If you’re like us, your bucket list is never truly complete. Tallying the destinations you’d like to travel to someday is a task that’s both fun and never-ending — and one that’s made infinitely more enjoyable by receiving recommendations from others.

That’s why we took to asking Travel + Leisure’s A-List — our collection of the world’s top travel advisors — to see where they think we should go. Collectively, they cover every inch of the globe, helping to craft one-of-a-kind itineraries for passionate travelers.

From kicking back in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora to glimpsing the out-of-this-world sands of Chile’s Atacama desert, here are 13 destinations T+L A-List advisors think you should add to your bucket list.

“Moscow, Russia in the winter. Nothing takes your breath away like fresh snow at night on Red Square, the ruby red stars of the Kremlin lighting the horizon and the lights of GUM department store lighting the entire square.”

Provided by TIME Inc. Elena Liseykina/Getty Images

“The paradox of travel is wanting an isolated experience, but being partly responsible for why they are increasingly rare. Providencia remains one of the few pure locations, unspoiled by mass tourism. Reaching this uncharted island by small propeller plane is not a journey many are willing to make, almost ensuring the place to yourself. Colombia isn’t known for white sand or pristine beaches but Providencia is the exception. A sanctuary of vibrant marine life sets this “Sea of Seven Colors” ablaze. Colombian hospitality with an undercurrent of Caribbean ease gives this charming island a well-deserved place on our Amakuma-approved bucket list.
Photo by Shutterstock / Crazy Tourist

“Yunnan should be on every travelers’ bucket list — and foodies in particular will love this part of China. Yunnan is a landlocked province in the country’s southwest that sits on the border near Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Yunnan cuisine is a fusion of the famously spicy Sichuan food of the north, the light and seafood-oriented cooking of the east, and the fresh Thai flavors of the south. In Yunnan, farm-to-table is not an Alice Waters creation, it’s what millions of people do every day. Truffles, chanterelles, and porcini are just common summer mushrooms that farmers forage in the mountains and bring to market. A Yunnan truffle chicken soup demands a pound of truffle alone! Yes. You heard me right, a pound.” 
Photo by: Grasshopper Adventures

“Definitely Marrakech. Go for the Yves-Saint Laurent Museum, which recently opened. Check out the design and artisanship in the unchangeable old souks and hip Sidi Ghanem. Be surprised by the nascent contemporary art scene. Marrakech is just about to host the second edition I:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. Don’t forget to visit MACAAL, the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, and check out the newest exhibits. 

Provided by TIME Inc. Oscar Wong/Getty Images

“In the world, there are destinations that everyone should see once — Egypt’s pyramids and Machu Picchu, for example. But then there are the places that make you want to return over and over. The kind of place where you feel like buying a house and moving there. Provence is one of those places. The quality of light captured by artists such as Van Gogh and Cezanne is truly special. Visiting the places that inspired them, Arles and St Remy offer insight into the landscape and architecture that inspired them. The scents of lavender and thyme waft past when you are hiking and biking to stunning hilltop towns like Gordes and Les Baux. It is an experience that will keep you coming back. 

Photo by KimKim

“Amankora, Bhutan. Going there is a spiritual and cultural safari where you can walk through ancient rhododendron forests, glimpse endangered black necked cranes in the wild, soak in a hot stone bath, interact with saffron-robed monks, and dine in a rustic stone potato shed. Where else can you do all of that on the same trip?”

Photo provided by Aman resorts

“Primate treks are an unforgettable activity worthy of any travel bucket list. Embark on a gorilla trek in Rwanda or Uganda to witness endangered mountain gorillas in the wild, or be entertained by social chimps at a camp like Greystoke Mahale in Tanzania. For a unique safari activity in Africa, I love recommending fly camping with Kichaka Expeditions in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania. Here, travelers walk miles through the African bush with two armed guides to find a private mobile camp awaiting their arrival, offering one of the most remote places in ‘safari Africa.’”

Photo provided by Rhino Africa

“I think the Atacama desert in northern Chile has to be part of any sensible bucket list. Sandwiched between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean is this strip of desert which, according to NASA, is the driest in the world. They test their equipment here before they send it to Mars, and when you come here you’ll see why. It’s positively extra-terrestrial! One valley is red and looks just like Mars, while another is cratered like the moon. That’s all before you get to the bubbling hot geysers, the volcanoes, or the vast white salt flats scattered with bright pink flamingos. All this from the comfort of a world class lodge? Put it on the list!”

Photo provided by Time Inc.

“Boarding the Magellan Explorer in Antarctica is like James Bond on ice. This is my kind of expedition — a mind-blowing ship that’s part ice breaker, part epic contemporary design haven. There is nothing about this ship that doesn’t scream ‘Let’s head south into the most uncharted landscapes on earth.’ It makes me hold my breath. Going to Antarctica is one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips, and the Magellan Explorer is how to do it in style.”

