Lonely Planet Writer

LP Pathfinders: top Instagrams from December 2016

December2016_Pathfinders

This month's round-up of eye-catching captures from our Pathfinders community is all about looking beyond the obvious, getting up before the early bird and patiently waiting for the right moment to click the shutter.

Here are our selections for December 2016.

Rongbuk Monastery, Tibet

‘Sometimes there are moments that are just too perfect. This Tibetan yak was standing outside Rongbuk Monastery, the highest located monastery in the world. In the background, Mount Everest showed us her glowing North Face on a rare, clear morning in the Himalayas.’ – Lina & Dave, @divergenttravelers.

Why we like it: It's hard to get a good exposure of black fur in the shadows and keep the highlighted areas under control; this image has managed to keep detail in both the white fur on the yak's head and the dark fur. Mount Everest in the background, framed between the horns, is a great geographical reference uniting subject and location.

Banff National Park, Canada

A photo posted by Leigh McAdam (@hikebiketravel) on

‘Rather than join the masses downhill skiing in Lake Louise over the Christmas holidays I chose to spend the day on the cross-country trails - alone. It had snowed the night before so not only were the trails in great shape, the landscape was a true winter wonderland. Being outside in nature surrounded by beauty was a great way to finish off 2016.’ – Leigh McAdam, @hikebiketravel.

Why we like it: There is a strong natural vignette in this image. The snow-covered trees on both sides, the shadow across the snow on the lower part of the image and the darker clouds streaking across the sky direct our eyes through the image. We follow the path in the snow towards the tops of the trees and into the distance.

Brooklyn, New York, USA

‘This year I visited USA for the first time ever! Brooklyn Bridge by far was my most favorite sight in the city. It is both very iconic and very spectacular. Our New Yorker friends took us for a walk on the bridge, where you can take great pictures and also buy some souvenirs.’ – Lena Tarasyuk, @travelmonkeycom.

Why we like it: It's all about perspective and symmetry in this image. The lines leading our eyes up to the top of the bridge build a maze of fascinating architectural geometry. We are left in awe of this man-made marvel.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

‘The Taj Mahal, the undisputed jewel in India's crown, sees over 10,000 daily visitors from all over the world. We had it all to ourselves after making sure that we were the first through the Eastern Gate at sunrise. There was very little time until the crowd of people joined the frame, but thankfully they held off long enough for us to catch the reflections perfectly.’ – Mark Shirran, @markshirran.

Why we like it: Well done Mark. This is a beautiful capture of a very special place that is only seen devoid of people on the postcards you buy at the gift shop. In this case we see planning ahead, getting out of bed early and being super prepared can give you amazing returns on the hard work and dedication it takes to make a truly awesome photograph.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

‘We were able to get up close and personal with the African elephants while wading through the Okavango Delta on a Mokoro!’ – Natasha & Cameron, @theworldpursuit.

Why we like it: Partially obscured by tall delta grasses, finding this elephant is a true delight. Using the rule of thirds when making this image gave the photograph a strength that is as powerful as the elephant himself.

For your chance to be featured in our next round-up, sign up to Lonely Planet Pathfinders – our programme for travel-loving bloggers and social content creators. In the meantime, you can get more Instagram inspiration by following @lonelyplanet.