My Favorite Cities to Photograph

Shapes and texture dominate this black and white photo of a footbridge crossing a canal in the historical city of Brugge, Belgium.

It’s only natural that, after travelling so much, I’d end up with a list of my favorite cities to photograph.

I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to and photographed many countries over the years. Thus far I’ve made it to six of seven continents.

In addition to photographing spectacular landscapes and amazing people I’ve also had the privilege of photographing many of our world’s most interesting cities. Here’s just a few of them:

  • Lhasa

  • Beijing

  • New Delhi

  • Kolkata

  • Kathmandu

  • Singapore

  • Buenos Aires

  • Sydney

  • Vienna

  • Moscow

  • Reykjavik

All of these cities have their own particular charm, but they’re not my favorite cities.

Big or Small Cities, What’s Your Preference?

At this stage I’d consider my favorite cities, particularly from a photographer's point of view, to include the following:

  • Paris

  • St. Petersburg

  • Salzburg

  • Bruges

But it’s an unfair comparison, on numerous levels.

St. Petersburg is a glorious city, an absolute treasure trove for the art lover. But I’ve only spent a few days there, during summertime.

While it would be interesting to experience and to photograph St. Petersburg in the depths of winter, I’m not sure that I’d want to spend more than a few days there at that time of year.

And if I did I’d want a very cosy hotel to relax at days end.

However, I certainly want to return to St. Petersburg and photograph so much more of that cities architectural splendor.

It would be great to make photos that contrast the glory of the Tzars with that drab monochromatic Stalinist architecture.

Paris is a very busy mega city. Nonetheless, the charm and sophistication of the city of light is obvious.

Exploring Paris is like existing inside an old sepia photograph. No wonder Woody Allen created the film Midnight in Paris.

Paris is romance, suspended in stone.

Salzburg and Bruges are much smaller and more intimate locales. And that’s probably while they’re my favorite cities.

Salzburg is culturally rich and surrounded by beautiful, green mountains and valleys.

Perhaps it’s the town’s proximity to nature and its array of well tendered public parks and gardens, such as the beautiful Mirabell Gardens, that makes it so appealing to me.

Bruges, also small, is a treasure trove for the adventurous. It’s flat, narrow cobbled streets and almost zero traffic policy make it a brilliant place to explore on foot.

For the architecturally minded and for those photographers with a passion for black and white, you’ll find fascinating subject matter around every corner while exploring the old, medieval town of Bruges.

I most definitely want to return and can imagine spending a month or more in this most interesting destination.

Bruges would be a great location to undertake a major photography project.

While there’s been a Belgium Photography Collection on this site for some time, I’m happy to announce that it’s been significantly updated.

Showcasing the historical city of Bruges, with its myriad of laneways and canals, I’m sure you’ll find the photos to be both informative and inspirational.

The photo at the top of this post features a narrow footbridge crossing one of the city’s canals.

You’ll notice how, as well as making the footbridge an important focal point within the photo, it also acts to lead the eye through the image to the buildings on the other side of the canal.

As the image was very much based around the compositional elements of tone and texture it was perfectly suited to rendering into black and white. 

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru