve gotten to know many travel specialists, and I consider them magicians. My big aha moment happened two winters ago on a trip to Iceland . A massive storm shut down internal flights for a day, causing me to miss my return flight to the U.S. Normally, I would have spent frustrating hours on hold with the airline. But because I’d paid $65 to have Ana Gloria Garcia, an air-support specialist at the travel agency EmbarkBeyond, find and book the most affordable and convenient flight option for me, she handled the rebookings while I soaked in the Blue Lagoon.

A woman soaks in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon.

During the pandemic, agents became advocates helping travelers get refunds on canceled flights and trips. As travel has come roaring back, an agent’s superpower is now their access to the best hotel rooms, most in-the-know guides, free amenities, and more, says Cory Hagopian, senior vice president of sales and partnerships for Virtuoso , a global network of travel agencies.

And they’re attracting a young clientele. According to a recent industry survey , 38 percent of millennials and Gen Zers are opting to use travel agents as opposed to booking on their own trips. That number is far greater than Gen Xers and baby boomers, of whom only 12 and 2 percent respectively use agents.

What Do I Gain from Using a Travel Agent?

I recently had a friend tell me she spent close to 40 hours researching a family trip online. She probably could have gleaned the same intel from an hourlong conversation with a travel adviser. Knowledge is priceless, and advisers act as your insiders. They know what you don’t and fill in the blanks for things you might not have considered, says Erika Richter, a spokesperson for the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA). Their firsthand knowledge, vast network, and on-the-ground connections all combine to provide a unique perspective for crafting the perfect itinerary for you.

Kayak, paddle, raft—a river trip down Costa Rica’s Pacuare is good fun. And Danielle Meyer of Coastline Travel likes to book clients in the riverfront, all-inclusive, 20-suite Pacuare Lodge. “The way to get to the property is by whitewater rafting, so you truly begin with adventure!”

Most travel advisers specialize in certain regions and countries and travel to them frequently, so they have up-to-date intel on not only the best safari camps but the perfect tent to book for the most incredible views and the best local restaurants you won’t find on Tripadvisor. They want their client’s trips to go well to keep them coming back, so it’s in their interest to have sussed out hotels and itineraries before they send you out into the world.

Nicole Forster, 29, considers herself a savvy traveler. She’s been to 20-plus countries and enjoys destination research. But when it came to planning her honeymoon in Africa, she felt overwhelmed, so she reached out to Danielle Meyer at Coastline Travel Advisors , which specializes in bespoke itineraries. “Originally, I wanted to go to South Africa, Victoria Falls, and Madagascar,” Forster recalls. “Danielle convinced me that if we wanted to relax, we should stay in South Africa and save the other countries for separate trips.”

Over five phone conversations and multiple emails, they crafted a 15-night itinerary that included Cape Town, the winelands, the Cape Peninsula, and a safari at the Thornybush Game Reserve. Forster established her budget early in the process, and Meyer sent her a variety of lodge options to choose from.

“I initially wanted to start with the safari, but she pointed out that we’d be jet-lagged and would need to wake at sunrise for game drives,” says Forster. “The safari was our highlight, so it was a perfect way to end the trip.”

A man sitting in an open-air vehicle while on safari in South Africa smiles at the camera while an elephant is just over his shoulder, approaching.

Not only did Meyer book all of the flights, hotels, and transfers, but she created a detailed, day-by-day trip app for the couple that included useful information like check-in times at hotels and how much to tip guides .

Agents also act as advocates. If something goes wrong during your travels, they’re on call 24/7 to handle it. When Forster left the battery and charger for her camera at a hotel, Meyer arranged for an on-the-ground contact to go to a camera store and buy new ones that would be delivered to her hotel the next day.

The cost for the honeymoon planning: $150 per person. “I wouldn’t use a planner for a trip to Hawaii ,” Forster says, “but if I ever took a big trip like this again, I’d 100 percent work with an expert.”  

When to Consider Using a Travel Agent

For savvy trip planners, the best time to use a travel agent is for complicated international travel. It can save you hours of planning and peace of mind that if anything goes wrong in your chosen far-flung destination, there’s someone a What’sApp message away to handle it.

Domestically, I’d consider using a travel agent when planning a multi-week national park trip or multi-island trip in Hawaii. They will save you time, guarantee you get the best guides, and help you land reservations at always-booked lodges and hotels.

