Lonely Planet Writer

LP Pathfinders: top Instagrams from February 2017

This month's round-up of photographs from our camera-toting Pathfinders community features colours that pop, surprising textures and one adorable peek-a-boo (that's not the Latin term) monkey.

Las Coloradas, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

A post shared by Emily Luxton (@em_luxton) on

‘These stunning pink lakes in the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula might look man-made, but the colour is all natural! The water turns pink because of an abundance of the same organisms that give flamingos their pink feathers. The lakes, which are part of a local salt works, start out brown or orange. As the water evaporates leaving a higher concentration of salt, the lakes turn pink, creating a magical effect!’ - Emily Luxton, @em_luxton.

Why we like it: This is the perfect landscape with a surprise punch: clouds dotting the clear blue sky, endless horizon and then... pink water? And it's all natural? This is an amazing find and the image is strengthened by the smart use of cropping and framing. We often hear, 'rule-of-thirds, rule-of-thirds' but in this case splitting the horizon right across the middle just draws us in further in.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

‘The Zanzibar red colobus monkeys are an endangered species endemic to Unguja Island. They can be found all over Jozani Forest and we saw plenty. This one was just as curious about us as we were of him!’ – Natasha & Cameron, @theworldpursuit.

Why we like it: The natural framing that the green foliage gives to the monkey's face is spot on. Using a long lens on the camera has made the depth-of-field very shallow and adds even more emphasis to the little creature. Our simian relatives can be really expressive and with this gaze there is no doubt he's on to us and our human camera ways.

Shantinath Mandir temple in Jamnagar, Gujarat state, India

‘This Jain temple sits at the heart of Jamnagar, a small town in India's Gujarat state often passed over by tourists. Though the temple complex is staggering in size, the outside is strictly white, and seemingly plain. But when we passed through the temple's doors, we were blown away by the explosion of colour!’ – Alex and Sebastiaan, @lostwithpurpose.

Why we like it: All the colour and repetition makes us want to traverse this corridor and get lost in the patterns. The composition is framing the arches so that our eye is directed down the hall to the painting at the end. That keeps us visually engaged with the image and intrigued by the building's structure.

Uvita, Costa Rica

‘I love the unique perspective drones give; birds really do have the best views. The rocky beach and strong waves in Costa Rica were mesmerizing to watch from above.’ – Tessa Juliette, @travel_wheretonext.

Why we like it: The spatial play means patterns, colours, sizes and textures all get a turn in this cool shot. It is bordering on the abstract but after a moment of study we realize it is a super high aerial and we are gazing at rocky shoreline. Our eyes can zoom in or zoom out and make this photograph take on a myriad of meanings.

Cargill salt ponds in Bonaire

‘Very rarely does a man-made feature resemble nature. But these mountains of salt piled up on the shoreline of Bonaire have a very organic quality. Seeing the play of light and shadow in the late afternoon light had me thinking more of the snow-capped mountains of Nepal than of the tropical snorkel paradise in the Caribbean.’ – Carol Guttery, @wayfaringviews.

Why we like it: The white pyramids and texture against the dusty blue sky stand out and keep our eye moving back and forth across the geometric forms. The rule-of-thirds is at play in this image and strengthens it by creating a very sturdy foundation of water, shore and earthen-like mounds to support the large open sky.

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