“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ~ Ansel Adams
The experience of photographing Austria perfectly embodies this famous Ansel Adams quote. Every image is an interpretation of the timeless melodies of Mozart and Strauss, of the old fairytales you never quite forget, and of the indescribable awe that warms you from the inside out as you hike the peaks of the Alps.
These are among the best Austrian destinations to inspire a travel photographer’s most striking creations.
No matter how many times it’s visited, Hallstatt manages to make you feel like you’re the first to stumble upon its treasures. It’s special for everyone, and exquisitely beautiful, bound to be that one photo that makes your viewers audibly gasp.
The postcard town of only 750 residents overlooks Hallstatt Lake and the Eastern Alps (and is home to Mondsee’s Basilica St. Michael, made famous by The Sound of Music). Venture to the heart of its car-free village centre to explore at your leisure. Or make your way up to 5 Fingers, where lookout points dangle 1,300 metres into the sky, offering amazing panoramic views of the Salzkammergut region.
Hohe Tauern National Park
Photographing Hohe Tauern National Park is a genuine treat. Hours and minutes feel the same, the air is purer and bird songs sweeter than you’ve ever known.
Here you’ll find Grossglockner, Austria’s tallest mountain, along with 226 other sculpted peaks and rough-hewn valleys. Follow a National Park Ranger around waterfalls, lakes, and idyllic pastoral scenes. You might even have the fortune of spotting the local wildlife: ibexes, golden eagles, marmots, and chamois.
Looking back on your Austrian photo collection, your Innsbruck portraits might have you wondering, Did I time travel? Was I in a fairy tale? Was this all a dream?
Shadowed by handsome mountain crests, Innsbruck is naturally a popular destination for winter sports, but the whimsical old town, Altstadt, makes it worth visiting and photographing any time of year.
Your mini photo safari simply must include Goldenes Dachl, Staddtturm, Bergisel Ski Jump Tower, and Imperial Palace. Get your hands on an Innsbruck Card and enjoy free access to eclectic museums, landmarks, and even bicycle rentals.
Discover a complete escape only an hour away from Vienna. Wachau Valley (otherwise known as Danube Valley) is a breezy, romantic setting for landscape studies or magical outdoor photoshoots. Hilly vineyards slope into the Danube river, beside which storybook houses and churches cluster.
Enjoy your stay in quaint villages with private wine tastings and quiet tours through local museums and historic abbeys.
It’s the foodie scene of Amsterdam, but newer, edgier. It’s a cultural epicentre equal to London or Paris, but without the pressing crowds. Breathe easy and take your time to explore Vienna through many lenses.
This old and new city is worth staying for more than one day. Photograph the expansive gardens at Belvedere Palace, the magical nooks and crannies of Museumsquartier, or catch a ride on the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel to sneak in some aerial shots of the city.
Peer into the looking glass of the Alps. The peaceful Gosau Lake is a stunning destination no matter the season. Flanked by the Dachstein peaks, this little lake takes only an hour or two to circle completely. Visit during the wee hours of the day or just as the sun begins to set over the serrated mountaintops, and you’ll witness the picture-perfect light and shadows waltz across the landscape.