Dream Trips Delivered

Jessica Cook and her husband both work in the travel industry. Decision fatigued, they handed their honeymoon logistics over to the team at Askari Travel , an agency that specializes in South Africa. Their original plan was also an African safari, but just as they were about to put a deposit down, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus made headlines. Worried about getting stuck abroad, they reached out to Askari’s founder, Muriel Truter, who is from Zimbabwe, and upon her advice, changed their focus to South America.

Knowledge is priceless, and advisers act as your insiders. They know what you don’t and fill in the blanks of things you might not even have considered.

Truter suggested they stick to Colombia rather than country-hop. Cook supplied a budget and a wish list: 12 days, no more than three destinations, a barefoot-luxe feel, and adventures like horseback riding and mountain biking. The rest was a surprise that Askari pretty much nailed, with the exception of one hotel.

“Everything felt so authentic, but this one hotel on Barú island felt really fabricated and was full of American tourists,” recalls Cook. She immediately messaged the Askari team, saying, “Hey, this place really isn’t our vibe,” and within an hour they were on a water taxi headed to Blue Apple, a B Corp hotel—and an Outside pick for tropical adventures —on Tierra Bomba island. “It was honestly the best trip we’ve ever taken,” she says.

Tierra Bomba, a 15-minute boat ride from the Colombian capital of Cartagena, is an affordable Caribbean destination with a relaxed pace and soft white sands.

Are Travel Agents Expensive?

It depends. Cost varies. Some travel agencies won’t charge any fee, as they receive a commission from the bookings, while some high-end agencies will charge pricey annual membership fees for their services. Still others charge nominal “professional” fees starting at $150. Fees often fluctuate based on the length and intricacy of a trip and how far out you do the planning (6 to 12 months is recommended). You may occasionally come across agents who charge a percentage of the total trip price or hourly rates.

Basic travel enquiries are generally free. In 2016, Leah Smith, founder of Tafari Travel , opened an old-school brick-and-mortar location in Denver’s Cherry Creek neighborhood so her services would feel less intimidating to first-time users. “With our retail-office location, we’ve become part of the community, and both clients and non-clients are welcome to pop in and ask whatever questions they may have, no charge,” she says.

Matt Lindsay, founder of the surf-guiding and travel company LuxSurf Travel , builds relationships with resorts and property owners to get discounted rates that he can then pass on to guests.

Matt Lindsey of LuxeSurfTravel can arrange a surf safari on a 165-foot boat, complete with dive masters. surf guides, and a spa. Guests spend a week cruising around atolls in the Maldives seeking out perfect swell and swimming with whale sharks and manta rays.

Dominic Allan, the founder of Real Latin America , specializes in travel to Belize and Nicaragua and caters to independent travelers who are happy to book their own flights and hotels but are seeking his local intel. Allan’s three-tier pricing structure starts at $300 for up to three hours of phone calls, during which he might weigh in on where to eat (or not to), the best room to request in a certain lodge, or whether you really need a guide to hike.

”Totoro Eco-Lodge, in Nicaragua, has always been one of our favorites,” says Dominic Allen of Real Latin America. In addition to its laid-back vibe, it’s spectacuarly placed on Ometepe Island, with views out to the active Conception volcano. Allen recommends volcano hikes, rainforest excursions, tours of a chocolate farm, and sunset paddles in search of caiman.

Value Versus Savings

If you’re just looking for deals and steals, you might not be ready to work with a travel adviser, says Richter of the ASTA. “Anything you invest in with a travel adviser comes back to you in the form of amenities, customer service, peace of mind, better access to unique experiences, and handcrafted itineraries,” she says. “You could save money by cutting your own hair, too, but most people go to someone who knows what they’re doing.”

Agents work with preferred partners who can guarantee perks for clients, such as free upgrades, early check-in or late check-out, and resort credits. Those add-ons often translate into savings, says Justin Huxter, cofounder of the UK-based Cartology Travel . “We had a client go to Maui for a week, and because of our partnership with the resort, breakfast was included,” he says. When breakfast costs $120 for two, that’s a savings of $840.”

A meerkat sits atop a man wearing a ball cap and scans the horizon of Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans.

Some of the Best Travel Agents in the Adventure World

Some of my go-to resources for finding a person to work with include travel expert Wendy Perrin’s annual Wow List of tried and trusted agents, the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s adviser network , and the ASTA’s advisor directory .

