Photos of the Week: January 16th, 2020. 13 World Famous Landmarks that you should put on your Bucket List!

How many of these have you seen? When most people see these landmarks, it takes their breath away from the magnificence of their beauty. Take a journey with us now and see if these are places you would love to see.

Visiting places of significance can turn a trip from purposeless traipsing into a voyage of meaning, steered by impactful history, cultural connections and unforgettable sights. If you’re looking to manifest your own movement and forge pathways that inspire innovative thought, check out these life-altering landmarks that are dream destinations.

Leshan Giant Buddha
The largest Buddha statue in the world isn’t only a colossal piece of art, it’s also an ancient work that’s more than 1,200 years old. Turned toward Mount Emei in Sichuan, China, the 200-plus-foot tall Leshan Giant Buddha was stalled several times during its construction, but eventually concluded in 803 A.D. Extreme pollution has contributed to the degradation of the statue in recent years, making it an urgent attraction for travelers who wish to see it before it’s damaged any further.
Photo courtesy of iStock

Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza
Though the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza grow older with each passing day, the lure of these ancient figures never dies down. The massive structures were once royal tombs, with the nearby sphinx to watch over as guard. Though thieves have since stolen the bodies — and the nose of the sphinx was shot off long ago — travelers the world over continue to trek to the Egyption desert to witness these remarkably old and masterfully designed constructions.
Photo courtesy iStock

Mont Saint-Michel
Depending on the water levels around Mont Saint-Michel off the coast of Normandy, France, the island could appear to be on elevated land surrounded by grazing sheep when the tide is low. But at high tide, the commune island seems to be a floating fairytale land, separated from the mainland. The dualism of this one-of-a-kind landmass attracts millions of visitors every year, and remains an entry on even more travel wish lists.
Photo courtesy of iStock

Easter Island Moai Statues
In the last century, hundreds of moai statues have been recovered and restored on Easter Island. With original assembly dating back to over half a millenia ago, the task of carving and transporting the stone structures is hard to imagine, making it a fascinating destination for globetrotters with far-reaching travel goals. On display in Rapa Nui National Park (which is 40% of the surface area of the island), the moai statues can be found along the base of the dormant volcanic craters on the island.
Photo courtesy of iStock

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Built in a town that pulls its name from an ancient Greek term meaning “marshy land,” the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a marble marvel. The tower has a shallow foundation and is surrounded by soft land, yet it slants without falling over. At some point, the structure was actively tilting, but after much trial and error, an adjustment was made that allows it to stand at its current five-degree slant for another few hundred years. In the meantime, travelers who know better have it at the top of their to-do lists, just in case.
Photo courtesy of iStock

Statue of Liberty
Gifted to the United States by France, the Statue of Liberty has been a sign of international unity since it was shipped to New York City at the end of the 1880s. Today, it’s still the dream of many drifting spirits to peer through the crown that tops the head of Lady Liberty, extended further upwards by the seven points said to represent every sea and continent. Even when travelers choose not to tour the inside of the statue, the view of the 305-foot copper goddess is no less striking from a distance, and well worth a premier place on any bucket list.
Photo courtesy of iStock

The Western ‘Wailing’ Wall
Though the Western Wall (sometimes referred to as the “Wailing Wall”) is a sacred Jewish praying place, people of all nationalities and various denominations migrate from all over the globe to visit. The wall is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, with the Western Wall Plaza officially acting as a synagogue, though this is a place of importance in the history of Christianity and Islam as well. Renowned for its irrefutable cultural significance, the Western Wall is a pilgrimage people aspire to experience, no matter where they’re from in the world.
Photo courtesy of iStock

Angkor Wat
Though it’s the largest and most well-known Hindu temple in Angkor, Cambodia, Angkor Wat is one of over a thousand temples that make up the city, which has been dubbed a UNESCO world heritage site for its immense archeological value. Landmark lovers who want to maximize their visit hire tuk-tuks (an auto rickshaw) before sunrise, so they can view the once-in-a-lifetime view of golden rays stretching across the moat-mirrored image of the temple.
Photo courtesy of iStock

