3 mins

10 favourite locations for taking photographs

Photograph of the Year judge, Steve Davey shares the best-kept secrets on where to capture the most thrilling photographs


1. Best boat trip

Drifting down the Ganges at sunrise around the holy city of Varanasi, India, when pilgrims come down to bathe and the light is spectacular.

2. Best mountains

The Swiss Alps are stunning and have fantastic access. At Diavolezza, Graubünden, you can stay ina guesthouse at the top of a mountain, and at the Jungfrau you can trek across a glacier at the highest railway station in Europe.

3. Best beach

The most amazing deserted beaches are Erher on Socotra, and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands (pictured). La Digue in the Seychelles is also popular for fashion shoots.

4. Best jungle

Malaysia’s Taman Negara, the oldest rainforest in the world, is just a few hours from Kuala Lumpur. It has one of the longest canopy walkways in the world; a recent remote photography census spotted tiger and wild elephant within just a kilometre of the main entrance.

5. Best desert

Around the dry pan of Sossusvlei in Namibia’s Namib. This area has the highest sand dunes in the world, which are a deep red, especially at sunrise and sunset. Climb Big Daddy dune for some of the best views over the dry clay pan of Dead Vlei, dotted with ancient desiccated camelthorn trees.

6. Best wildlife

Head for Okaukuejo in Etosha National Park, northern Namibia. This state-run resort is next to the best watering hole in Africa. One night I saw at least ten black rhino and a lion almost bringing down a giraffe – all while sitting on a park bench drinking a cold Tafel beer.

7. Best city view

The vistas over Rio de Janeiro from the top of Corcovado, with the incredible contrast of the sprawling city and the beautiful islands in Guanabara Bay. Come early morning and at dusk.

8. Best ruins

The most striking relics I have photographed have been at Angkor, in Cambodia. There are so many temples, views and details that you could spend days – maybe weeks – just wandering around taking pictures.

9. Best waterfall

Iguaçu Falls, which forms the emphatic border between Brazil and Argentina. It also has fantastic access: a series of walkways will allow you to take pictures right on the very edge of the aptly named Devil’s Throat cataract.

10. Best city

Avoid summer months when Venice is crowded and smelly. In the spring it’s atmospherically deserted and there’s a chance that spring tides will flood St Mark’s Square.

Steve Davey leads his own exclusive range of travel photography tours, Better Travel Photography, with land arrangements by Intrepid Travel

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