Travel Photography Subjects: Views

Travel Photography Subjects: Views

There are only two more posts left, after this one, in the Travel Photography Subjects series. This subject may seem a bit odd, or that we’ve covered it before. But bear with me and I will explain how this subject stands by itself.

Views. Views, to me, represent a broad category but typically something specific. They differ from straight on shots of the Coliseum or the Eiffel Tower. Shots like those are of something and while almost anything you take a picture of can be considered a ‘view’, the idea here is to represent what it is like to be at a location, looking out. In this case, the view from the Eiffel Tower would be a better representation than the photo of it.

There are many famous views in the world of travel. From the Empire State Building, Sears Tower, Petronas Towers. Any man-made tall building will do. We often think of views as being exclusively from tall structures or high places, like a hot air balloon or airplane. But other views can be captivating. The rim of the Grand Canyon or a hammock on the beach in the Caribbean or from the bottom of the locks in the Panama Canal. All of these are quintessential views many of us have seen in a photograph.

While traveling, look for the typical views, but also bring back something different. The view from your hotel/hostel/rental even if it is not some grand sweeping vista. The view from the back of a taxi. The view looking up at all the tall buildings around you or down a crowded alley.

You may also want to run a theme through some of your travels, such as the view from the center of each town you visit. Or the view from the highest hill. Or even the view from a bar stool at the local watering hole.

Whatever you decide as your view of choice, don’t forget to bring back some good shots so others know what the views are like during your travels. Not every photo needs to be a shot of something, some times it is more important to see the view from something.

Share your favorite view shot in the comments section below!

Previous articles in the Travel Photography Subjects series include Water, Old People, Young People, Religion, Sports, Socializing, Icons, Rich, Poor, Transportation, Economy, Food, Food Preparation, Weather, Art and Modern Vs. Traditional. These posts are not intent on telling you everything you need to do, step by step, to capture perfect, cookie-cutter pictures while traveling. Instead, they are intent on pointing out some vital elements to capture when on the road and highlight thought provoking questions you may want to ask yourself. My hope is they help guide you to find your own means to better expressing what your travels have meant to you and present that in the best light possible. Be sure to subscribe to this site to receive the last three subjects as they are posted!

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Peter West Carey leads photo tours and workshops in Nepal, Bhutan, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and beyond. He is also the creator of Photography Basics - A 43 Day Adventure & 40 Photography Experiments, web-based tutorials taking curious photographers on a fun ride through the basics of learning photography.

Some Older Comments

  • Rosanne Casu December 19, 2010 06:00 am

    [url=][eimg url='' title='850437425_XXzSH-M-5.jpg'][/url]

    Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. Photographed from Broadbeach.

  • Kristijan Ivanovski December 17, 2010 12:39 pm

    Auschwitz, Poland:

    Fortress Kale, Skopje, Macedonia:

  • Rick Wilhelmsen December 17, 2010 06:59 am

    OK then, I'll try it with a link instead....:

  • Al Wehrmann December 17, 2010 03:21 am

    Here's a little different view of the Tour Eiffel, from river level...

    And a view of Paris' Sacre Coeur, from perhaps a-now-overused location inside the Musee D'Orsay:

    And, finally, a view of Notre-Dame Cathedral reflected in the window of Shakespeare and Co books:

  • Rick Wilhelmsen December 16, 2010 02:22 am

    Monument Valley sunrise (with headlight trail):

  • Maik-T. Šebenik December 14, 2010 06:55 pm

    Here are some of my examples:

    USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu, Hawaii - the "keyhole" shot:

    View of Piran, Slovenia - a beautiful mediterranean town on the adriatic coast - from a boat:

    Torre dell'Orologio - the clocktower od Venice, Italy. This photo is made from St. Mark's tower, the tallest building in Venice:

    2 towers of the Sagrada Familia - the most famous cathedral / church - in Barcelona, Spain:

    The dome of Palau Nacional - today a museum in Barcelona, Spain:

  • Crazynelsons December 14, 2010 12:02 pm

    A very cold winters day.

