Photographing iconic tourist sites and where to find the best vantage points

Photo by Lonely Planet
Photo by Lonely Planet
Photo by Lonely Planet

Getting that ultimate holiday snap when you are not a photographer is easier than you think.  All you need is a steady hand and some inside information. Taking a great photo starts with finding the ultimate spot to take the photo from. Finding the best view is going to show your subject in the best possible way. Also consider timing of the day for where the sun will be, as you will want it shining on your subject rather than at you. So here is the list of the most popular tourist attractions and where to take the best photos from.

Australia

Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge

Photo @flickr.kokkaing
Photo @flickr.kokkaing

Where to take

  • A great photo opportunity in Sydney is to get a photo with both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera house in the one photo. The best place to do this is to take the photo from Mrs Macquaries chair or from the ferry. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair can be reached by walking through the Botanic Gardens, following the foreshore path until you reach the tip of the point.  The Hop-on-hop-off tourist bus also stops here if you are short on time. Any of the ferries heading east will also give you a great shot of both icons in the one photo.

England

Big Ben in London

Big-Ben-Twilight

Where to take

Take the tube to the Westminster tube station and walk across the Westminster Bridge to the other side. You can take your photo from either the end of the bridge or for a photo like the one above, just down the stairs to the left.

Photo by Travel Drink Dine
Photo by Travel Drink Dine

Where to take

I like this spot as you can get three icons in the one photo.  Big Ben in the background, the iconic red phone box and then just wait for a double decker bus to pass by and snap your shot!  If you do not want other people in your photo then early morning will guarantee a quieter opportunity.

France

The Eiffel Tower in Paris

Photo by blog Hola
Photo by blog Hola

Where to take

Best places to photograph the Eiffel Tower are either from the Trocadero or from the carousel over the river.  Even better get a photo of yourself on the carousel with the Eiffel Tower in the back ground! If you are after a night shot of the Eiffel Tower whilst it is sparkling on the hour, then most definitely take it from the Trocadero. The below photo was taken in winter late afternoon.

India

The Taj Mahal

Photo by Lonely Planet
Photo by Lonely Planet

Where to take

  • Get there early, there will always be around 200 people at 6am waiting to get the ultimate photo opportunity before it opens. To clear security quicker plan to only carry a camera around your neck rather than having bags that will have to be checked through the security point. Tripods require special permission. Once you enter run as fast as you can to the water fountain! I’m serious!
Photo by travelersguideindia
Photo by travelersguideindia

Where to take

For a shot of the Taj Mahal with all three buildings in the photo go to Mehtab bagh (gardens across the river as pictured above). If you go early there will be less crowds in your shots across the river.

You will need 2 days if you are serious photographer. One day to scope and the second day to get the shots you are after.

Spain

Park Guell

Photo by Planet Den
Photo by Planet Den

Where to take

  • Get there early morning before most of the tourists. Enter from the ctra del Carmel entrance to get photos of the city as you descend. Or for a beautiful panoramic view then late afternoon at sunset but there will be lot’s of people by then. The Hop-On-Hop-Off buse will take you right to the park.
Photo by hsc.com
Photo by hsc.com

Sagrada Familia

Where to take

  • Photographing the facade is best in the morning where the sun will be behind you and for the interior anytime of day is good. When the afternoon sun begins to go down, from inside you will get to capture the light stream shining through the beautiful stained glass windows.
  • Walk over the road to the Park de Gaudi – there are a couple of bench seats that you can sit on and get a photo of yourself with the view of the church in the background.

USA

New York Skyline

Photo by Launch photography
Photo by Launch photography

Where to take

  • Cross over the Brooklyn Bridge and go to any of these parks – Brooklyn Bridge Park or Main Street Park. Here you can get a photo with the Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground whilst NYC is in the background.
  • You will also get great photos of the NYC skyline from the top of the Rockefella centre.

New york skyline and statue of liberty

New York Skyline and Statue of Liberty

Where to take

  • The best place to get the Statue of Liberty (which faces east) and the skyline is from the ferry going to Liberty Island. As it approaches the ferry dock, it makes a 90 degree right turn. For a fleeting moment, your picture will come together. You will get a side on view of the statue otherwise it will be from behind.  The other alternative is to take the Staten Island ferry where you will get a shot from the right side.

 Rome

The Colosseum

The Colosseum SONY DSC

Where to take

  • Best place to take a full photo of the Colosseum is in front of the Roman Forum with the Arch of Constantine to the right. Or for an elevated position from inside the Roman Forum.
Photo by Browsingrome
Photo by Browsingrome

 Where to take

  • Another great shot is to take the photo with the Arch of Constantine in the foreground and the Colosseum in the background.

 

Of course there are so many more photo spots for each city and this is but a small sample of where to take your photos from. Another great way to find good photo spots when holidaying is to do a hashtag search on instagram and find where others have taken their photos from. We did this quite a lot on my last trip to Europe and found some great places to photograph from.

 

 

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