In the thick of winter it’s easy to stay inside after a long day at work. It can get pretty darn cold outside after all. If the choice is to either stay inside with a hot cup of cocoa or layer up and head outside for a brisk winter walk, most will opt for the hot chocolate. But getting your heart pumping and a burn going on in your calves is good for you.
Try a winter hike up in the mountains. If you don’t have mountains nearby then go for a winter walk around your neighborhood, or a winter stroll through the city. To partake in such a meditative activity is to feed your mind and body with new stimuli. You’re able to see your surroundings in a new light outside the familiar routes you take. It may even change your perspective a little regarding the coldest season of the year, too.
While you’re at it bring your camera along on your trek. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an expert, all you need is your unique, artistic eye and a touch of enthusiasm. Are you completely new to photography? Do you want something with a little more pixel power than what your smart phone can offer? Then check out our recent blog about the best digital cameras of 2016.
For those already armed and ready with your cameras we’ve compiled a winter bucket list of photography hotspots across the U.S. – from national parks to iconic cities. It’s time to trade in those awe-inducing summer photos that so often invade our social media feeds and replace them with wintry wonder.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Alaska doesn’t see much light during winter. But that doesn’t mean you can't still enjoy the landscape. Denali hosts some of the most dazzling winter scenery in the whole world. Not just on the ground, either, but up in the sky, too. The northern lights dance and dazzle miles above the Earth. Though this hypnotic phenomena can be fleeting if not periodic so be sure to have your camera handy.
To learn more about activities like dog sledding, cross-country skiing and stargazing check out the National Park Service. Oh and remember to bundle up. Temperatures can drop to -40 F. It’s always a good idea to let someone know when and where you’re going as well.
Sequoia National Park, California
Those same tall, red, towering trees you see during the summer are still there in winter – except now they’re more vivid, more commanding and proudly alive in their space. The pure whiteness of the snow gives these trees even more arresting color.
Immerse yourself in the silence of these sequoias by snowshoeing or cross-country skiing (with camera at the ready of course). Check out this handy guide to learn more about some of the activities you can partake in during winter. Depending on how much time you have – from a few hours to a week or more – you can go for a hike in Giant Forest, go sledding at Big Stump or take a long, arduous (but rewarding) journey to Pear Lake Winter Hut and camp overnight. Be sure to reserve the hut in advance.
New York City, New York
New York City is never short of inspiration. It serves as a muse for many photographers with its iconic architecture (e.g., Flatiron, Chrysler, Woolworth, Empire State, Brooklyn Bridge).
There aren’t many hiking trails in town but what it lacks in that department it more than makes up for in its stunning succession of skyscrapers on almost every street. (In fact, Kurt Vonnegut once called NYC “Skyscraper National Park” in his novel Slapstick.) You’ll have a hard time pulling your finger off the shutter no matter if you’re in Times Square or Central Park. Just remember that the winter wind can be bone chilling in NYC, so grab your warmest jacket.
What else is there to do? Take a photographer’s stroll (that means leisurely) from Manhattan to Brooklyn along the eponymous bridge’s walkway.
Salt Lake City, Utah
We couldn’t think of a more fitting city for you to visit during winter than our very own (other than NYC). We’ve got national and state parks galore that are a stone’s throw away. Plus Salt Lake City serves as the perfect basecamp for skiing and snowboarding – seeing as how Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude are about thirty minutes from downtown. Don’t forget about the abundance of hiking trails up Big Cottonwood Canyon, Little Cottonwood Canyon and Millcreek Canyon, too.
Still there’s more to this cross-section of Utah than the great outdoors: plan a night out on the town and see the Temple Square lights, go ice skating at Gallivan Center or simply stroll around downtown with your camera in hand and capture the wonderful architecture.
Don’t you think it’s about time that winter got as much photography love as the rest of the seasons? With all these bucket list winter trips don’t forget to bring your trusty camera along with you.
Throw your hot chocolate in a thermos and head outside. Capture all the idyllic snow-blanketed scenery that you can. And enjoy the cold as much as humanly possible. Get your layers on then see what locum tenens assignments are available across the U.S. right now with the click of a button below.