Your favorite shooting destination.

A balmy August day at Barton Springs Pool. Austin, Texas  2008.  sony r1 camera.

So, we're closing in on 200 posts.  Probably get there by the end of the week.  You guys know a lot about me but I know next to nothing about most of you.  I wish we could just sit around at Threadgill's bar or at the Mean Eyed Cat and have a drink and get synced up. But some of you live in India, some in Florida and other spots around the world.  But I think the one thing that gives me insight into other people is to hear where they would go to shoot if they weren't on assignment,  didn't have to pay for the airfare and didn't have to drag their families along.

If you'd like to let me (and 350 or so other people) know about a cool location you could always post it as a comment, appended to this blog.  I'd love to know about places that other people think are cool or powerful.  And I'd especially like to know about places that are fun to shoot.

Let it rip.  Be our Google Earth! (Google Earth is a registered trademark...)

Thanks, Kirk


Emory Dunn said...

I think I'd probably have to go with the South Rim (at sunrise) at Big bend.

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Hm. I'm a big fan of "Lost" (the TV series), so I guess for me it would be Oahu.

And have you seen Koyaanisqatsi? Some great photography in there as well, me thinks, so lotsa places to go.

But getting to some more realistic spot for me, and maybe an interesting one for you or others: try the Middle Rhine (see both the English and German Wikipedia entries for it because the German one has more pictures) -

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mittelrhein and

That's the German version of the land of castles, history, fairy tales, you name it. Locations galore.

HTH even without coordinates,

Robert said...

I dont think I have a vavorite place to shoot. if I hear about somewhere good I like to pack up my bag and check it out,and keep my eyes open along the way. My next destination is Jeruselem. I have lived so near for over a year and havent found the time to go to what has been described as the most moving place on earth. when I get there I'll write about my Photographic Journey at

Mandáš said...

Paris, no doubt!

Poagao said...

Before last year I would have said Paris, but then I went and found it monotonous. I still love Tokyo, though I've been three times, and I'm a sucker for big, walkable cities with lots of small alleys. Barcelona was full of thieves, and Madrid too cold (when I was there). NYC was too litigious. I suspect London would have a similar problem. LA is too spread out. Hong Kong is great, though I was stranded there for six months as a stateless person once.

The more I think about it, I keep coming back to my home, Taipei. It fits the bill for me. Lots of dense little alleyways, dark except for neon signs, fairly safe and easy to walk around.

Benjamin Reed said...

I'd like to go shoot a walking tour of southern Spain, my favorite place on earth.

psu said...

Near home: Pittsburgh, Downtown area and the North Side neighborhood.

Away from home: Paris, 5th and 6th.

Charles Shanaberger said...

Hi, Kirk I really enjoy reading your blog,your truly transparent writing style is what keeps me coming back. I live in southwestern,Pa. & my favorite shooting location for "myself" is a state park on top of the mountain near where I live. It is called Ohiopyle State Park, the Youghiogheny River runs through a mountain gorge that contains class IV rapids & white water with many small & medium size waterfalls from feeder streams in the gorge. You can see some sample shots from there on my website coyotemountainphoto.com if you so feel inclined. My photos can not do justice to the solace of the park however.
Keep up the good writing, Charles

Steve Burns said...

Places of interest. Puerto Vallarta, MX during the Feast of the Virgin de Guadalupe, a week long festival. Venice Italy, late November early December. Two location favorites that will appear as galleries later on in a personal blog site I'm working on. (www.steveburns.us Not meant as spam.)

Another self funded trip for my head was. photographing the harvest along the "High Line" in Montana just bellow the Canadian border.

Don said...

My favorite little place to go shoot near Phoenix is Miami, AZ. On Hwy 60, east of the city, and about 2000 ft higher. Great textures, light bouncing around, and history galor. This once proud mining town has slipped into decline, but the people remain pretty optimistic and different kinds of businesses are popping up. B&B's, restaurants, art galleries.

If I have a subject with me it is a great destination. Only an hour drive, great Mexican food, cold Coronas, and a road full of possible locations as I go.

It's my little secret. Well, uh... until I just... you know... told you all about it.


Ed Z said...

