Wednesday, January 23, 2013

5 Don't Miss Photo Spots in Salt Lake City

Not too long ago I had the good fortune to spend some time in Salt Lake City, Utah. I almost didn't make it - I very nearly turned around in Reno, Nevada after my car died literally minutes before proceeding across some of the most desolate parts of the United States.

To make a long story short, I had stopped in Reno, and I was filling up my gas tank before driving across Nevada on I-80. My car quite suddenly gave it's last breath at the gas pump, and while I didn't feel very fortunate at the time, I realized later how lucky I was. Had it died another hour or two down the road, I would have had a very difficult time getting it repaired (as well as one crazy towing bill). All things considered, I was lucky to get my car was repaired as quickly as I did, and I found myself at a crossroads: turn back around and head home due to my new distrust in my otherwise reliable car, or take a risk and press on to Salt Lake City. I chose SLC, and I'm glad I did.

Due to my car troubles, I lost about a half a day (and one amazing sunset) in Salt Lake City, but I made the most of my time anyhow -  playing tourist, scouting out photo spots, and generally enjoying myself in this fine city. So if you find yourself in Salt Lake City, here are just a few of the great photo spots you might check out. (If you want to skip to the chase, I've created a photo guide with all my Salt Lake City photo spots on ShutterGuides.)

Salt Lake Temple

The highlight of Temple Square and Salt Lake City in general for me was the Salt Lake Temple. I found the magnificent architecture wonderful to photograph at sunset. Of course, it didn't hurt that a storm cleared right before the sun went down, leaving behind a fiery backdrop. A tip: you may wonder if the security guy who is standing in front of the building in your shot will ever get out of your frame...eventually he will. :) Oh, and bring a wide lens to get the reflection from the pool.

Utah State Capitol Building

Looking up the hill from Temple Square is the Utah State Capitol Building. The interior of the building is marvelous to wander around and photograph. Oh, and it's free. And there's a free tour periodically given that offers access to a few additional rooms that are otherwise closed. There's also a helpful visitor's center across the street from it.

Ensign Peak

I stumbled on Ensign Peak, a great Salt Lake City photo spot, while driving around from the Capitol building, seeking higher ground to try to get a view of the entire city. I went up during the day but it was cloudy and overcast, and so I quickly realized I needed to return again in the evening. It's a short hike up from the street where you park your car.

Salt Lake City Public Library

The Salt Lake City Library is really quite interesting, inside and out. The architecture is modern and unique, and I had a great time wandering around and exploring. I wished I had spent a bit more time in the inside, but I had already spent a lot of time on the outside and was eager to move on. I found myself also wishing I had a wider lens, so bring your widest with you.

City Creek Center

The City Creek Center outdoor shopping mall is directly across the street from Temple Square, and was definitely one of the more interesting malls I've seen. It was fun for a bit of people photography, and the fountains, light, and various other water features made for interesting subjects.

There were several other locations in Salt Lake City that I had on my list to try and visit and photograph, but I simply ran out of time. In the meanwhile, check out my favorite Salt Lake City photo spots from this last trip and let me know what you think. And of course, if I missed any great photo spots, feel free to rub it in leave it in the comments!

The beauty is that I have plenty to see next time I visit Salt Lake City. At the top of my list are some of the sights around SLC, like the Bonneville Salt Flats, Park City, and the Great Salt Lake itself. Next time when I fly.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top Photo Guides from 2012

It's hard to believe nearly a year has gone by since we announced, and since 2012 has also passed by the wayside we thought it would be nice to look back on some of the most popular photo guides over the past year.

San Francisco, California

Photo credit +Toby Harriman 
If you're traveling to the city by the bay, let photographer +Toby Harriman guide you to some of the best San Francisco photo spots. Or if you are specifically interested in the best vantage point of the Golden Gate Bridge or capturing the architecture of San Francisco, he's got guides for those too. If the streets are your interest, photographer +Brian Bach Sørensen shares the best murals of the Mission District in SF.

Washington, DC

Photographer +Brandon Kopp  provides several off the beaten path photo spots in his guide to the Hidden Gems in Washington, DC. Brandon also shares some of his favorite spots around the DC area within an hour and a half drive.

Melbourne, Australia

Visit the second most populous city in Australia and photograph the sights with a photo guide to Melbourne by photographer +Keith Broad. Keith shares some terrific architecture spots, street photography, skyline vantage points, and more.

Photo credit +Clement Mesnier 

Paris, France

A few photo guides rose to the top for photographing Paris, the city of light. Photographer +Clement Mesnier offers over 50 beautiful Paris photo spots featuring well known spots such as the Pyramide du Louvre and perhaps lesser known spots as well. In addition you can take a look at the comprehensive photo guide to Paris provided by photographer +Maurice Loy for photo ideas and inspiration on capturing this beautiful city.

Seattle and Vicinity

The very talented photographer +Dave Morrow shares some photo spots around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Take a look at his guide for some tips on photographing the Seattle skyline, a few spots in the Columbia River Gorge, and elsewhere in the beautiful northwest.

U.S. National Parks

Over the year there have been a number of photo guides to the U.S. national parks added to the site. Some of the most popular guides have been to Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Crater Lake National Park, and Yosemite.

Thanks for making 2012 a great year, and for sharing your photo spots on ShutterGuides! And if you have some spots to add, it's quick and easy! We're especially on the lookout for photo guides to Chicago, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, London, Rome, and anywhere else you've got photo spots for. Here's to 2013!