PopPhoto has gathered its new list of the most eye-popping locations to get your photo on around the globe. It's a collection that will make you yearn for more than a few plane tickets. Here are 10 of them to get your adventurous juices flowing.
This post is part of a feature by Stephanie Pearson, originally appearing on PopPhoto.
Torres del Paine, Chile
Photo: Ian Plant
This 2420 square kilometre park averages 150,000 visitors per year, which is to say there's plenty of wide-open space to capture the natural drama: wild weather, intimidating peaks that stretch like fingers to the sky, eerie blue-iced glaciers, and the turquoise water of the Rio Baker. Bring your warmest layers — the weather can change in an instant.
Photo: Flickr-user Sandeep Pachetan (Creative Commons)
This northwestern region sits higher than 10,000 feet and looks like a barren moonscape. In winter (October to May), all roads are cut off and residents use the ice of the Zanskar River to travel between villages. Plus it's the best place to photograph an endangered snow leopard.
Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
Photo: Destination BC/Tom Ryan
Visit the "Galápagos of Canada" to capture sea lions, porpoises, humpback whales, and three species of orcas.
Aurora Borealis, Fairbanks, Alaska
Photo: Chris McLennan
Within a ring-shaped region around the North Pole called the auroral oval, Fairbanks is one of the best places to see the aurora. Prime shooting is between late August and April.
Fireworks, Chicago, Illinois
Photo: City of Chicago
More than a million gather on July 4 to watch the fireworks over the Navy Pier. Rise above the throng at the 10,000-square-foot, fourth-story rooftop bar at the Godfrey Hotel, where you can photograph with an unobstructed view.
The Alps, Switzerland
Photo: Switzerland Tourism
From the top of the 13,661-foot Breithorn, photographers have views to the French, Italian, and Swiss Alps, with the Matterhorn front and center. Summitting isn't easy, but neither does it require vast expertise. Find a guide in Zermatt, take the Matterhorn Express gondola to the top, rope up with your guide, and pick your way across the peak. The effort — and the resulting photo of Europe's iconic mountain — will be worth it.
The Neck, The Falkland Islands
To reach this privately owned, 1.6km long isthmus on Saunders Island requires a flight from Stanley in a Britten-Norman Islander, an overnight stay with the Pole-Evans family, and a 20km, hour-long ride down a rutted, muddy, jeep track. But the wild ride is worth it: The Neck is a melting pot for King, Gentoo, Rockhopper, and Magellanic penguins.
Photo: Flickr-user Zoriah (Creative Commons)
With cigar factories, curbside checker players, outdoor boxing rings, crumbling façades, and '57 Chevys, this city is a shooter's dream. Visiting takes research for Americans, but it's doable.
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Photo: Flickr-user Didier Baertschiger (Creative Commons)
Turkey's largest covered market dates back to 1520 and has 4,000 shops under ornate, grand passageways. Go early when goods are abundant and the shopkeepers willing to pose.
Grey Wolves, Yellowstone
Photo: Donnie Sexton
In winter the Yellowstone Association Institute offers a course on the park's grey wolves. Led by a Wolf Project biologist, you'll likely manage to photograph one.