Top 10 Winter Destinations for Landscape Photographers
Winter is a special time of the year for landscape photographers. It’s when the world is at its most photogenic. It’s a time when every single landscape element, from the rivers and trees to the fields and mountains, is at its most majestic.
When there is snow on the ground, it creates a spectacular blank canvas on which the landscape paints its own story. The absence of green from the landscape, combined with the blue of the sky, creates a color palette that is truly special.
This is why every landscape photographer dreams of visiting exotic destinations in the winter. After all, no other time of the year offers such amazing potential for incredible photos.
In this article, we will look at the top ten winter destinations for landscape photographers. So, pack your bags and get ready for the winter trip of a lifetime.
Reykjavik is one of the world’s most magical cities, situated in a landscape of volcanic craters, lively blue-green fjords, and snow-capped mountains. In winter, the landscape transforms into a stunning sheet of pure white that almost looks too perfect to be real. Combine this with the city’s cozy and colorful vibe, and you’ve got a truly special photographic experience.
What to photograph in winter: The city’s fjords and mountains turn into a white paradise. The city itself is very colorful, and its vibrant culture is a great contrast to the pure white of the landscape outside.
Chamonix is one of France's most famous regions, offering incredible mountain landscapes, a vibrant culture, and an idealistic mountain town. In the winter, the light here is truly magical - strong, warm, and golden; it transforms the mountain peaks of the Chamonix -Mont-Blanc into a stunning, snow-covered image. Combine this with the wonderful architecture of the region you have a truly spectacular photographic experience. Chamonix is also located near the intersection of France, Switzerland, and Italy making it a great destination to visit on your way through Europe.
What to photograph in winter: The best thing about Chamonix in winter is the light, so you should concentrate on finding a good location that will make the most of it. If you’re interested in skiing or snowboarding, it is also a popular destination for both hobbies.
Telluride is a classic Western town, nestled at the foot of a high mountain range. In the winter, the landscape turns into a pure white dream, covered in a thick blanket of snow. The surrounding mountains seem to come to life, standing tall and proud against the sky, and the contrast between their dramatic black shape and the white landscape is absolutely gorgeous.
What to photograph in winter: You can photograph just about everything in Telluride from the landscapes to the architecture. Of course, the snowy mountain peaks are the real star of the show.
Japan is a great destination for photographer’s seeking out winter scenery to capture breathtaking images. Starting with Kyoto, it is one of Japan’s most famous cities, renowned for its stunning temples and gardens. In winter, the landscape takes on a distinctively surreal character. A blanket of white snow covers the ground, creating a soft, dreamy contrast against the bright red of Kyoto's traditional architecture. Another town, Yamanouchi, is a great spot for photographers to capture the Japanese Alps. If you’re looking to capture snow early in the season, Hokkaido, located in the northern region of the island, often receives their first snowfall in late October or early November. Of course, heading to Hakone we could not leave out Mt. Fuji, the stunning volcano becomes more visible during the colder months.
What to photograph in winter: The temples and gardens of Kyoto can be photographed all year round, but in winter, you can also make use of the snowfall, which turns the scene into a real winter wonderland. Don’t forget about the Japanese Alps and Mt. Fuji, two magical places you can capture true winter landscapes.
Lofoten Islands, Norway
Lofoten is one of the most beautiful districts in Norway, waiting to be explored this collection of islands make for a landscape photographers winter dream. The Northern Lights are breathtaking in Lofoten, creating great opportunity for photographs. There are many hikes that you can explore during the day, each summit resulting in amazing views. The bridge in Hamnoy is also an idealistic image of the Lofoten Islands, known for the red and white cabins with snow-covered mountains behind.
What to photograph in winter: Lofoten’s unique and peaceful landscapes in winter are what make it such a special place for landscape photography. You can also photograph Lofoten’s fishing villages and beaches for stunning images.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park is one of the world’s most incredible places, famous for its super-volcanoes, stunning landscapes, and huge herds of wild animals. In winter, the landscape transforms into a pure white dream, covered in a thick blanket of snow. The contrast between the bright white snow and the dark trees creates a stunning image that will surely be one of the highlights in your portfolio.
What to photograph in winter: The snow is what makes Yellowstone in winter so special, so you should concentrate on finding a good location to capture it.
Zermatt is one of the most beautiful Swiss villages, nestled at the foot of a huge mountain range. In winter, the mountains are covered in snow, creating a stunning contrast against the blue sky. The village itself is very colorful and visiting it in winter is like stepping back in time. You can easily imagine that you’ve traveled to a different era.
What to photograph in winter: The landscape of Zermatt in winter is what makes this such a great destination for landscape photography. You can also visit the surrounding mountains and valleys for some world-class Swiss Alp shots.
Bergen is a vibrant coastal city, surrounded by mountains, fjords, and islands. In winter, the landscape is covered in a thick blanket of snow, creating an ethereal white landscape. The city’s colorful wooden architecture is a fantastic contrast to the pure white of the surrounding landscape, and the strong, warm light in Bergen makes it a photographer’s paradise.
What to photograph in winter: The quaint city center is what makes Bergen so memorable in the winter. Just grab a hot cocoa and stroll around town; you’ll have plenty of inspiration.
Central Park, New York
New York City’s Central Park is one of the world’s most famous parks; it’s usually a huge stretch of green in the middle of the bustling city. In winter though, everything turns white, the park is covered in a thick blanket of snow, and it transforms into a winter photographer's paradise. The contrast between the white snow and the colorful buildings of the city creates a truly stunning composition that will take your breath away.
What to photograph in winter: Central Park in winter is all about the juxtaposition between the snow and the cityscape. You can find plenty of great locations throughout the park.
Banff National Park is one of the world’s most famous outdoor destinations, renowned for its stunning landscapes. In winter, the park becomes a truly magical place, covered in a thick blanket of snow. The snowy landscape creates stunning images, and the park becomes a very quiet place at this time of year, due to the fact that it’s much colder here than in the nearby cities.
What to photograph In winter: You can photograph everything in Banff - from landscapes to wildlife. But the snowy peaks and frozen lakes are what make this such a special place for landscape photography.
Winter Landscape Photography is Something Special
Winter is a special time of the year for landscape photographers. It’s when the world is at its most photogenic and when every single element of the landscape is at its most dramatic. And this is why every landscape photographer dreams of visiting exotic destinations in the winter. But don’t just take our word for it. Visit any of these amazing destinations in winter, and we guarantee you’ll have the trip of a lifetime.