The Blue Mosque
Called the Blue Mosque because of the turquoise hues found on the interior decorative tiles, this sanctuary is one of the most eye-catching buildings in the world. Constructed in Istanbul, Turkey, in the early 1600s, the Blue Mosque pulls peepers toward the intricate details of the ceramic patterns, covering the walls and ceilings inside. Outside, the six minarets, or slim towers used to call for Islamic prayer, stand as a signature, having been the first to have as many minarets as the Great Mosque in Mecca, (until a seventh was added in Mecca so that no offense was caused).
Photo courtesy of iStock

Bryce Canyon Amphitheater
Actually not a canyon at all, Bryce Canyon Amphitheater in Utah is packed full of unique reddish-orange rock formations called hoodoos, or slender, chimney-shaped stones. The best views can be spotted from Sunset Point, a viewpoint where the tops of green trees are seen contrasting beautifully among the red rocks. Hiking through such a distinct natural setting is the fantasy of many would-be park patrons, making Bryce Canyon a hot item on wanderlust-themed wish lists.
Photo courtesy of iStock

St. Basil’s Cathedral
Although tyrant Ivan the Terrible ordered St. Basil’s Cathedral to be built in Moscow, Russia, its colorful, playful design is the opposite of what you would expect from such a strict ruler. Nonetheless, St. Basil’s Cathedral, now a museum, is a vibrant part of Red Square, outside of the Kremlin, visually marking a well-known section of town. The grandeur of this quirky building makes it a must-see for those who appreciate artful architecture around the world.
Photo courtesy of iStock

Sagrada Familia
Finally nearing completion, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, is about to enter its 138th year of construction. The Roman Catholic basilica famously designed in part by architect Antoni Gaudi (who is buried in the crypt of the church) is unbelievable, even unfinished. Planned to be completed in 2026, 100 years after Gaudi’s death, this bucket-list item should be visited before the ultimate unveiling of a century and a half worth of work.
Photo courtesy of iStock

Victoria Falls
Climate change and unpredictable weather seems to have affected some of the world’s most revered sites, including natural landmarks like Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This cliff is known as having the largest sheet of falling water on the globe, though recent droughts have diminished its bulk at times, making it even more urgent for prospective visitors to lay their eyes on a place that, even now, seems unreal. Not to be mistaken as dried up, Victoria Falls reminds us to hold our world wonders dearly by living and traveling responsibly.
Photo courtesy of iStock

Truly some of the most amazing landmarks in the world! As I looked at these, I would love to see them all. How about you? Time to start planning. Start learning to take great photos now.
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How to Setup Your Camera for Long Exposure Photography

1. Stabilization

So important it has to be point one. Before even setting up your camera, you will need to make sure your camera is set-up with as little movement as possible, this means getting a tripod with a head to attach to the camera. Now these range from £20 eBay jobbies up to over £1,000, but unless you’re Bill Gates a typical £100-£150 tripod with ball head like the Manfrotto 294 is affordable yet both lightweight and stable. It has 3 leg sections with easy to use flick lock which feel robust as the unit is made from aluminium, and the main thing is it feels solid, meaning you feel confident leaving your expensive DSLR attached to it.

So why is stabilization so important? Well the clue is in the title. Long exposure means setting shutter speeds to a higher than normal time, although there isn’t a defined time setting as to what constitutes long exposure as opposed to short exposure shots (or even medium if you want to get more detailed), typically we are talking about photo’s that are anything more than 10 seconds or so. Most typical shots of waterfalls or lakes where running water is blended to give the creamy, cloud like effect for example have exposure times of over a minute, whereas images of star trails in the night sky will have exposure times starting from 5 minutes.

Here is what a waterfall looks like using a slow shutter speed.

“(A)t the end of the day there’s no harm in taking duds, that’s what the delete button is for.”

