25 Best Places for Landscape Photography in California

California is a happening place indeed! Well, if you are a photography enthusiast, California would certainly be a place of great interest to you. California holds the immense diversity of landscape, making it a place all cameras love! Here you can find beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, and everything else in between.

So, if you are planning to head out for a photography venture, choose to visit California! In this post, I’ve listed down some truly picturesque places in California for photography.

Best Places for Photography in Southern California:

Southern California houses several photo-worthy sites. I’ve selected a few and listed them down here.

1. Santa Monica

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica beach is one among the most spectacular beaches located in Los Angeles. As it’s crowded mostly, try getting at the beach early in the morning. You may get to watch and photograph a beautiful sunrise.

2. San Diego

San Diego Centennial Park

San Diego is a must-have in the list of photogenic places, for California landscape photography. The San Diego Centennial Park at Coronado is an amazing spot for admiring and clicking a few pictures of the spectacular San Diego skyline.

3. La Jolla

La Jolla Seaside San Diego

La Jolla is another photogenic spot situated at San Diego. The place offers you lots of photo opportunities with its grand architecture and beach. One of the popular attractions is the Children’s Pool beach, which has harbor seals and a seawall.

4. Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree is a national park in proximity to Los Angeles. Click shots of the desert trees and rugged scenery here. Additionally, practice some rock climbing!

5. The Huntington Library

The Huntington Library and the Gardens

The Huntington Library and the Gardens are truly amazing. You may spend a whole day here and never run short of picturesque scenery for capturing in your camera.

6. Balboa Park

Balboa Park - Urban Cultural Park in San Diego

A beautiful place indeed, Balboa Park features great architectural grandeur. Every inch of Balboa Park is worth getting photographed.

Best Places for Photography in Northern California:

Northern California has many picturesque elements, making the region a must-go for photographers. Following are some places in the area that are a photographer’s delight.

7. Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay Photography California

Your camera will see a marvellous coastline here. Whether it’s sunset or sunrise, you can capture some of the most spectacular pictures here!

8. Apple Hill

Apple Hill Northern California

This is a gem in El Dorado County. Several farms are located between the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevadas. You can pick apples during the fall and berries in summer. Carry your camera along as you’re going to find many photo opportunities here.

9. AT&T Stadium

AT&T Stadium

AT&T Stadium is the home of San Francisco Giants. The stadium seems to be magical! Watch a game here and click the thrilling moments you encounter during the game.

10. McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill

McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill

You will find this brilliant spot in Amador County. Every year, thousands of people visit the place during the spring to see the numerous daffodils blooming vibrantly. The flowers bloom for a few weeks only. The sight is simply breathtaking!

Best Places for Night Photography in California:

If night photography is one of your hobbies, California offers you ample opportunities for that! Here are a few places that would let you get some awestruck clicks at night-time.

11. Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

Palace of Fine Arts, during the night-time, is an amazing, picturesque site. Capture some mesmerizing shots of its reflections on water by walking around the structure. Then, step inside and admire its striking architecture.

12. Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

You can get a striking view of the skyline of San Francisco including the majestic Bay Bridge from Treasure Island. The view of the Bay Bridge during night-time is simply spectacular! On exploring the island a bit more, you would come across more photographing opportunities, such as the marina having a large number of little boats docked.

13. Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge makes one of the most iconic bridges in California. However, it’s better to take shots of the bridge during sunset instead of night-time, since it’s not lit very well. If you are on a night photography tour, it’s wise to begin here and then head to other places.

14. Legion of Honor

Legion of Honor

This is a spectacular construction worth taking photos! Click some images outside to capture the building’s reflections on water. You can find buses driving around the building, which can help you add some additional movement in your pictures. Try catching their light trails.

15. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park in California

Yosemite National Park is perhaps the most beautiful among national parks in California, and the site has plenty of viewing points to see the majestic Milky Way! Go wow with the awestruck view and take a few amazing shots or maybe a time lapse too!

16. Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park

The Kings Canyon National Park is renowned for the clearest night sky it offers you to watch the Milky Way. Set up a camp, near a lake ideally, and let yourself be amazed by the striking beauty of the Milky Way. Get your camera ready and click some great photographs!

Best Places for Nature Photography in California:

California houses some extremely beautiful natural landscapes that are quite diverse as well. If you want to take really great photos of natural scenery, here are a few places you should head to.

17. The Redwoods

The Redwoods

The Redwoods, famous as the world’s largest trees, are spectacular as well as photo-worthy. You can find these trees along the coast of Northern California (referred to as Redwood Coast). Play with several angles for adding depth perspective to photos. Also, ensure that you add someone in your photographs so that these trees’ sheer size can be conveyed.

18. South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe CA

Situated near Nevada, in wild alpine landscapes, the glass-like crystal clear waters of the lake bring simply striking photographs. The signature hues here are blues and emeralds. And you can find a lot to see and photograph here.

19. Big Sur

Big Sur California

Big Sur would offer you to watch and shoot some truly amazing and majestically rugged seascapes. A Big Sur trip would let you go on a drive of 300km through faraway mountains, golden plains, and sun-kissed coastline. Get ready with your camera to take some brilliant shots here!

20. Eastern Sierras

Eastern Sierras

When you head up to Route 395, you would come across a 120 miles stretch of the sunlit Sierra Nevada. It’s isolated completely from metropolitan areas. It’s an amazing site for valley and mountain photography. Be amazed by the towering landscapes at spots such as Mono Lake, Alabama Hills, Mt. Whitney, and Lone Pine. The aspen-lined canyons offer impressive photo opportunities during the early morning hours, as the first rays of the sun tint the mountain peaks golden.

Best Places for California Beach Photography:

California offers some of the most spectacular beaches to capture in your lens. Hobby photographers, as well as the professional ones, love shooting the seaside cliffs, sandy shores, crashing waves, and palm trees of California beaches. Following are some brilliant beaches you can photograph in California:

21. Bowling Ball Beach

Bowling Ball Beach

On Schooner Gulch Beach’s north end, Bowling Ball Beach consists of large round rocks along the shore that seem to be giant bowling balls. During low tides, you can shoot surreal photographs of these huge rocks. You can explore tide pools too.

22. Shark Fin Cove

Shark Fin Cove

This is a striking beach having a rock formation that resembles a shark fin. The beach offers some really vivid photo opportunities.

23. Heisler Park at Laguna Beach

Heisler Park

Heisler Park offers you a spectacular landscape for cozy beach picnics as well as brilliant photography! The park has creative benches, gardens, walking trails, tide pools, and beaches lined by palm trees with Pacific views.

24. Natural Bridges State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach

With a huge natural rock arch sitting off-shore, this beach offers numerous photo opportunities. Shoot the crashing waves or capture the shades of blue, purple, and pink during sunset.

25. El Matador Beach

El Matador State Beach

Located near Malibu, this beach features some of the most striking Oceanside beauty of California with sea caves and sea stacks. By evening, you would find the beach filled with radiant sunset shades. Bluff-top parking is available for visitors, along with stairs and a trail. The stairs lead visitors down to the beach.

Well, California has several other picturesque sites apart from these. Have you photographed any other places? Please share the names of those places with our readers by commenting below!

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