  • Dean December 13, 2010 08:44 pm

    view from one of the windows of Château de Chillon, Veytaux, Switzerland
    [eimg link='' title='view from Chillon Castle tower' url='']

  • Dean December 13, 2010 08:17 pm

    view from the tower of the Cathedral Notre Dame de Lausanne, Switzerland[eimg link='' title='view from the Cathedral Notre Dame de Lausanne' url='']

  • Vishal Modak December 13, 2010 02:36 pm

    shot of a tree against the backdrop of the Arches National Park...

  • Vishal Modak December 13, 2010 02:35 pm

    [eimg link='' title='Survivor Tree...' url='']

  • JesseAdams December 13, 2010 11:03 am

    Eiffel Tower at sunset.
    and the view from it!

    The Empire State Building and Manhattan from 30 Rock.

    The view from Mount Lycabettus in Athens, Greece.

  • Kat December 13, 2010 11:01 am

    This is mine:

    Sagada, Mountain Province in the Philippines. Huge rice paddies carved out of the mountain side.

  • Bryan Bukowczyk December 13, 2010 05:58 am

    I love this site !

  • felix filou December 13, 2010 02:22 am

    [eimg link='' title='Marokko_0246' url='']

  • matabum December 13, 2010 01:08 am

    this is my favourite "industrial" view

  • Mei Teng December 12, 2010 07:38 pm

    Thanks for mentioning the Petronas Towers. An awesome structure! :)

  • Stefano Ottolenghi December 12, 2010 06:35 pm

    Here mine!

  • Scott December 12, 2010 05:47 pm

    A view of a Christmas Market in Germany:

  • Robert Krueger December 12, 2010 05:03 pm

    Sorry, looks like the last one is a broken link. it should be this:

  • Robert Krueger December 12, 2010 04:59 pm

    Reading this article got me to looking back through my flickr photostream and I found these:

    Shot looking back into Huntsville, AL, my hometown:

    Shot from Grandview Avenue, atop Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh, PA:

    Shot of Thrasher Memorial Fountain, just outside Big Spring Park, Huntsville, AL:

    and the final one is from Pittsburgh again, this time with a view of Point State Park (the round area that's lit up!):


  • Scott December 12, 2010 04:18 pm

    A view of Trier, Germany from the Porta Nigra:

  • Rick Priebe December 12, 2010 01:06 pm

    In Vernazzo on the Cinque Terra, Italy

  • Rick Priebe December 12, 2010 12:56 pm

    I guess this qualifies as a view....

    [eimg url='' title='VernazzoBoats620.jpg']

  • Doug Sundseth December 12, 2010 10:22 am

    Monument Canyon in Colorado National Monument.

  • Warren Small December 12, 2010 09:40 am

    On a recent trip to the Grand Canyon (my first), I was awestruck, to say the least. How does one capture the essence of one of nature's greatest? Although I did take pictures from the places that everybody visits, I always tried to find that different point of view. I think this photo captures the feeling of standing at the edge.

  • Tweed365 December 12, 2010 09:24 am

    Maybe this time

  • Tweed365 December 12, 2010 09:23 am

    I try and try and my posts never seem to appear. :(

    [eimg url='' title='620_4238_wm.jpg']

  • ScottMC December 12, 2010 09:22 am

    [eimg url='' title='620_4238_wm.jpg']
    This is the Tweed Valley, far north New South Wales, and this ridge actually constitutes the QLD/NSW border.

  • Warren Small December 12, 2010 07:47 am

    On a recent trip to the Grand Canyon (my first), I was awestruck, to say the least. How does one capture the essence of one of nature's greatest? Although I did take pictures from the places that everybody visits, I always tried to find that different point of view. I think this photo captures the feeling of standing at the edge.
    [eimg link='' title='Navajo Point' url='']

  • Thomas Masat December 12, 2010 06:47 am

    [eimg link='' title='Overhead' url='']

  • iVahid December 12, 2010 06:21 am

    Opposing view in Vatican

    Window view

    Panorama view of Lofoten

    Modern VS old view

    Fjord view

    Balcony view in Civia

    Alta view

    Different view of Eiffel Tower

    Florence view

    Valley view