Photo by:

“Staying in an overwater bungalow in the turquoise blue waters of French Polynesia is a must. I have been fortunate enough to spend time in this magical destination for the past 20 years and it never gets old. Combine the island of Bora Bora with one of the Tuamotu islands and you will experience the best of French Polynesia. The majestic Mount Otemanu in Bora Bora and the lagoon of a “sunken volcano” in Rangiroa, paired with some of the best marine life in the world, can’t be matched.

Photo by: Trip Savvy

“Of the world’s greatest island destinations, I recommend Maldives. Located just four degrees above the equator — way out there in the middle of the Indian Ocean — the atolls that make up this tiny nation are an exquisite natural wonder. The finely ground coral that makes the sand so eye-poppingly mesmerizing is soft underfoot, and makes a great seat for witnessing the place’s glowing red sunsets. The crystal clear waters are so clean that all kinds of life can be seen from outside the water. It’s also one of the most pristine places on earth to go snorkeling — colorful life in all forms: fish, reptiles, and mammals abound. Being in the water with 70 to 100 manta rays or a whale shark will leave an indelible mark on a traveler’s soul. It’s magical. The atolls are small and most often have only one resort or property on them, which translates to an peaceful, uncrowded environment. Who wouldn’t want to stay in an overwater bungalow?”

Photo by: Time Inc.

“Santiago de Cuba is, for me, an absolute must. It’s especially great for those who’ve already seen Havana and the more heavily visited parts of eastern Cuba. The town is rich in history and a heart of Afro-Cuban culture and music — you can easily spend three days here or extend to hit Baracoa and explore eastern Cuba’s beautiful nature. This all gets a lot more accessible when American Airlines begins nonstop service from Miami this May — just in time for the steamy Carnaval at the end of July.”

Photo courtesy of People’s World

“Consider Naxos, where old world Cycladic architecture meets white-sand beaches infused with local cuisine. The shorts-and-flip flop feel of the Greek Islands comes alive, walking through picturesque villages like Halki where the local artisans showcase their work. Put simply, visiting Naxos takes your breath away.

Photo by: Sail La Vie

This article was presented on MSN.com and was written by Madeline Billis. It is sponsored by:
This is blog #963


Easy Beginners Tips for Long Exposure Photography


Learning about Neutral Density Filters and how you can use them to slow down the shutter speed was a big turning point in my landscape photography. I instantly fell in love with the soft and dream-like feeling I was able to achieve – it was like giving life to my not-so-interesting images.

I’ve learned a lot since that day, and while I don’t only do Long Exposure Photography anymore, it’s still an important part of my work and it’s something my students often like learning about. After all, it has the power to instantly transform an otherwise standard image into something more fascinating.

As with anything else, it takes a lot of practice to master a subject but I want to help you on the way by sharing some crucial tips that will make life just a little easier.

1. Prefocus when using Neutral Density Filters

There weren’t a whole lot of articles and tutorials to study when I started exploring with Neutral Density filters. This meant that it took a bit of struggle to find a solution to some of the mistakes I made. One of the things I simply couldn’t figure out was why all my images with a 10-stop filter were blurry…

After some back and forth I understood that it was because I used autofocus.

Remember that a 10-Stop ND Filter is essentially a piece of black glass. Try looking through it with your eyes when the sun is low on the sky and I’ll bet you can barely see anything. This is the case for the camera as well. Most cameras aren’t able to properly set the focus when dark ND Filters are used – just as they aren’t able to automatically focus at night.

The solution is to switch over to manual focus. I know this sounds tedious to some of you but here’s an easy workaround if you prefer autofocus:

  1. Mount the camera on a tripod and find your desired composition
  2. Focus roughly one third into the image (depends on the scene and desired look)
  3. Change to Manual Focus (read your owners manual to figure out how it’s done with your camera/lens)
  4. Place the Neutral Density filter in front of the lens
  5. Calculate the shutter speed and take the picture!

Since you switched to manual focus, the camera isn’t going to try to focus after you attach the ND filter; instead, it’s keeping the focus you set.

Note: Remember to repeat the process when you’re changing compositions and to switch back to autofocus when you’re done using the filters.

2. Avoid light leaks by covering the viewfinder

The biggest frustration I’ve ever had when working with long exposures was the mysterious purple glow that appeared in the center of my images.

It turned out that this is caused by light leaking through the viewfinder and the solution is quite simple: cover it up!

Some professional DSLR cameras have a built-in ‘curtain’ that you can close by flipping a small switch next to the viewfinder. If your camera doesn’t have this, I recommend using a piece of cardboard to place in front of the viewfinder.

It’s also possible to purchase covers custom made for your camera.

Now it should be said that these light leaks don’t always occur. It’s most common when:

  • You’ve got a light source directly behind you (such as the sun or a streetlamp)
  • You’re using a shutter speed of 1 minute or longer

I’d still make it a habit to cover the viewfinder whenever you’re using a shutter speed of 20 seconds or more.

3. Remote Shutter + Bulb Mode = Sharp Images

One of the biggest challenges you’re going to experience when experimenting with Neutral Density filters and slow shutter speeds are getting razor sharp images. There are many factors that can result in the images being unsharp; one of the most common is camera shake.