In terms of places I'd like to go to shoot if money/time is no object? Paris, Milan, Amsterdam.

In terms of place I actually shoot? Old City Philadelphia (where I live/work) Tons of historic buildings, little cobblestone streets, horses& buggies etc... you can't throw a stone without hitting a scenic backdrop. then go a block or two in the other direction and you've got grungy old factory type buildings, and little alleys with lots of industrial/grunge character... it's a great place to shoot.

Bold Photography said...

If I could be air-lifted anywhere in the world, and without needing to care about my personal safety, I'd like to go to Sudan and document the the genocide that's going on there. I need to shoot something important in my life, and this is high on my list.

I've also always wanted to go to the Masai Mara, but not to shoot the migration (though that would be cool, too)... I'd love to meet the people there and photograph them.

Finally - Tibet. I don't really know why, but I think Tibet would be a cool place to go.

Robert said...

Valdez Alaska, Helo skiing.

John Krumm said...

Well, this might seem a little boring, but I live in a photo destination (Juneau, AK, pop. 30,000) that gets about a million visitors a year, mostly by cruise ship. We have seventy miles of roads, so all my destinations are around here, other than the occasional vacation. Luckily it's a pretty nice place to photograph, and the best light of all is when the tourists are gone in the fall and early winter. Around October through January, the light, when you have it, is always good light, always the golden hour.

I went out this morning and the light was already a little boring around 9 am...

Compare that with a shot in early November, with my daughter...

Or on Thanksgiving day while the turkey overcooked...

Or one of my favorites from September...

Neal Thorley said...

While there are many places the world over i would love to visit and shoot most often it's the area in and around the Ross Lake (Dam) catchment. I have made numerous photos in this area. beautiful sunsets and sunrises, lots of wildlife and always something new to shoot.

It may be the closest spot to home (2.5km) but it's also close to my heart.


Mike C said...

San Francisco - a beautiful city with lots of faces, colors, moods and easy to get around on public transportation. Stayed downtown for four days at Union Square and it was great.

Jeffrey Goggin said...

I hate to break the news to you, Don, but Miami isn't just your little secret:


I have also been photographing extensively in Superior as well:



jefflynchdev said...

Pedernales Falls for sunset shots and then to the Silver K Cafe in Johnson City for wine, beef and Hill Country music. Life is Sweet!

Michael Tuuk said...

Can't pick just one. In no particular order:

1) I'd go back to Liberia.
2) Love Big Bend.
3) Believe or not, I don't think I'll ever get tired of shooting in and around the Texas Capitol.
4) Downtown Chicago

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Of all the cities here in Germany, I still like Cologne (or "Köln", like they call it here, the best. Maybe that's because I know it best - I grew up and lived there for over 30 years.

The best scenic and landscape area, by far, are the Bavarian (and also Austrian and Swiss) Alps of course. I've seen great pictures from the Rockies, but would still prefer the Alps, off season of course. With a car or motorbike, other great places like Italy or southern France aren't that far, and it's the best area for hiking I ever knew.

As for far away places, the area where my wife comes from is great, like for instance Batu Pahat, Malaysia. That's at the Malacca Straits, which is pirate area. Great place to be and to take photos, but for hiking I would prefer the Cameron Highlands, also in Malaysia. Nice hills, not that hot, lots of tea. And of course the islands Penang and Langkawi.

That's for the places I know. Where would I feel like being at home, alone? In the Alps.

Herman said...

Depends on what I want to photograph.

If it is music I am already in the town with the most interesting underground music scene in the country (no it isn't Amsterdam ;) )
For other things? Time to move out.

I love the area around Fontainebleau‎ (France) for its light and the abundance of nice subjects (climbers) especially in the fall and around easter.

For landscapes I love Tuscany, the whole northern bit of Italy really. Nothern Greece is very nice also.

If shooting was no object there are a lot of landscapes in the US I would love to just see and maybe snap a picture off.

Anonymous said...

Anywhere, as long as I'd never been there before. Seeing new things inspires me more than anything else.


AroundOmaha Photography said...

