Tuesday, March 4, 2008

10 Places to Shoot Before You Die

Jeff Revell had a very neat post the other day and I'm stealing it for conversation here.

I was making my usual blog run today when I saw an interesting post over at the Photoprenuer. The article was entitled 12 Things to Photograph Before You Die. While I didn’t necessarily agree with all of their shot selections, it did make me think of a before I die list that I will share with you.

I have this list of places that I would love to shoot before I cash it in. Sure, I have more than 10 places where I wouldn’t mind shooting, but I thought these are my 10 must shoot spots, and being 10 instead of 1000 means I might actually achieve this goal.

So in 2006, with my backpack and camera bag, I headed off to #1 on my top 10, The Angkor ruins of Cambodia.


#2 - There are so many spectacular location in the United States but the upper regions of Arizona with the likes of Monument Valley, Antelope Slots, the Grand Canyon, and the Wave just had to be in my top 10. In the summer of 2007 I got to happily check this one off my list.

The Wave

#3 This one is already planned for April. The week after Photoshop World, I will be heading out with some buddies to Dubai. I didn’t necessarily have Dubai on the list specifically but some of the locations aren’t specific to a location but more to a region. This one will definitely take care of my Middle East requirement. I have been to Israel but it was for work and I never really got to do much shooting while I was there. That won’t be the case in Dubai. This is strictly a shooting affair.

Photo By : Lars Plougmann

Photo By : Lars Plougmann

#4 was actually supposed to be my #2 but I just couldn’t get the planets to line up for me so it has dropped to a future destination. With 7 of the World’s highest mountain peaks in the country, Nepal is still very high on my list. I am hopeful that the political situation will improve in the near future so that I will be able to enjy the entire country.


photo taken by Kogo

#5 is also in the Far East. This almost qualifies as a region because it would take a thousand lifetimes to cover this country although there are a couple of spots I would visit first, mainly any portion of the Great Wall. But I think anywhere in China would be amazing!

Great Wall of China

#6 With such majestic sites as Half Dome, El Capitan, and Cathedral Lake, Yosemite National Park has to be one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the World. Is there any wonder why it was a favorite of Ansel Adams? If it’s good enough for Ansel, it’s good enough for me.

Yosemite National Park


#7 With its lofty heights, lush surroundings, and mysterious Incan history, Machu Picchu is one of those places that could keep me shooting from sun up to sundown. It’s also one of those places that makes it easy to take great pictures. There are just some locations that are set up that way and this is one of them.

Machu Picchu, Peru

#8 Although I already have some tall mountains covered by Nepal, it wouldn’t be right to leave off the highest mountain in the US, besides, there’s more to Alaska than just Mt. McKinley. Alaska is probably one of the last great frontiers left in the World and is another one of those places that could qualify as a region because of its size and variety of landscape possibilities.

Mt. McKinley, Ak

Image by Nic McPhee

#9 This is my wife’s favorite place in the World and yet I have not managed to get there yet. I am hopeful that I will be able to knock this one off soon. With its beautiful colonial Spanish architecture and lush scenery, Antigua, Guatemala is one of the most beautiful Central American cities there is. Not to mention that it has three volcanoes. Now how cool is that?


#10 I have always been fascinated by the countryside of my last location, ever since I saw John Wayne saunter across it in The Quiet Man. Ireland is just one of those places that has always captivated me with its rolling green hills and stone fences, not to mention a fee castles and remnants from its stone age inhabitants.

Lough Leane, Ireland

Image by Christophe Meneboeuf

There is actually a theme that runs through almost all of my locations.They either are, or contain UNESCO World Heritage sites. These sites have been identified by the UNESCO governing body for World heritage sites as having cultural or natural significance and need to be preserved for future generations. One of the reasons I began my World trek was an article in Men’s Journal called Places to see before they are gone. On that list was the Angkor Temples. I had first dreamed of going to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat after reading an article in the Smithsonian magazine a year earlier. It was that Men’s Journal magazine that really lit my fire and after traveling the Cambodian countryside, I knew that I needed to see and shoot some of the other places in this World that have always fascinated me, especially those that may not be around forever.

So that’s my list.

Do you have one?

The clock is ticking, what are you waiting for?

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