Top travel destinations made famous by Instagram over the last decade by Alamby Leung, Fujifilm Influencer
Over the last decade digital technology has opened up a new window for us. With smartphones, people can easily capture and share remarkable locations with a global audience. And with Instagram now attracting 1 billion users per month, it is no surprise that over 40 percent of millennials choose their holiday destinations based on how socially shareable their holiday will be.
As a result, places with a recognised ‘Instagrammability’ have soared in popularity over the last 10 years. Yet among the many travel destinations that rose to fame via this platform, I would like to share with you my top five. Some of these are lesser known but equally Instagrammable, and every place is worth a trip for anyone looking to capture unique shots to share on social.
- Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
New Zealand is a country full of hidden gems and an ideal spot for landscape photography. Lake Tekapo, a small town located in the South Island, is famous for its picturesque daytime scenes and stunning night views.
The best time to visit Lake Tekapo is during sunset when the sunlight turns the sky into pink and purple, casting the alps with a beautiful tangerine shade. To perfectly capture the colour, I simply used Auto Mode on my camera, which helped to detect the ideal amount of exposure and depth of field. This set the perfect combination of a F/4 aperture and ISO of 400, allowing the sky, hills and lake to blend in well while preserving each of their details.
- Kyushu, Japan
From 2009 to 2018, the number of foreign visitors to Japan per year increased from 6.8 million to over 30 million. With so much variety in food, activities and attractions, Japan always has something to appeal to the needs of visitors of all interests . In 2018, I discovered Kyushu, a small town sitting in the southern part of the country, offering a unique, authentic local experience unlike the popular metropolitan cities.
This photo of me was taken on Mount Aso, one of the largest active volcanoes in Japan. As I leaned against the fence, it suddenly began to snow. My partner used a large aperture of F/2.8 to focus strictly on me, and a swift shutter speed to capture the details of the snowflakes. All of this created a great depth of field that positioned me as the bright centre subject surrounded by a field of whiteness.
- Paris, France
Instagram unveiled the beauty of La Ville-Lumière (the City of Light) to the world, attracting over 18 million visitors per year. The home of many historical and cultural legacies, Paris, is a symbol of perpetual elegance that is definitely worth a visit in your lifetime.
In 2019, I finally visited Paris, a destination that had been on my bucket-list for a long time. To get a 360-degree view of Paris, I climbed to the top of Arc de Triomphe and witnessed the sunset slowly enveloping the city. To combat the low-light situation, I used a high ISO of 1000 and balanced it out with a moderate shutter speed of 1/60. Despite the image’s graininess, it successfully retained the tower’s details and the layered colours of the sky, making it a perfect illustration.
- Padar Island, Indonesia
Away from the hustle and bustle of big cities like Jakarta, you’d find Padar Island tucked away within the Komodo archipelago. The island is accessible by boat, which offers an adventurous voyage experience. A short hike from the beach will get you to this stunning bird-eye viewpoint of the island where you’d find lots of people taking photos.
If you’re looking to hone your photography skills while making the hike more manageable, I recommend carrying a compact, lightweight camera that still comes with great image quality. The FUJIFILM X100S is a great option for light travelling. I used a medium aperture of F/4 to keep the depth of field between layers of lake and land, a fast shutter speed of 1/1100 to capture the water’s fine details and a high ISO of 1000 to add exposure. All of this contributed to the photo’s warm, harmonious atmosphere.
- Burano, Italy
Out of all, Italy remains my favourite country. I was lucky enough to hit all the major cities in one visit, witnessing its profound culture and diverse food choices. I was particularly captivated by the picturesque Burano, a small island 45 minutes away from Venice.
Burano is characterised by brightly coloured houses and eateries serving seafood from the lagoon. On a day with fine weather, you’d be able to snap an authentic look of the town with any camera using Auto Mode. I used the FUJIFILM X-T30, a small yet practical option that enabled me to capture the town’s vibrance without having to adjust the settings at all. With a single press on the shutter release button, I created my own version of Burano’s warm, friendly and fairytale-like scene that I could revisit anytime.