Tibet should be on the list of top ten places to go for every photographer. Its capital, Lhasa is home to the spiritual center of Tibetan Buddhism, Jokhang Temple. Each day, Tibetan Buddhists in traditional outfits fill the streets around the temple as they perform the circumambulation. Not far away is the iconic Potala Palace, the traditional residence of the Dalai Lama. The old streets and lanes of Lhasa are filled with charming scenes. From Lhasa you can travel westward to Qomalangma (Mt Everest) and onward to Nepal. To the east, the highway takes you down from the roof of the world to Nyingchi in eastern Tibet and on to Sichuan Province. To reach Lhasa you can take the train from China’s capital, Beijing, or fly from several cities in China. But plan well in advance as you need a travel permit to visit Tibet and may face restrictions.
Cathedral Cove New Zealand
On the Coromandel Peninsula, to the east of Auckland, New Zealand, is rugged and beautiful Cathedral Cove. Located on Mercury Bay, Cathedral Cove is a short trek from Ha Hei Beach along a trail above sheer cliffs and rocky points. This location is idea for dramatic seaside cliff scenes and exotic subtropical beach photographs. The beach is divided by a rocky headland with a cathedral-like cavern that allows you to pass through the cliffs. The rugged beauty of Cathedral Cover attracted the producers of Narnia: Prince Caspian, who used it as the location for the Pevensie children to return to Narnia and find the ruins of Cair Paravel.
Coastal Scenes at Sandcut Beach & Falls
The west coast of Vancouver Island is a wonderful - often amazing - place for photographers, regardless of the weather. When heavy clouds roll in and the wind grows fierce, the ocean becomes rough and powerful waves break over the reefs and rocks. Wisps of mist float among wind sculpted ancient cedar and fir trees, waves begin pounding the shoreline and it becomes a day for dramatic storm pictures. When the sun shines and the ocean is gentle, however, it’s a day to explore the beaches and tidal pools, or take long shots of the rugged coastline. Northwest of Victoria, B.C., Sandcut Beach is a popular place for people to spend time, to find a spot to sit and relax, or stroll down to where Sandcut Creek cascades down onto the beach. Despite the calm surface of the ocean, the ridges of stones pushed and piled up on the beach remind you of its power. But on this day the sea is calm and the image is one of peace and solitude.
Scenes from a Farming Village in Northwest Yunnan
Lugu Hu (Lake) is popular side trip among travellers who visit Lijiang in Northwestern Yunnan Province of China. it’s also on the backpackers route from Yunnan into Sichuan Province. The area is home to the Musuo matriarchal society, many of whom live around the lake. Tucked away in the mountains of Northwest Yunnan, a few hours drive from Lijiang, Lugu Lake is a peaceful and lovely place. During a visit I had the good fortune to meet the husband of the woman who managed the guest house where I was staying. He took me on a tour of the area and as we drove along a narrow road north of the lake I was astonished at the amazing vista as we reached the rim of a wide and beautiful valley. A slender thread of road carried us down the steep mountain slopes to the lovely scene below. I visited a family that lived in a large old courtyard style farm house where I was welcomed into the warmth and generosity of their home. A simple yet delicious lunch cooked over a fire pit in the large family room of the house was served with locally made wine. I was shown around the home, including the family’s Buddhist shrine with its images and sacred texts, and then enjoyed a leisurely walk-about in the village.
Scenes from a Winter Rainforest Walk to Goldstream Falls
On a winter afternoon follow a path beside a stream through the forest of Southern Vancouver Island. Beneath the canopy of soaring trees you escape the sounds of civilization and venture into the realm of nature. People greet you with muted voices so as not to disturb the serenity. The afternoon sunlight filters down to illuminate scenes of growth, decay and regeneration. Above Goldstream Falls the cliff sparkles with a veil of icicles, a rare winter treat in this warm and humid place.
Silk Road Exploration - Dunhuang
With its remote location in western China, Dunhuang offers photographers a chance to capture some amazing desert landscapes and pictures of historic sites. No ordinary tourist destination, Dunhuang, located in Gansu Province, has an important place in China’s history and culture. During the Han dynasty some two-thousand years ago, the city was the gateway to Central Asia for merchants setting out on the Silk Road. Located on the western frontier of Han Dynasty China, Dunhuang was the place to make arrangements for camels, horses and supplies before setting out on a difficult and dangerous journey through hostile lands. For caravans reaching China, the city’s walls were a welcome sight to weary travelers. There are a number of historic sites near Dunhuang, including the Mogao Grottoes with their ancient Buddhist statues and images, the ancient ruins of Yumenguan, the fortified border entry to Han Dynasty China northwest of Dunhuang, and the ruins of the entry post of Yangguan to the Southwest with it's beacon tower perched on a low hill overlooking a vast desert plain. Picturesque Cresent Lake sits among the Singing Sands dunes just south of Dunhuang. In addition to getting images of this lovely little oasis, you can climb the tall dunes to record expansive dunescapes or take the modern day version of the caravan - a camel train ride with fellow visitors.