Well, if I had my druthers I'd go back to Rome Italy but would probably drink and eat more than shoot :)

In Omaha Nebraska where I live my son and I go down to the "bohemian" area called the Old Market. Its fun to shoot both the buildings, mood and people. I have quite of few of them up on my EP1 gallery at http://aroundomaha.smugmug.com/ep1

Over the summer while on vacation we discovered the Olympic training center in Park City. We spent hours taking photos of the ski jumpers flying down ramps, darting into the air and landing in a swimming pool. Wow that was a blast. There is a sample shot taken with my EP1 here (http://aroundomaha.smugmug.com/EP1/Olympus-E-P1/7180898/595244281_Vmuum-L.jpg)

Other than that with the E-P1 I've begun taking photos in nearly every possible location.

Mike said...

Cinque Terre, Italy. I would love to have two weeks there with no itinerary.

Anonymous said...

When I lived on Oahu, I loved exploring out of the way little hiking trails and photographing the landscape in the early morning light, while the tourists slept. Hawaiian islands also have many tiny creeks, some ephemeral - nearly disappearing when the rain stops. Istanbul and San Francisco are two great cities to photograph - one can easily spend weeks and not run out of interesting subject matter. But for years, I've been dreaming of a month in Alaska. Someday!

kirk tuck said...

I love photographing in Rome. Just love it. If I didn't need to work I'd have a little place in the ancient city and just roam around with a camera for the rest of my days.....

Dermot Carey said...

Yes, Rome would be at the top of my list as well. But for me, that goes for pretty much any European city. For example, anyone been to Lucerne, Switzerland? Half of the city is a walking only city, something completely foreign to us Americans. Talk about awesome, just wander the streets in shooting bliss.

However, I'm a firm believer that the best shoot location is always right around the next corner. So, I still don't think I've found the best shoot location even here in my home town Scottsdale.

Kirk, you're lucky. Austin ain't to bad of a shoot location either:
Great post Kirk, always enjoy your words of wisdom, just never had anything today until now.

jasonhindle said...

It's a toss up between Sydney and Rome but there are so many places I'd like to go back to (New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne and Barcelona spring to mind) simply because I know more about photography and would hope to come back with far better photos (most of my photos from New York in particular were beyond awful).

theotherme said...

Any random Denny's after midnight. You find the most interesting people to shoot. There's an odd mix. Usually an older man or woman writing a book or some other solitary project, a few Community College kids studying, and at least one person who's mental health is not what it once was. Depending on the night of the week you will also find the Gamers. The hard core D&D players who will debate endlessly the strengths and weaknesses of campaigning with a Level 7 Green Ork Monk, while making actual chain-mail with wire and needle-nose pliers. You'll also get the Goth kids, and the table full of people on laptops looking like a NORAD command module. (though with many more piercings and tattoos)

I've been to these places all across the country. It's wild how it seems it's the same souls no matter where you are, just the names change.

If it's interesting looking people you like to shoot, pull an all-nighter at your nearest Denny's.

Peter Appleby said...

My favorite is the Pacific Coast Highway in CA between San Simeon and Big Sur. This is the central California coast. Generally, the area between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

My wife and I have taken this road trip several times in both directions to see her family in the bay area. Spectacular views, plenty of places to pull over and stop to enjoy the scenery.

Here are some photos from the last road trip http://www.lenspov.com/p292089486

Gavin McL said...

Edinburgh in Scotland and Newcastle upon Tyne in Tyne & Wear. Both are old cities are built on hills and I love the way streets weave above and below each other. The light is unpredictable but that adds to the challenge. I lived in both cities at one time or another but didn't take any photos no when I visit I hardly get a chance

Brian S said...

I'd have to say outside.

I live in Omaha, Ne too. Most people wouldn't come to this state. Let along make a special trip to take photos of it. Yet every place has a story and every picture has the potential to tell that story. You just need to look.

To answer the question. I'd love to go back to Spain. I spent 2 weeks there for work and spent most daylight hours inside.

Jessica said...

Burma. Especially Inle Lake and around Mandalay. I'd love the chance to get back there for some serious shooting.

Kauai, because that's where part of my heart is. Montreal, Bangkok, and Budapest, by the same token.

