Pro Photographer Dream Destination Series: California
Professional photographers are driven by an unending search for inspiration. What they capture with their lens is often as much of a personal statement as it is professional work. Each location has its own distinct character, and the right photographer can bring out the best in any subject. To inspire you to find your own creative spark and dive into your next photo project, we’ve listed some of the most spectacular locations in California for capturing superb photos.
Big Sur is one of the most dramatic coastal landscapes in the United States, and it offers plenty of eye candy for photographers, from rocky seashores to towering cliffs. If you’re looking for iconic Big Sur images, you can’t miss the Bixby Bridge, a bridge that spans the Big Sur River and is considered a local landmark. For a more secluded feel, head to the beach at Rocky Creek. The raw power of the water crashing against the rocky seashore is a photographer’s dream.
There’s no better place to capture the sparkling glamour of the golden age of Hollywood than Palm Springs. Once a desert oasis for the rich and famous, this city is now a thriving modern destination where you can photograph everything from stylish mid-century architecture to outdoor desert landscapes. You’ll also find a host of cultural attractions, including the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Wayfarer’s Chapel, and the Annenberg Estate. If you’re lucky, you might get a chance to capture the city’s desert landscapes, when the sky is filled with dramatic, colorful sunsets.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a photographer’s paradise, with a number of locations that are beyond description. The park is best known for the waterfalls that cascade down its towering cliffs. In fact, many stunning cascades can be found along the Mist Trail. Another must-photograph location is the Tunnel View, which is a dramatic overlook that offers a panoramic view of the entire Yosemite Valley.
The Sierra Nevada Range
The Sierra Nevada Mountains are home to some of the most famous California landmarks, including Yosemite Falls and the giant sequoia trees. Some of the best places for photography are the national forests that lie at the foot of the mountains, including those in Sequoia National Park. These areas feature amazing landscapes and unique wildlife, including the iconic California Grizzly Bear, which can be found in the park.
Redwood National and State Parks
There are few better places to photograph the world-famous giant redwood trees than at Redwood National and State Parks. This area is home to an astonishing grove of these truly unique trees, many of which are believed to be thousands of years old. You’ll find these trees all along the coast, but their most photogenic locations are found along the aptly named Avenue of the Giants. For the best chance of capturing the redwoods at their colorful peak, you’ll need to visit from late September to early October, when the leaves are at their most vibrant.
The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous structures in the world. It’s no surprise, then, that it’s a favorite location for photographers, who come here to capture the bridge’s ever-changing colors. For the best chance of photographing the bridge at its most photogenic, you’ll need to visit from late September to early October, when the surrounding landscape is at its most colorful.
Lake Tahoe is one of the clearest lakes in the world, and when the water is still and you have the right lighting, it’s possible to see right to the bottom. This clarity makes it an excellent place to capture reflections of the surrounding mountains, and some of the most iconic California photos are taken at Lake Tahoe. If you’re looking for places to photograph, you can’t go past the sandy beaches on the west side of the lake, which offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an isolated cluster of islands off the coast of Southern California, and they’re home to some of the most unique landscapes in the state. You can find amazing tide pools that are teeming with sea life, gorgeous sandy beaches, and rocky landscapes that are full of rich geological history. If you visit between October and March, you can also witness an incredible phenomenon known as a king tide, where the sea rises dramatically and floods the rocky intertidal zone. This creates a surreal landscape that’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Professional photographers are often on the road, traveling from place to place in search of their next big inspiration. With so many amazing locations to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to go first. Our list of the best places to photograph in California has something for everyone, from desert landscapes to the lush, green forests of the northern coast. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, this list contains plenty of inspiration to help you take your next photography project to a whole new level.
ProPrints specializes in professional photo printing and custom canvas prints. So when you’re ready to print your California photos then be sure to check out ProPrints today.