The maximum shutter speed of most DSLR cameras is 30 seconds. In order to use a shutter speed longer than this, you need to use a function called ‘Bulb’. In Bulb mode, the image is being captured for as long as the shutter button is pressed.

You can imagine (and try if you don’t believe me!) that manually pressing the shutter button for one or two minutes is going to cause a significant amount of vibration to the camera. What does that lead to? Blurry images.

A remote shutter is absolutely essential in this case. You can find a cheap version but I recommend a remote shutter that has:

  • the possibility to ‘lockup’ the button
  • an LCD display that shows time


Long Exposure Photography is a lot of fun and it’s a great way to improve your understanding of how the camera fundamentals (ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed) work together. Since we’re working with shutter speeds of up to several minutes there are many factors that might result in failure but the results can be mesmerizing.

The tips I’ve shared in this article gives the solution to some of the most common obstacles and I hope they will remove some frustration for you. If you’d like to learn everything you need to know in order to capture beautiful images using slow shutter speed, be sure to take a look at my eBook ‘The Ultimate Guide to Long Exposure Photography‘.

The post Easy Beginners Tips for Long Exposure Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Christian Hoiberg.
This is blog #962

Here are a few more photos showing Long Exposure photography:

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com


Many times as we start taking portraits outside, inside, doesn’t matter, we have to be really careful of making sure the subject we are taking is really the main subject in this photo. That is our job to make sure the background is blurred out, and the foreground is free of clutter as well. When we look in the viewfinder we need to look at more than the subject. What is in the background. If you can change it, then do it. If you can’t change, then you can change it by using depth of field. Can you do it with a cell phone camera? No, not usually. There are some cell phone cameras that are getting a bit more sophisticated that will let you change the depth of field, but, most people hardly know how to use that. But, those who have good DSLR cameras know, or should know that you can adjust the depth of field behind the subject by adjusting the aperture. I found a great article about how to take care of the the depth of field as you are working with your subject. The article was written by:

We’ve discussed showing less skin and using long sleeves on our models to avoid the viewer’s eye being pulled out of the frame. Why? We want all of the viewer’s attention to be focused on our subject. We want the subject to be the undisputed star of our photo.

Photo by Chasity Brighton; ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/200-second exposure.

Your background can also be a contributing–or detrimental factor. If we have a background that is too loud or busy, it can (and does) pull the eye away from the subject. The viewer’s eye is bouncing all over the place and rarely settles on our star. In fact, our star often becomes the background.

I frequently see this in senior portraits. The photographer is trying to make the senior look cool (Does anyone use the word cool anymore? I’m really dating myself.) and thinks that a wild backdrop will do the trick.

It doesn’t do the trick–and those are the photographers who are never able to capture the imagination of the senior–or more specifically the bill paying parents. And they are soon out of business.

While you DO want to have personal elements in a photo, they should all be there to support the image, not draw the eye away.

Often we will be shooting a large family grouping and with so many people AND a busy background, the individuals simply get lost. Use a plain, unfocused wash of color in the background to put the emphasis back on the group. People are going to look at the finished photo and say, “WOW, You did that?”

Photo by Philip Brookes; ISO 500, f/5.6, 1/250-second exposure.

So for today, I’m recommending you use a less cluttered look in your photos. It will take the attention away from your background and put it onto your stars where it belongs.

Don’t forget the foreground – if it is cluttered, change it.

What if we are at a park and can’t change the background?

Photo by Werner Wilmes; ISO 500, f/5.6, 1/1600-second exposure.

What is depth of field?

That’s when we start to consider depth of field. Here a simple and admittedly basic explanation of depth of field:

A lens can only sharply focus on one place at a time. This will give you a photo with perfect focus on one spot and acceptable focus for a little way in front and a little way behind. This area of acceptable focus is called the depth of field. The zone of sharpness varies by lens, focal distances and so on, but as a rule of thumb, you can think of the zone as being about 1/3 in front of the subject and 2/3 behind. That’s measured from the distance between the lens and the focal point.

Depth of field is how you get those gorgeous photos with the subject being shown sharp as a tack, yet the background is nothing but a total wash of unfocused color. It DOES force the viewer’s eye directly to our star.

Photo by Federico Racchi; ISO 100, f/2.2, 1/1250-second exposure.

Depending on your lenses and shooting distances, depth of field can vary widely. I’ve seen the depth of field go all the way to the horizon in landscapes–and I’ve seen a photo of a fly’s eye that was out of focus in both the front part and rear part of the eye.

Get out there today and experiment with your various lenses and shooting distances so you can master depth of field. It will be one of the most used concepts in your photo arsenal.

About the Author:
Dan Eitreim writes for ontargetphototraining.com. He has been a professional photographer in Southern California for over 20 years. His philosophy is that learning photography is easy if you know a few tried and true strategies.
This is blog #961

A few more photos showing great depth of field:

Photo by u0110u00e0m Tu01b0u1edbng Quu00e2n on Pexels.com

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com