Forget having the blues on Blue Monday – let’s indulge in a bit of travel escapism with a look at the Top 10 Instagrammed Places in the World, measured by hashtag, courtesy of the lovely people at Cewe Photoworld. I’m a massive fan of Instagram – I love the fact that you can interact with fellow travellers and get their feedback on your images, use all sorts of inventive and sometimes hilarious hashtags to attract people to your posts, and I think it’s actually made me a better photographer. It makes me think about what I’m seeing differently, and want to capture sights as creatively as possible.
I don’t always use filters on my photos because I think it’s sometimes better to let the destinations speak for themselves (like this one of sunlight on a wall mural in New Orleans)…
…but they’re useful for detail shots, for example cups of coffee or food or animals or design (like this one of a chandelier made from fish hooks at the Hotel Faena in Miami).
In fact I did so much instagramming when I was in Sydney and Hawaii I picked up lots of new followers, which is cool. And it’s good to follow other people and learn from them, too – two of my favourite travel instagrammers are @anouskapb and @rabinam, because their posts are so creative and often very beautiful. (If you want to follow me on instagram I’m @lizjarvis).
Now I haven’t been to all the places on the Top 10 Instagrammed Places in the World list, although a few of them are definitely on my wish list, but I have been to six of them (clue: I live close to one of them). Here are a few of my own favourite instagrams from the places on the list, and I’m sure it will make you want to share your own favourites too (look out for the hashtag #instaLandmarks on social media).
No 4: Burj Khalifa, Dubai. Here’s my instagram from the Burj Khalifa, taken looking down (rather than up, because frankly I couldn’t fit it all in, it’s so tall). I think this makes Dubai look pretty cool – it’s not my favourite place in the world but the architecture is astonishing.
No 8: Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom are so iconic they just lend themselves to photography, but of course every angle has been taken a zillion times over. But I got lucky when two little girls suddenly appeared walking along the ruins, and I think this is one of my favourite shots of all time – I always try to go for ‘caught moment’ photos of people rather than posed ones where possible (unless it comes to selfies, of course); no one else got this shot, which is partly why I love it so much.
The Top 10 Instagrammed Places in the World list has also inspired me to think about where I want to go this year – and while I’m still working on getting to Cuba and Alaska (fingers crossed) I’m definitely returning to Japan (so excited), as well as visiting Malaysia and Thailand for the first time (so I will be going instagram crazy, expect A LOT of instagrams from those trips). I may even put them into a Cewe photobook when I’ve finished, so I can treasure them for a lifetime, because sometimes you just want to look at all the places you’ve been in one go and remember all the things you saw and experienced, and I’m very proud of my travel photography.
And if I had to choose my absolute favourite instagrams from last year it would probably be this one, of a herd of elephants crossing the road at sundown in Amboseli National Park in Kenya, Africa. Probably one of the most magical experiences of my life. Sometimes you just have to stay in the moment.