LAST UPDATED: 5/18/23 – My Top 25 Travel Photos of 2018
As a travel photographer, I am always moved to journey to new places, try new things, and capture as much of my experiences in photographs as I possibly can. It was a lot of fun to look back on all of the places I have seen this year, and that exercise was all the more enjoyable because I had so many great pictures to remind me of my experiences.
This year has been one of the most memorable years of travel I have had, and the result has been some truly inspiring photographs. There was a lot to choose from (because I tend to take quite a few pictures), but I have chosen my Top 25 pictures from this year’s travels that I want to share with you.
I would also like to hear about your travel experiences this year, what great pictures you were able to capture, and where you are inspired to travel in 2019!
Grand Canyon National Park
In April, we took a trip to the Southwest and one of the stops we made was to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Every time I visit the Grand Canyon I see something new that I hadn’t seen before. It is a place of such amazing beauty and I could sit for hours just looking over the vast expanse of the canyon. This is one of my favorite pictures from this year’s stop.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
This picture was taken at Lone Rock Beach in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which sits on the border between Utah and Arizona. We were planning on visiting Alstrom Point to get some great sunset shots over Glen Canyon, but the drive is fairly difficult, and we didn’t have enough time. Luckily, we found Lone Rock Beach, which can some absolutely stunning viewpoints of Glen Canyon.
The Hoover Dam
The most amazing sunset I photographed this year just so happened to be at the Hoover Dam this Spring. We were driving back from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas and decided to stop at the Hoover Dam on our way back. We were treated with one of the most amazing sunsets I have seen in a while.
|Hoover Dam Visitor’s Guide|
Horseshoe Bend is one of the most beautiful vistas in the American Southwest, and we were sure to make a return visit to this popular viewpoint when we were in the Southwest this Spring. This is one of my favorite shots that I have gotten at Horseshoe Bend, but really it is hard not to take beautiful photos when the subject you are shooting is so stunning.
|The Ultimate Horseshoe Bend Guide|
Zion National Park – Scout Lookout
Zion National Park is a park that I never grow tired of visiting. And with views like this one from Scout Lookout, it isn’t hard to understand why. This early morning shot that I got while hiking up to Angel’s Landing is one of my favorite shots from our recent trip to Utah this Spring.
|Zion National Park Visitor Guide|
Zion National Park – The Narrows
The Narrows is one of the most unique hikes in the US National Park system, if not the world. Almost the entire hike is in between the slot canyon carved by the Virgin River, which cuts thru Zion National Park. This shot that I got while on our hike of the Narrows this Spring is one of my favorite shots of this year.
Antelope Canyon used to be one of the American Southwest’s little-known gems. That is not so true anymore, as more-and-more people are flocking to see this beautiful canyon because of the amazing photographs of it posted on social media. This is one of my favorite photos of Antelope Canyon and one of my favorite photographs I took this year.
|Comprehensive Antelope Canyon Guide|
Bryce Canyon in Winter
Bryce Canyon is one of my favorite parks in the US National Parks system. I have been to Bryce Canyon countless times in the past, but I hadn’t seen the park during the winter time. When we visited this past Spring, Bryce Canyon was hit with a snow storm. Some of the pictures I was able to get of the canyon with a fresh coat of snow are some of my favorite national park pictures I have ever taken.
|Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Guide|
Les Halles in New York City
This year was a difficult year for the travel community, as the long-time traveler, writer, and acclaimed chef Anthony Bourdain took his own life while shooting for his popular TV show “Parts Unknown“. While I was in New York City shortly after his death, I stopped by the place where it all began for Bourdain, the restaurant where he used to work.
Outside Les Halles in New York City, fans from all over the world had placed flowers, pictures, and notes on the outside of the restaurant (which closed its doors in 2017). It was a moving tribute to one of this world’s most honest and genuine voices. This picture I took for the memorial will always remind me of Anthony Bourdain and the impact he had on this world.
Voyageurs National Park
While in Minnesota over the Summer, I decided to drive up to the US\Canada border to check out a national park that is very close to home for me, but one that I hadn’t spent a lot of time in before. Voyageurs National Park is a unique park because the vast majority of the parkland is comprised of water. While I was there, I was able to snap this beautiful sunrise shot that I absolutely love. The sky color that morning was absolutely unreal and the fog coming up off the water gives the picture a surreal feel.
Acadia National Park – Cadillac Mountain
On our way back from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia this summer we stopped by Acadia National Park in Maine. Acadia is one of my favorite national parks because of its beauty. I was able to get this shot of the ocean off of Bar Harbor from the top of Cadillac Mountain. It is one of my favorite spots in Acadia National Park, and this is one of my favorite pictures from this year.
|Acadia National Park Visitor Guide|
Acadia National Park – Bass Harbor Lighthouse
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is one of my favorite lighthouses in the United States, and may just be the most beautiful lighthouse in the United States. When we visited Acadia National Park this summer, I was able to get some more shots of this stunning lighthouse. This is my favorite of those photographs. Such a stunning place!