Because of the long shutter speeds, the camera will record everything in that time frame that is set, so anything that comes into frame in the designated time will likely be captured, including any movement from the camera which will cause blur. Typically, for professionals the slightest movement can affect an image so much that most will use a remote trigger to take shots as even pressing the shutter on the top of your camera will move the camera slightly, enough to unwittingly blur a shot.

2. Set-up your camera

This is where practice makes perfect. You will never get a perfect shot first, or even second or third time, it’s a course of trial and error.

Wherever possible, shoot at the lowest ISO possible. This typically means you have the clearest image as possible with the littlest noise, especially important for high quality images.

Use manual focus and set the focus to infinity on your lens. In dark conditions especially, the autofocus will generally tend to struggle to find a focus point and will ‘hunt’, meaning the autofocus will keep zooming in and out to try and find a subject to focus on, but will find it difficult to.

Use a high aperture. This brings the maximum amount of area into focus and compliments the previous point, obviously as you are manually focusing you want a high area as possible to be clear in the resulting image.

Shoot in RAW format. This helps mainly in post processing with things like white balance and making small corrections.

Turn off your image stabilizer. Believe it or not your IS may work against you here, as it will try autocorrect any small movement, which is obviously not what you want. It’s confusing as the IS may also blur a part of the photo you want to be sharp if there is even the tiniest infraction, so basically your cameras IS is to long exposure what water is to a Gremlin.

Shoot in bulb mode. This lets you determine the shutter speed simply by holding down the shutter button for however long you want the exposure to be. This is perfect for shooting things like fireworks, whereby you don’t know how long a particular one will be in the air for, but you still want to experiment with shooting them with long exposure techniques.

3. Minimize movement

As mentioned before, it’s best to shoot in a way where your press of the shutter doesn’t shake the camera in any way, however little. This can be done with a remote shutter release which are as cheap as chips, Canon’s official RC-6 wireless remote for example can be picked up for less than £30.

Of course there is another simpler way around this, just use the self-timer on your camera after steadying it on either a tripod or flat surface. Typically the 2 second timer is plenty to press the shutter and remove any unwanted movement but most cameras have a 10 second timer too, just in case you move slower than Jodie Marsh doing long division.

4. Practice, practice, make changes, then practice some more

Like anything in photography, but the best way to learn anything is through trial and error and learning through your mistakes. If a shot is too dark and underexposed, compensate the exposure using the settings by increasing it gradually and seeing the effects. If a shot is too light, do the opposite.

Play around and experiment, it’s the only way to learn, at the end of the day there’s no harm in taking duds, that’s what the delete button is for, (unless you’re shooting film, then you can show off your pitch black fails to your heart’s content.)

Long exposure effects:

Light trails

Probably the most popular way to use long exposure controls. Here you can easily just do this right in your own city. Just set your camera up on your tripod, and open up the shutter for a long time, and get a picture of the car lights as they go by.

This is where a wireless remote comes in handy, especially if you’re alone or a Billy-no-mates and want to capture some writing with lights, you don’t want to use the 2 second self-timer and then have to run like Usain Bolt just to get into position to be in frame for the shot Also popular in showing lights from moving cars especially in top down shots of city skylines, light trials are a great way to show bustling cities and movement.

Star trails

Same theory as the light trails, but by taking a long exposure which is typically at least 5 minutes you can catch the light trails created by the stars and the earth’s movement around them. And then even more mind blowing is that because stars are so many millions of light years away, some of these stars that we see and photograph are actually already burned out and no longer exist, yet we can still capture them as it takes so long for the light/ image to reach us. Big Bang Theory eat your heart out.

You normally want to head to somewhere with little light pollution and high up, and include some other background objects so in mountainous areas or green areas away from the city is perfect. Using a wide aperture will also lead to brighter trails as it lets more light into the lens.


No Windows desktop would be complete without at least having one wallpaper with that creamy, cloud like effect in a river whereby the water looks like fog running and drifting through the rocks. This effect is perfect for giving a more tranquil and peaceful scene for example in waterfalls, as opposed to the water crashing between the rocks.