Iceland, although I've never been, because it captures my imagination as a land apart.

But really photographs are everywhere. This would mostly just be an excuse to travel some more. I'd never turn that down!

steveH said...

So far, the Pacific Coast Range between Pt. Arena and Crescent City, and inland up to 10 miles. I suspect the same would be true up through Alaska, but I haven't been able to see yet to be sure.

Don Harper said...

Would love to go back to Italy and roam around. I may have a chance to go to Sydney this year, and I will be taking my camera.

As for more realistic areas, around Houston there are lots of interesting places, as well as Austin, but you knew that, Kirk. :)

Dave Jenkins said...

I'm much more interested in subjects and themes, so I have to photograph them in whatever places they happen to be. However, to the extent that I'm interested in places per se, I love the Cinque Terra region of Italy, and Jerusalem.

dearj said...

John Shaw's covered it, but the Palouse region in southwest Washington state is pretty amazing for landscapes.

I'd personally love to shoot in Detroit; up until 1980 or so it was an amazingly rich city, which drove a ton of interesting architecture.

Kirk Decker said...

The Donner Pass area in California is gorgeous no matter what the season. Vedauwoo, Wyoming is small, but nice, and is close to Rocky Mountain National Park. These are all along Interstate 80. The bird migrations in Nebraska along I-80 are also stunning. Come to think of it, if I could just cruise up and down I-80 in a perpetual sunrise/sunset, I'd be a happy camper.

Michael Strycharske said...

Hey Kirk,
Just like what I happen to be eating at the time is my favorite meal, where I happen to be at the moment is one of my favorite places. But then...several locations really stand out.
Sag Harbor, NY.
Copper Falls, WI (in the summer)
0uray, CO
Ronda, Spain
Brushy Creek in Round Rock
and Paris.

Anonymous said...

First of all with respect to your photograph of Austin in August, I have to question the stated time of year on that. Bare trees are a dead give away that this was not taken during the summer. Okay, done with that.

To the topic at hand, if I had my choice right now I'd like to go to Iceland. In addition to the volcano going off, the melting of the winter snows due to the change of season makes for some really exotic looking ice formations. Combine that with a stark and dramatic landscape, and I'd be about as far from familiar Northern California surroundings as I could get and loving the change.

roteague said...

"Wolfgang Lonien said...

Hm. I'm a big fan of "Lost" (the TV series), so I guess for me it would be Oahu."

Wolfgang, Oahu is nothing like you see on the series Lost. It's very overcrowded, and many of the spots are extremely difficult to photograph in (because of the crowds). I live on Oahu.

roteague said...

Lot of very good suggestions. Mine include:

1.) Western MacDonnell Range, Northern Territory, Australia
2.) Devils Marbles Conservation Area, Northern Territory, Australia
3.) Sydney, Australia
4.) Central Otago, New Zealand
5.) Aeoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand
6.) Fiji, Hawaii

roteague said...

"Neal Thorley said... "

I'm planning to be in Townsville in early October; will be shooting 5x4.

Mark said...

I'm a high school teacher without a family, and hence have the luxury of travel most summers. I'm also a landscape guy. If I didn't have to pay for the flights, the South Island of New Zealand and the Cordillera Blanca of Peru are the two most stunning locations I've shot. Otherwise, you'll find me traipsing about through the mountains and deserts of the western US, backpacking and car camping. But then, I deliberately took a job out here because this landscape is so amazing to me.

Thanks, Kirk.

Anonymous said...

Vermont and any little New England town always seem to have so many opportunities that range from interesting people, beautiful country landscapes and interesting buildings old and new.

jtsmall said...

Cities. Yes cities where there are interesting buildings and people. The architecture is the backdrop. The people provide the interest. Street photography: San Francisco, San Antonio, Washington DC, Boston to name a few. At present with an E-420 and 25mm pancake plus 14-42mm lenses or a D300 with 16-85mm zoom.

I would travel by car with a couple of backpacks full of lenses and accessories just in case. And a tripod. I would also invite my wife and her bags full of Canon gear. www.pbase.com/kmsmall

I don't get to do this much where I live, in the Red River Gorge, Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky. The landscape here and my day job keep me busy.