Here’s a list of tours, trips and hotels that will help bring out your inner Ansel Adams.
There’s travel photography, and then there’s traveling for photography.
An increasing number of travel companies and hotels offer learning excursions and tours aimed at aspiring photographers, spanning a few hours to a few weeks.
Here are 10 tours, trips and hotels to bring out your inner Ansel Adams.
Learn how to take frame-worthy images with the new photo safari at this camp, in an area rich with game, including wildebeest, lions and hippos. Guests can book the safari for as little as a half-day or for up to several days and are lent the equipment they need, including a Nikon 600mm camera. The safaris are led by a naturalist who is also a skilled photographer, and they take place in a jeep equipped with electrical charging stations for the cameras, 360-degree swivel chairs with camera mounts for long-lens stability and a fully stocked bar. Prices from $275 for a half-day. Camp rates start at $330 per person, per night, including all meals, game drives and transfers. Book at andbeyond.com.
Strabo Photo Tours
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Aspiring photographers have their pick of more than 50 trips a year from this travel company specializing in photography vacations, which are offered on six continents (only Antarctica is excluded) and run the diversity gamut. Trips to Slovenia’s glacial lakes and vineyards and to the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica are two examples. Most journeys last 10 to 14 days, and all are led by a professional photographer as well as a local guide; there are usually four to 12 travelers on every itinerary. From $2,595, including accommodations, some meals, daily photography lessons and destination tours. Book at phototc.com.
Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico
Owned by media mogul and conservationist Ted Turner, this 585,000-acre expanse of terrain ranging from shortgrass prairie to alpine tundra offers themed photography packages three times a year. Each is for four nights and led by a professional photographer, but their focus varies. The September package, for example, covers shooting the elk-mating season. Prices from $3,500 a person, inclusive of accommodations, all meals and nonalcoholic beverages and nonguided activities such as horseback riding. Book online at vermejoparkranch.com.
The Galápagos Islands are renowned for abundant wildlife such as iguanas and sea turtles, and these seven-night cruises, offered nearly monthly, supply a chance to photograph the animals up close. The naturalist guides turned photographers who lead the cruises run nightly briefings where they review guests’ photos and teach them techniques to get the best shots for the animals they will likely see the following day. Guests disembark the boat early to get sunrise shots of the islands and come back to the ship in the early evening so they can capture sunset images of the islands, too. Prices from $4,620 a person. Book at quasarex.com/galapagos.
Manhattan architecture photo tour
Hit some of New York City’s top architectural landmarks such as Grand Central Terminal, the Empire State Building and the New York Public Library on one of two routes of a three-hour “Iconic NYC Photo Safari” with NYC Photo Safari. Led by a photographer, participants will learn how to work with lines and angles to bring these buildings to life and also learn how to photograph architectural interiors. Tours are offered several times a week, in morning or afternoon. From $100 a person. Book online at newyorkcityphotosafari.com.
Paris night photo tour
The already picturesque City of Light becomes even more photogenic at night, and this three-hour private tour, tailored to every skill level, is an opportunity to learn how to capture it after dark. A photographer teaches techniques for shooting famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Place de la Concorde and also shares tips on taking images of common sights such as boats on the Seine River. The cost is 180 euros for the first person and 30 euros for each additional, for up to a total of four people. Book online at aperturetours.com/paris-night-photo-tour.
PhotoWalks Freedom Trail Tour, Boston
This 90-minute tour is a photography class and history lesson in one. A photographer who is also a historian leads the excursion to famous sites associated with the American Revolution such as Boston Common, the Benjamin Franklin statue and the building where the Boston Tea Party meeting took place. Prices from $40 a person. Book through photowalks.com.
Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor, Cambodia
Set in the heart of Siem Reap, this property has an in-house photographer who leads daylong excursions allowing travelers to photograph a variety of scenarios in the town and its surrounding area. The trip starts off on a longboat down the Kompong Phluk water village and includes a kayaking excursion around Tonle Sap lake and a trip to a food market to shoot pictures of local delicacies. The tour is $300 for two people and includes a car with a driver. Book online at belmond.com/la-residence-d-angkor-siem-reap.
Photography tours of Ireland
It doesn’t matter where in Ireland you’re visiting or how adept at photography you are — the Dublin-based travel company Adams & Butler has a team of professional photographers throughout the country and can arrange for photography tours at every skill level. Possibilities include Dublin by night for after-dark shots, the mountains and lakes along the Ring of Kerry at sunset and the sprawling estates throughout the countryside. From $300 for two people for a full-day tour; adamsandbutler.com.
Art & Clarity Adventures, Napa Valley
Get an insider’s view of the touristy Napa region with three- or six-hour photography tours with photographers Janna Waldinger and Lowell Downey. The tours take you through Napa’s hilly terrain and vineyards but also touch less-frequented spots such as the woods and along Napa River. Prices from $99 to $500, depending on the length of time and number of people; artclarity.com.