It’s not just for water that long exposure can help though, any landscape image can be made to feel a bit softer and easier on the eye by using the technique, with the dramatic contrast of dark and light colours adding a dramatic effect to even the most ordinary seeming backdrops.

This is where natural density filters come in handy, which come in three, four, six, nine and ten stops which can extend the time period of a long exposure shot, especially helpful in dusk or dawn shots where there is fading light, the filters can help capture scenes here perfectly.

Finally, there is no hard and fast rules to what you can and can’t do, the best thing about photography is that you can instantly review and see exactly what you have just shot, therefore the best advice that can be given is to go out and shoot your heart’s content, experiment, and have fun!

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Here is some more great examples of using long exposure photography:
Photo by faaiq ackmerd on

Photo by Pixabay on

Photo by Pok Rie on


Minimalist Photography: A Powerful Medium That’s Not as Easy as You Think

What is minimalist photography?

I find that some people use the term minimalism to describe a kind of photography, for example, when they are replying to what type of photography they do. That’s why it’s important to clarify that minimalism is a style of photography that you can apply to any genre of photography from landscape through to food photography.

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Actually, minimalism is a style that not only exists in photography but in everything from paintings through to design. It is even a way of life that has recently become popular. The one thing that minimalism has in common, no matter where you use it, is the idea that less is more. Because of this, the details are very important.


While minimalism is simplistic in it’s visual aesthetic, it is not always easy to achieve. In fact, it can be more difficult because there’s really no place to hide. If it’s not a good photo, it will be fairly evident. One of the first rules of powerful minimalist photography is to isolate the subject and let the background be just that, a background. You can achieve this by using neutral backdrops or a shallow depth of field.

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An isolated subject on a neutral background is not yet enough to qualify as minimalist because this description could include product photography from an e-commerce site and, of course, we are not talking about that.

So to achieve minimalism, you also have to give a message or emotion. Michael Kena, the great minimalist photographer says: “For me, approaching subject matter to photograph is a bit like meeting a person and beginning a conversation“.


You can use composition to give more impact to your image. There aren’t many elements in a minimalist image, so you have to be sure they are well-positioned and distributed correctly. You want to use composition to create a harmonic image and emphasize the subject. Always keep in mind the message and not just the aesthetics.

1/60, f4, ISO 400

Using composition rules can really help you to master minimalist photography. Once you’re comfortable with them, keep experimenting because breaking the rules can sometimes be equally helpful.

Colors, shapes, and textures

You can try using only one color to emphasize the message or create an atmosphere and a feeling. There’s a long history in the arts about the cultural meaning and the psychological impact different colors have on the viewer. Use this to your advantage when doing minimalist images.

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You can also go the other way and use bold, contrasting colors to create more compelling photographs.

Lea De Meulenaere said in an interview that she lives in a place that is not very colorful, so she does more profound research to use other characteristics of the minimalist style. Keeping this in mind, you can also use shapes and textures.

Constructing images

Minimalism can be found during long walks in the city for urban photography or nature for landscapes, but you can also construct it in still-life, food photography, advertising and other genres.

1/60, f11, ISO 400

Some big brands like Disney or LG are using minimalism for their printed advertising. You can follow the creators of such campaigns on Instagram for inspiration. I particularly like Anna Devis and Daniel Rueda under the account name anniset.

Why you should give it a try

  • Trying new things will keep your photography improving. Going minimal doesn’t require you to buy any new equipment. You have nothing to lose and much to gain.
  • It will exercise your mind and creative process to give a clear and concise message with your images.
  • There’s such a big variety of minimalism that you can find your own. You can go about it as a meditative state or as a fun creative project. The choice is yours.

In conclusion

It’s not by chance that advertising is using minimalism. An image that clearly communicates what you want is something that stands out in between all the images we see every day. To make powerful minimalist photography is a skill that can take your work to the next level.

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Try it, practice it and most of all, enjoy it. Share with us your results in the comments section to get other readers inspired!

The post Minimalist Photography: A Powerful Medium That’s Not as Easy as You Think appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ana Mireles.