The Ultimate Photography Bucket List

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The top 100 things to photograph in the worldThe Photography Bucket List project started out as a private, personal project to help me plan some new adventures around the world, and if I’m honest, to help me assess what I have and have not achieved in my life so far. Many people keep a mental bucket list, you probably even have one yourself, but isn’t it easy to ignore? At least that’s what I found, so I went one step further and I started to write things down.

I found that not only did it help me visualize where I might be able to check more than one things off the list at the same time, but it also showed me there would be some new skills I would need to acquire in order to really make some inroads into my list. Among other things, I was going to need to learn to climb, to dive, to navigate a sea kayak in open water, to ride a motorcycle, to survive in the wilderness for weeks, to ski steep Alaskan peaks and to be comfortable in the presence of animals that could kill you in a heartbeat.

A goal without a plan is just a dream.

Aside from these more physical skills, I was also going to need to become a better photographer in several different disciplines. It would never be enough for me to just go to these places and experience these things, I would also want to return with incredible photos. Seeing things written down in front of me was a real wakeup call! I needed to get to work on this list!

MY LIST VS. YOUR LIST

My own list had some very specific goals on it that I wouldn’t expect everyone to be excited about. I knew that if I was to make this project public then it would need to be divided up into two different sections: A general list of ideas to inspire people from all walks of life and with a range of photographic interests, as well as a second list that expanded on that to add some things that might just be for me. My additional personal list can be viewed beneath the Top 100 list.

If you decide to create your own list then I would expect it to take shape in much the same way. It was never my intention that the Top 100 Photography Destinations in its entirety should become your bucket list, only that it serves as inspiration to start one in the first place, and as kindling to fuel those first ideas. If you do create a list, or have one already, please share in the comments at the bottom of the page!


8 BEST HIKES IN THE WORLD

  • West Coast Trail – Canada
  • Tigers Nest – Bhutan
  • Overland Track – Tasmania
  • Zion Narrows – USA
  • Milford Track – New Zealand
  • Tour De Mont Blanc – France
  • Fitz Roy – Patagonia
  • Annapurna – Nepal

6 INCREDIBLE HISTORICAL SITES

  • Angkor Wat – Cambodia
  • Petra – Jordan
  • Machu Picchu – Peru
  • Bagan – Burma
  • Rome – Italy
  • Easter Island – Chile

10 GREATEST ROAD TRIPS

  • Ring Road – Iceland
  • Alaska Highway – USA
  • California/Big Sur – USA
  • South Island Circuit – New Zealand
  • Sala de Uyumi – Bolivia
  • Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland
  • North Coast 500 – Scotland
  • Routes des Grande Alpes – France/Switzerland
  • Powder Highway – Canada
  • Fjordland Epic Route – Norway

10 AMAZING URBAN AREAS

  • Oia – Greece
  • Venice – Italy
  • Temples and Gardens of Kyoto
  • Cinque Terre – Italy
  • Havana – Cuba
  • New York City – USA
  • Jerusalem – Israel
  • Marrakech – Morocco
  • Istanbul – Turkey
  • Paris – France

26 STUNNING LANDSCAPES

  • Lofoten Islands – Norway
  • Namib Desert – Namibia
  • Bora Bora – French Polynesia
  • Canadian Rockies – Canada
  • Tuscany – Italy
  • Isle of Skye – Scotland
  • Death Valley – USA
  • Antelope Canyon – USA
  • Antarctica
  • The Dolomites – Italy
  • Greenland
  • Guilin – China
  • Bryce Canyon – USA
  • Yosemite – USA
  • The Columbia River Gorge & Olympic National Park – USA
  • Torres Del Paine – Chile
  • Chiang Mai Province – Vietnam
  • Joshua Tree National Park – USA
  • Volcanoes National Park – Hawaii
  • Newfoundland and Labrador – Canada
  • The Palouse – Washington – USA
  • The Kimberly – Australia
  • The Matterhorn – Switzerland
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park – Croatia
  • The Faroe Islands

25 ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

  • Mountain Gorillas – Congo and Rwanda
  • Tigers of Ranthambore – India
  • Snow Monkeys – Japan
  • Whale Shark – Isla Mujeres – Mexico
  • Yellowstone National Park – USA
  • Bears of Kamchatka – Russia
  • Humpback Whales – Tonga
  • The Pantanal – Brazil
  • Madagascar
  • Polar Bears – Svalbard
  • Macro Photography in Costa Rica
  • Galapagos Islands – Ecuador
  • Southern Ocean – South Georgia and the Falklands
  • The Great Migration – Maasai Mara – Kenya
  • Lions of the Ngorongoro Crater – Tanzania
  • Elephants of Botswana
  • Grizzly Bears of Alaska

8 EVENTS & FESTIVAL

  • Carnival – Rio de Janiro
  • 24 Heures du Mans – France
  • The Iditarod – Alaska
  • Holi – India
  • Burning Man – USA
  • Varanasi Hindu pilgrimage – India
  • Albuquerque Balloon Festival – USA
  • Oshkosh air rally – USA

7 GREAT ADVENTURES

  • Horseback Riding in Mongolia
  • Photograph the Northern Lights in Lapland
  • Camp in the Hang Son Doong Caves – Vietnam
  • Sea Kayaking in the Lofoten Islands – Norway
  • Dive in the Great Barrier Reef – Australia
  • Storm Chasing in Tornado Alley – USA
  • Photograph the Na Pali Coast of Hawaii from the Air – Hawaii

My Personal Bucket List Additions

Whilst I want to tackle all the items on the overall Top 100 list, there were always going to be some additional goals that were more specific and personal to me. Some of the items on this personal list are unrelated to the overall Top 100 list, but a few of them are linked. For example, one of the reasons that I wanted to become a proficient sea kayaker was so that I could utilize those skills to further explore places like the Norwegian fiords and the Lofoten Islands once I cross those locations off the Top 100 list.

If you visited those locations it might not be your priority, but I have always loved that my camera gives me purpose and motivation to learn new things, as well as visiting new places. The same goes for many of the other skills and techniques on this list. They are there to prepare me to get the absolute most out of the trips I do to the main locations.

The things on this list are the things that are important to me now. Over time there might have been a few other things, and certainly when my career was just getting started this list would have included such things as “get first cover shot” or “become a full-time photographer”, but I decided against adding some of these things to the completed list for fear of making it too long and bloated.

Completed

Not Completed

  • Visit all 7 continents in a single year
  • Photograph a Solar Eclipse
  • Get a photo published in National Geographic
  • Shoot a wildlife short film
  • Shoot a timelapse short film
  • Successfully use wildlife remote camera setup
  • Get my PADI dive certification
  • Have my own exhibition in an art gallery
  • Cross Canada (my home) by train
  • Photograph Mt Logan from the air – Canada’s highest peak!
  • Drive the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean
Photo of author

Dan Carr

Professional photographer based in Yukon, Canada, and founder of Shutter Muse. His editorial work has been featured in publications all over the world, and his commercial clients include brands such as Nike, Apple, Adobe and Red Bull.

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