Paris is a city of contrasts. Fiercely passionate republicans, humble locals, excited tourists, tired tourists, all can be found here. The architecture is also contrasting - the old, classic architecture of buildings like the Hotel des Invalides, the Opera, and even contrast within the same location - the Louvre. All of this makes Paris a great location to explore over a week and to document through photography.
Glaciers, mountain lakes, snow all year round and high mountain passes can only mean one thing - Switzerland. A beautiful country with such a varied landscape (and population; 4 different languages are officially recognised here!), the Swiss alps are a fantastic location for some summer landscape photography, and is high on our list of destinations. There are a huge number of amazing roads in southern Switzerland near the Italian border. Some of those passes are shown on the map above (I have included the names if you want to look them up yourselves). Looking on 500px, people have done some amazing work in this area, and I would love to go and try capture some of these landscapes myself. Again, just like Iceland, Switzerland is a location we are lucky to have in Europe (it is roughly 8-10 hours away from the UK, depending on route).
With the clear skies of the Alps and the low light pollution, the conditions would be great for some nightscapes and blue hour shooting. There are lots of relatively accessible mountain tops with great views over the rest of the Alps.
To make the most of this location, we would really need to be planning a visit of over a week. With so many potential locations for shooting, Switzerland should be on any landscape photographer's bucket list. [Thank you to the photographers whose images I used off 500px - your work really helps the rest of us when deciding "where next?"]
Part 2 of my location scouting series is focussing on Scandinavia. One of the great things about living in Northern Europe is the relatively easy access to great scenery on the continent. As we live in the UK, driving to Scandinavia is completely possible, but would require us to make some stops in Northern Europe along the way. So, these locations will be mentioned too...This is a really exciting itinerary for us and is high on the list of places to go this year. I have put in hyperlinks to all the images I have used for this post (all from 500px).
Country #1 - Germany (Outbound) Germany has such a varied landscape, with lots of historical cities to stop over in. Cologne (in Northern Germany) is a classic example of this - beautiful old buildings coupled with a modern feel, seen a lot these days across western Europe. The cathedral in particular is a beautiful potential subject, and it seems that many photographers focus on this when they visit the city.
Hamburg is in the very north of Germany, not all that far from the North Sea. It is a very important port city and industrial hub, so a location like this would give me some great opportunities to get some cityscapes with a different feel to the usual.
Country #2 - Denmark Next stop on the trip would actually bring us into Scandinavia itself. Jutland in Denmark seems to offer so much potential - the bunkers the Nazis built along the coast are for the most part still there; Viking sites and rune stones still dot the landscape, and then of course there is the sunken lighthouse in the north of Jutland.
From here, our journey would take us east to Copenhagen, the "gateway" to the rest of Scandinavia. There is one main thing I would love to make an image of here - the Oresund Bridge. This is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe, and connects the continent with the Scandinavian Peninsula.
Country #3 - Sweden Gothenburg would be the most northern stop on our tour of Scandinavia. I've always wanted to visit Sweden, and after a recent business trip to Gothenburg by my husband, this looks like a lovely place to visit. A big plus point of the city is the close proximity of beautiful landscape, as shown by the images below.
Country #4 - Germany (Inbound) Back on to the continent (via a brief stop-over in Odense, Denmark) and back into Germany. Hannover was a target for strategic bombing during WW2 and so contains many buildings with historical significance. For example, the Aegidienkirche was never rebuilt after the war as a memorial to those who lost their lives. Hannover is also close to a major concentration camp from WW2, Bergen-Belsen. Visiting this camp would raise one of those ethical questions of whether or not to take images in such a harrowing place. However, you could argue that documenting these places is one of the things we can do to keep these awful events from being forgotten.
Country #5 - Holland Final stop on the potential tour would be Holland. There are lots of interesting locations in this country where we could potentially stay (Amsterdam, Eindhoven...). As I've never been, it would be great to see what this country is all about, and being quite close to home it would be a lovely way to end the trip.