Looking to hone your still life photography skills? You can’t go wrong on a visit to the USA, it’s home to a huge variety of extraordinary and dramatic geological environments. Here are some of the best natural landscapes to capture on camera.
Palm fringed oasis in Palm Springs
From the chic desert city of Palm Springs
, with its iconic glamorous mid-century modern architecture you have access to some of the most striking natural backdrops in the USA. You’ll find trails leading to palm oasis, peaceful lakes, rugged canyons and foothills - and some of the most far out and exotic flora and fauna.
Extraordinary beaches in South Carolina
South Carolina is famous for its pristine beaches, from the Grand Strand to the north, all the way to Hilton Head in the south. To experience the coastline at its both beautiful and untouristy, visit the 70-mile long stretch between Mount Pleasant and Georgetown
; you won’t find any hotels or shopping malls, just a few local cafes and restaurants and gift shops. With Francis Marion National Forest
to the west, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
to the east, Capers Island to the south and the Tom Yawkey Wildlife centre to the north, it’s home to some of the most unspoilt natural landscapes in South Carolina.
Waterfalls and wildlife in Mt. Diablo State Park
Head to Mt. Diablo State Park in Tri-Valley
, California, on a clear day, visitors can spot San Francisco to the west and Yosemite to the east. There’s tonnes to photograph in this 20,000-acre public space - the striking Diablo Mountain Range and its foothills, waterfalls and wildlife. The mountain’s ancient fossils and unique rock formations have mystified Native Americans, Western settlers and travellers for centuries.
Stunning sandy stretches in Block Island in Rhode Island
Silvery beach meets deep blue sea and azure skies at Mohegan Bluff, on the gloriously unspoilt Block Island in state of Rhode Island
. This natural gem in New England was named one of ‘12 Last Great Places’ in the western hemisphere to visit by The Nature Conservancy in 1991. We recommend you explore the 9.7-square-mile island by bikes and stop off for some beach time at the highly photogenic beach at Mohegan Bluff.
Glorious swamps in Louisiana
Looking for a truly unusual landscape? Discover the largest wetland
in the United States
. The Atchafalaya Basin, or Atchafalaya Swamp, in south central Louisiana spans an almost 1 million acres in total and is home to a wealth of exciting creatures including alligators and birds. Take a tour of the wetlands by airboat and capture that perfect picture.
A desert spectacle in Tucson, Arizona
Head to Tucson, Arizona and you’ll be immersed in the Sonoran desert, an extraordinary landscape peppered with wonderful sculptural cacti of all shapes and sizes. The Sonoran Desert
is home to more biological diversity than in any other desert ecosystem in the world. As well as this instagram-worthy desert, there are hundreds of miles of trails to hike through the mountains around Tucson, including Chihuahuan grassland, woodland and subalpine forest. [photo: Pete Gregoire]
Epic mountain views in Tennessee
The Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee provide a spectacular backdrop to any photo. For a particularly striking shot, hike to the 80 foot-high Laurel Falls
- it’s one of the most popular waterfalls and hikes in the area. Split into an upper and lower section connected by a bridge with log rails, the area is known for its gorgeous spring colours. To get a great aerial shot of the region, you can take the scenic chairlift at Ober Gatlinburg
which gives you a view over the Smokies, and the perfect angle for your Instagram shot.
Vertiginous drops in West Virginia
You’ll get hair-raising shots from The New River Bridge, in West Virginia. It’s both the longest steel span bridge in the hemisphere and the USA’s third highest at 876 feet above the canyon floor. The bridge carries visitors high over the New River, one of the oldest rivers on the continent and at the heart of the 70,000-acre New River Gorge National Park
. [Photo credit: West Virginia Tourism Adventures]
Otherworldly rock formations in Colorado Springs
It’s hard to not to get a spellbindingly impressive shot in the Garden of the Gods Park
, where you’re surrounded with showstopping rock towers made of red, pink, and white sandstone and limestone created millions of years ago. Plan your visit carefully - more than 6 million people a year also come to the park to see these impressive rock formations including Balanced Rock, Kissing Camels and Siamese Twins.
Sunrises and sand in New Smyrna Beach
You’re sure to frame the perfect shot in New Smyrna Beach
, on the east coast of Florida, which is home to 17 miles of white, sandy beaches. Capture an amazing sunrise over the beach or the Indian River (Intracoastal Waterway) - you can get to the beaches by foot, bike or you can even drive along certain sections of the beach. Head to the estuary in New Smyrna Beach to get a wildlife shot; it's the most biologically diverse estuary in North America, home to more than 400 species of birds, dolphins, manatees, turtles.