In addition to the agents mentioned throughout this story, others I highly recommend for adventurous travelers include:

  • Dan Achber of Trufflepig , for Africa and the Middle East
  • Miguel Cunant of Sri Lanka in Style
  • Javier Echecopar of Journey Costa Rica
  • Daniel Fraser of Smiling Albino , for Southeast Asia
  • Elizabeth Gordon of Extraordinary Journeys , for Africa
  • Kleon Howe of the Art of Travel , for French Polynesia
  • Jay Johnson of Coastline Travel , for Hawaii and California
  • Antonello Losito of Southern Visions Travel , for Puglia, Italy
  • Rabia Malik of Fora Travel , for general worldwide travel
  • Robyn Mark of Mayamaya Travel , for Africa, the Alps, Patagonia, and Japan
  • Marisol Mosquera of Aracari , for Peru and Bolivia
  • Zach Rabinor of Journey Mexico
  • Raluca Spiac of Beyond Dracula , for Romania

The author immersed in the hot waters of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, with mud on her face. It beats being on the phone trying to reschedule a flight cancellation.

Travel-advice columnist Jen Murphy is now a believer in using a travel agent. Thanks to their expertise and connections, she’s avoided dozens of trip catastrophes. 

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Taylor Swift sings 'The Alchemy' as Travis Kelce attends Eras Tour in Paris

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PARIS — Taylor Swift sang "The Alchemy" as part of her acoustic set of surprise songs during Sunday's Eras Tour show with boyfriend Travis Kelce in attendance. Several football metaphors in the song have led fans to believe Swift wrote it about the Kansas City Chiefs tight end.

"Can you believe this is the 87th show?" Swift asked during her acoustic set in La Défense Arena. Kelce wears No. 87. She then played a mashup on guitar of "The Alchemy" from her new album "The Tortured Poets Department" with "Treacherous" from "Red."

Kelce stood in his box as Swift glanced up at him and the crowd looked back and forth between the two.

"This happens once every few lifetimes," Swift sang. "These chemicals hit me like white wine.”

The crowd roared.

Need a break? Play the USA TODAY Daily Crossword Puzzle.

Kelce joined 40,000-plus fans for the fourth and final night of Taylor Swift 's Eras Tour in Paris. He watched from a box seat alongside actor Bradley Cooper, super model Gigi Hadid and rock star Lenny Kravitz.

The concert marks the fifth time Kelce has appeared at the tour since the couple went public last year. His first stop was Buenos Aires, Argentina, followed by Sydney, Australia, and two nights in Singapore . Swift has changed the “Karma” lyrics to "guy on the Chiefs" every time Kelce has cheered her on from the sidelines.

Kelce hadn’t seen the new set list live since Swift switched up the eras and added her 11th era, “ The Tortured Poets Department .” The singer-songwriter said she’s been working on the changes for 8-9 months (since last fall).

Hadid has famously been a member of Swift's squad for years now and has been dating Cooper for several months.

Other celebrities spotted in the crowd included Grey's Anatomy actor Jessica Capshaw and singer Christina Milian.

Her next stop is Stockholm, Sweden, as she continues the European leg of the tour.

Don't miss any Taylor Swift news; sign up for the  free, weekly newsletter This Swift Beat.

Catch Taylor Swift live with tickets at  Vivid Seats , shop  merchandise , and stream her latest on  Disney+ . Purchases you make through our links may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.

Follow Taylor Swift reporter Bryan West on  Instagram ,  TikTok  and  X as @BryanWestTV .

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Local news | explosives break up key bridge section atop dali, readying to refloat vessel, local news | mural artist creates shrine in memory of bridge victims | photos.

Roberto Marquez, a self-taught artist, finishes his interpretation of the red truck that plunged into the Patapsco River with highway workers inside when the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed. The mural, almost 64 feet long, forms the backdrop of a memorial installation to honor the six Latino victims.  (Amy Davis/Staff photo)

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See photos of the planned explosion that cleared a section of the Francis Scott Key Bridge from the container ship Dali on May 13, 2024.

Local News | Planned explosion to clear Key Bridge section from Dali | PHOTOS

There was a boom, plumes of smoke and then a splash as millions of pounds of Francis Scott Key Bridge debris fell into the Patapsco River.

Local News | Maryland AG asks to hire 5 law firms to help with Key Bridge litigation

11th Annual Amanda Hichkad CCA Celebration walk | PHOTOS

Aegis | 11th Annual Amanda Hichkad CCA Celebration walk | PHOTOS


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