If you aren't already experiencing pangs of wanderlust as we approach holiday vacation time, this roundup of the best landscape photos on Instagram will definitely give you the travel bug. Landscape photography invites you to witness the beauty of nature wherever you may, so you can reenergize even if you aren't able to take some time off. In fact, while we were searching for our favorite shots, we got lost in a dreamy image research tangent so severe that our hands started cramping from scrolling through so many Insta feeds. To relieve your index finger from a similar fate, we pared down our list of favorites to the 15 best landscape photos.
It was tough, but we chose the images that seemed to make the natural landscape emotionally accessible and, thus, make us feel closer to the captured space. Trust us when we say that these images are worthy of a spot on your gallery wall. And before we leave you to it, here's an inspiring quote from the brilliant photographer Annie Leibovitz: “The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.” Okay, now it's your turn to forget you’re bored at your desk… Ready, set, scroll, and gawk.
The swarm of helicopters and boats in the Grand Canyon is both dazzling and a little freaky. The photographer who shot this image, @pedromcbride, gives away the secret, explaining that this is a composite merge from his time-lapse. But he did witness over 350 helicopters that day, so it's no surprise that this chaotic little strip of the land was nicknamed Helicopter Alley. Despite all the traffic (or maybe because of it?), this image makes us want to flock to the Grand Canyon and join the rows of boats.
The iconic lavender fields of Provence, France, look good from every angle. And since they don't have a bad side, it's particularly impressive that @onthere was able to capture this standout shot to highlight the beauty even more. The only thing this photo wasn't able to capture was the relaxing effect of the lavender scent in the breeze. The solution? Order some lavender aromatherapy to breathe in as you stare at this from afar.
We had to seriously fight the urge to buy a one-way ticket to this black-sand beach when we first saw it. Until we can actually plan a trip to the gorgeous secluded island and claim our spot by the blue water, we'll just have to admire Mother Nature and enjoy her masterpiece through the screen.
This is easily the most photogenic front yard we've ever laid eyes on, probably because the vast white snow and icy blue sky contrasts (and simultaneously compliments) the modern, minimalistic, and crisp home to create a cohesive scene. The perfect composition doesn't hurt, either.
La Laguna Colorada in Bolivia is a vision of color. This salt lake is also home to this editor's personal favorite and self-proclaimed spirit animal, the flamingo. It makes sense that the bright birds would flock to a similarly cheerful environment.
To Capture the Moment
The stormy skies, vibrant rolling hills, and flowing river looks like something out of a fairy tale. That or a scan of someone's arteries (let's stick with the first—it's a little more romantic). This is an aerial view of Walikale, a small village in the Congo.
A slow morning here in Lamoine State Park sounds really nice right about now. @Heidisbridge's photography skills caught this moment of mist hanging over the pale lake in such a way that you can almost sense the quiet solitude of the space yourself. The soft morning light produces a noticeable calming effect, too.
If you needed more proof that bridges are photogenic, here you go. You may have to find your own bridge to visit, though, because @nikk_la geo-tagged the location as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." But if you know how to get there, then by all means, share your sense of direction with us. This shot makes us appreciate ordinary things like bridges for all their magnificence.
The avant-garde use of gold foil in the otherwise natural landscape adds a narrative element and also breaks up the open spaces to create a more visually striking composition. We should also give the wind some credit for adding some depth and texture to this moment.
If you've ever been lulled to sleep by the foghorns in San Francisco, you know it's nothing short of magical. While we admit that the thick fog and resulting low visibility can be slightly eerie, it can also make cozy indoor activities more special. Here, the silhouette of the leaning person echoes the tree's eccentric stature, adding even more drama to the shot.
The golden light reflects beautifully off the yellow canoe, making the whole composition of this scene particularly special.
To Frame and Display Your Photos
This crater in East Java, Indonesia, is out of this world. Not literally, though we'd have believed you if you'd told us that it was on a different planet. While the color palette in this image is minimal, the myriad textures communicate the beauty of this place.
There's nothing like a clean landscape photo to detox the mind. This tree's austere beauty along with the picturesque mountain range in the background are moving. And just look at that light. It softens up the image to make the bleakness of a dying tree more optimistic.
Just look at that sprawling sheet of sand. We've been mesmerized by these gorgeous dunes for a while now, playing a little game of cloud chasing, desert edition. The camels accentuate the scale, reminding us how small we are. This is in the Singing Sand dunes (of course it has a magical name) in Dunhuang, Gansu, China. The photographer notes that it gained its name from the mournful wails of wind blowing through the desert.
The ethereal trees and snow beautifully capture the transition from one season to the next. The distant horizon looks like it goes on forever, and that's a garden we wouldn't mind getting lost in.
Do you feel inspired to travel or practice your photography skills after seeing our roundup of the best landscape photos on Instagram? Sound off in the comment section below with your ideas and tips!