Cabot Links Golf Course
We were able to get away for an annual golf trip this year, and for this year’s destination, we chose Cabot Links Golf Course on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. The ocean-side holes on this course are drop-dead gorgeous, as you can see in this picture I took of the signature hole on Cabot Cliffs course. This is one of the most beautiful courses in North America and won’t be a secret very long.
Cape Breton National Park
In addition to golfing at Cabot Links, we also took some time to explore Cape Breton National Park while we were on Cape Breton Island. When it comes to Canada’s national parks, everyone seems to know about Banff. However, Cape Breton National Park is one of the more beautiful coastal national parks I have been to. This is one of my favorite shots of our visit. The storm rolling in over the park from the ocean gave this photo a surreal feeling.
Our trip to Peru this fall was one of the most amazing adventures I have ever been on. In addition to Machu Picchu, I really enjoyed the Incan city of Cusco. In addition to being an absolutely beautiful city, it is also very rich in culture and tradition. This shot I took in Plaza de Armas in the heart of Cusco is one of my favorite shots of the year. The sun was just beginning to set and the horse-drawn carriage ride just happened to come by at the perfect time.
|The Definitive Cusco Peru Visitor Guide|
Machu Picchu Adventure
There is little that I can possibly say about the beauty of Machu Picchu that a picture couldn’t say a million times more effectively. If you have been following my blog for a while, you are probably aware of the one shot that I absolutely had to get when I visited Machu Picchu. In fact, I used this one shot to talk about how to plan your shots for Travel Photography. As you can see, I got that shot and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
|Machu Picchu Photography Guide|
Climbing Huayna Picchu
Before we visited Machu Picchu, I had no idea just how beautiful the view would be from on top of Huayna Picchu. As you can see, the views were above and beyond anything I could have imagined. I cannot personally take credit for this shot as it was taken by our outstanding guide Juan Carlos of Crossover Peru Tours. It is one of my favorite pictures of the year because of the memories it invokes and the breathtaking views it showcases.
Swimming with Sea Turtles in the Galápagos Islands
This photo is one of my very favorite pictures I took this year. When we were snorkeling off of Isabela Island in the Galápagos Islands, I was able to take this picture of a Green Sea Turtle surfacing for air. I was really impressed with the quality of photos I was able to get with my GoPro Hero 6 Black and red underwater color-correction filter.
|Galápagos Photography Guide|
The Beautiful Landscapes in the Galápagos Islands
We spent quite a bit of time on boats while in the Galápagos Islands, and one of the advantages of that was being able to capture some truly spectacular landscapes. The ocean was really rough on one morning we headed out and I was able to capture this image of waves crashing over an islet just off the shore of Isabela Island. It was absolutely amazing!
Blue-Footed Booby in the Galápagos Islands
No trip to the Galápagos Islands is complete without spotting the famed Blue-footed Boobies that inhabit the islands. We were lucky enough to spot quite a few, including this one that I captured off of Isabela Island. They are such amazing and beautiful birds. I love this shot because of the big waves crashing in the background as much as I love it because of the booby.
Galápagos Sea Lion
It is almost impossible to miss the Galápagos Sea Lions when you visit the Galápagos Islands, and they really do make wonderful photography subjects. I was able to snap this picture of this playful guy after he wore himself out playing in the surf on Santa Cruz Island. He laid down to take a break on the beach and I was able to capture this image of him. It is one of my favorite pictures I took this year.
Marine Iguana in the Galápagos Islands
The Marine Iguanas on the Galápagos Islands are such amazing creatures. I really wish I would have been able to capture some shots of them in the water feeding, but I didn’t get an opportunity to. However, I was able to capture this great shot of a marine iguana resting on a beach on Isabela Island. I really love how this image turned out.
Giant Tortoise in the Galápagos Islands
Arguably the most iconic animals of the Galápagos Islands are the giant tortoises that live there. I was able to get a lot of really great pictures of the giant tortoises during my visit to the Galápagos this fall, but this one is without-a-doubt my favorite. The tortoise turned to look at me at just the right time for me to get this shot. What amazing creatures!
Puerto Ayora in the Galápagos Islands
If I had to pick one picture that I took in the Galápagos Islands that encompasses everything that these wonderful islands are, then it would be this picture. Amazing wildlife, beautiful ocean landscapes, and a population that lives in concert with this amazing ecosystem. This shot is of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, right by the fish market, and the wildlife was gathering around to watch the fish be cut for sale and to grab whatever scraps they could find.
Broadway in Nashville
My last big trip of this year was our fall trip to Nashville. I didn’t quite know what to expect before I visited, but I left Nashville completely in love with the city. My favorite image from that trip, by far, was the beautiful sunset we saw when we visited Broadway on the first night. I absolutely love this photograph. The beautiful sky and all of the lights lit up on Broadway give the picture such a lively mood.