All text and photography by Tess McLennan ©
The best souvenirs you can take home from your travels are photographs… inexpensive, everlasting, and you don’t need to make extra suitcase space for them. From the cobblestone streets of Eastern Europe, to the snow covered peaks of Canada, the temples of Japan, to the glorious sunshine of Singapore… if you’re a budding photographer like me, and on the lookout for the best photo spots from around the world, then I have the answers for you.
If you are fascinated by the romance, drama and plight of Ancient Rome, then this is the city for you. The perfect combination of old and new, Rome remains reminiscent of the old empire days, with modern twists cleverly planted along the way. The architecture, streets and general cityscape make you feel as though you’re walking through a Russell Crowe film, and provoke your curiosity about the Ancient times at every turn. If you leave without buying a book on Roman history, I question your reasons for visiting the city. Take a trip to the Forum, throw away some money at the Trevi Fountain, and of course, see the Colosseum… It’s my favourite landmark to date, which has stood the test of time and is a vibrant piece of Italian history.
I have never seen anything like it in my life. Riding the Peak2Peak Gondola in Whistler, Canada, seeing snow-covered peaks that are so perfect, they look almost painted on… there is nothing better. Of course, for this view, you would need to travel in Winter. However if sub-zero temperatures aren’t your style, and if you can use your imagination, the view would be just as spectacular in the green, green Summer too. Definitely a hotspot for photographers.
And you don’t need to be a skier to ride the Peak2Peak! All you need to brave is the cold, and you’re set.
Krakow is very much still in the shadow of the Cold War, evident from the architecture, cobble stoned streets and general feel of walking through a city trapped in time. It is also home of the infamous Jewish Ghetto, where Jewish people were segregated from society, and forced to live in cramped quarters, with strict rules and regulations, stripping them of their freedom. When visiting Krakow, it’s hard not to think about the history of the people who once resided in the city, the places they ended up, what became of them after the war was over. While my photographs of Krakow may appear gloomy in nature, they are also poignant in the way that they capture a city that once contained such horrors, but has now broken free, and is headed into a brighter, more promising future.
If there were an award for the most peaceful place on Earth, then the temples of Kyoto, Japan, would take first place. Situated within an hour of Osaka Prefecture, Kyoto is home to hundreds of Buddhist temples, Shinto Shrines and a vast, fascinating history spanning back thousands and thousands of years. With architecture this beautiful, it’s the perfect place for anybody trying to practice their travel photography skills. Try some green tea ice cream while you’re there, or perhaps purchase some of traditional Kyoto crafts found in the numerous stores along the way. If you’re into mindfulness, peace of mind, and general calmness, then this is the place for you.
It’s impossible to be blue when you visit Singapore… with its tropical climate and gorgeous sunshine, the Lion City is an impeccably clean and modern travel destination, suitable for any type of traveller, old or new. And with this said sunshine, Singapore makes for some fantastic photographs. Ride the Singapore Flyer for a 360-degree view of the island, and take in some of the fantastic, and often odd architecture that has popped up across the city. You won’t be disappointed in Singapore… with views this good and sun this bright, how could you be?
I believe that Sydney is one of Australia’s most beautiful cities… sorry Brisbane, but you lost out on this one. The views of Sydney Harbour in the afternoon are something magical, a photographer’s dream with the Bridge and the Opera House making interesting focus points, particularly when the sun is behind them. I found my best photographs were taken from the rocks near Mrs Macquarie’s Point, or while cruising around on one of the many ferries you can take from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. Of course, Sydney also has many other wonderful spots to photograph, with Australia’s oldest city being reminiscent of the architecture and design of its bigger brother, London.
So what are you waiting for? Getting snapping!