From Boston to Bangalore, there are countless places across the globe which provide amazing shots of land, water, or cityscapes for the intrepid photographer.
But a great photograph goes beyond simply showing a place; it unveils an aspect of the landscape that otherwise would not be seen by the naked eye, and allows the viewer to experience a land’s beauty from afar.
We take a look back at the best landscape shots of the year, photographed all over the world.
1) Shan State, Myanmar (Burma)
While trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake in the Shan State of Myanmar (Burma), photographer Chris Jones captured the rolling hills dotted with trees in the perfect light.
The contrast between the clouds and the sun makes the landscape go on for miles, and for Chris imprints in his memory what an amazing experience he had taking in the scenery in an almost untouched part of the world.
2) Bundi, Rajasthan, India
Emanuele Siracusa, Flickr account: Stolenfant (TheSiracusas dot com)
A monkey jumps from the Laxmi Nath Temple to the building beside it in Bundi, Rajasthan. Photographer Emanuele Siracusa recalls that he was fascinated by the many monkeys of Bundi, with their agility as they climbed on buildings and jumped from pole to pole.
He adds that they even looked like men as they gathered in groups on the side of the road or in front of temples.
3) Bruges, Belgium
Kevin Thornhill, Flickr account: KBTimages.co.uk(uk_photo_art)
The back streets of Bruges, Belgium provided the backdrop for this wintry scene caught by photographer Kevin Thornhill.
Besides being the namesake for a movie located there, Bruges is famous for being lucky enough to be virtually untouched by the two World Wars, and therefore easily retains its 16th century buildings, cathedrals, and charm.
4) Machu Picchu, Peru
After experiencing the ups and downs – including rain – of four days hiking through the Andes, photographer Candace Brown and her fellow trekkers were greeted by a large, streaming rainbow once they turned the corner to Machu Picchu.
As their guide had assured them that the Lost City had its own unique magic for every set of conditions, Machu Picchu did not disappoint.
5) Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is often linked to bustling streets and shimmering storefronts, and this picture from photographer Kevin Poh is no exception.
A major commercial center, Shinjuku houses the busiest train station in the world and caters to a booming nightlife full of restaurants, bars, and shops.
6) Whitewater Mountain, Nelson, British Columbia
Carlo Alcos, Flickr account: VagabonderZ
A popular ski resort in the mountains of Nelson, BC, about an 8-hour drive from Vancouver, Whitewater mountain recently opened for the season. This shot was captured by photographer Carlo Alcos just days before the opening, when locals hiked up in snowshoes with snowboards in tow.
Some brought their dogs, who also enjoyed the view.
7) Fes, Morocco
Rain slowly moved out as photographer Davidlohr Bueso took this shot near the main entry to the medina of Fes, Bab Bou Jeloud.
The gateway to the “Old Town” – filled with markets, public baths, and leather tanneries – the famous Blue Gate connects this ancient walled city.
8) Muir Woods, California
Among the towering redwoods of Muir Woods, located about 15 miles north of San Francisco, photographer Katrina Davenport found this log with a “turkey tail” mushroom growing on it. A medicinal mushroom, the turkey tail has a long history of use for improving health in both China and Japan.
9) Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
Nancy Harder, Flickr account: travelnancy
One of the only advancing glaciers left in the world, Perito Moreno Glacier stands majestically behind colorful rocks and dark brown sand in the Argentine Patagonia.
Photographer Nancy Harder notes, “It was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen in my life. You could hear the ice cracking and shifting as you walked around on it.”
Tour companies often provide “clampons” that attach to the feet to make the trek safer.
10) Rota, Cádiz, Spain
Piet Scholten, Flickr account: piet-psch
A small village located approximately halfway between Portugal and Gibraltar, Rota captures the essence of historic Spain. Cathedrals and ancient buildings dot the landscape, along with this pier, which seems to stand on the edge of the world.
Photographer Piet Scholtenand notes that parts of the town are sometimes used in films to represent Havana, the remarkable resemblance which he witnessed firsthand on a trip to Cuba.
Which is your favorite shot? How would you define landscape photography? Post up your comments, we want to hear from you!
If you liked this, you might also like: Photo Essay: 15 Stunning South America Pics.
Main image: Gulf Islands, British Columbia by A J Baxter.