Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinders: top Instagrams from April 2018

From the wild Scottish Highlands to Seoul’s largest library, April has seen our Pathfinders ‘gramming some of the world’s most magnificent and unusual sights. Skilfully shot and fantastically framed, here are the snaps that gave us wanderlust last month.

Seoul, South Korea

‘Wanna know one of the newest hidden gems in Seoul? Then head into Starfield COEX Mall's new library. It's right in the centre of the shopping mall and it has over 50,000 books! I was in awe when I saw this spectacle... and it reminded me of how I haven’t been reading as many books as I want to. Rest assured, there is ample space throughout the library where you can lounge and get cosy as you dig into all the books you desire (there's even a wonderful cafe by the second floor that you must try!)’ – Aileen, @i_am_aileen

Why we like it: Who doesn’t love a library? Just think of the stories all of those books could tell… Aileen has expertly captured the sheer scale of this magnificent literary collection, indicated by the lone escalator rider in the lower centre of her image. The escalator itself also draws the eye up and across the frame, and contrasts nicely with the vibrant orange of the shelves.

Ma'uke, Cook Islands

‘I was determined to find this shipwreck on the island of Ma'uke. We drove around the rough circle island road and eventually spotted glimpses of it through the thick vegetation. I was more than excited to finally stand next to it and even found a great little sitting spot in the coral for ourselves, with the kids close by. It was an amazing experience!’ – Jessica, @travel_with_jessica

Why we like it: Shipwrecks always provide rich pickings for the adventurous photographer, and this haunting washed-up boat on the coast of Ma'uke in the Cook Islands is no exception. Jessica’s skilful use of a drone camera has produced this incredibly dramatic shot, where the island’s varied elements create the perfect backdrop for the shipwreck, sweeping across the image in bands of foliage, rocky terrain and rugged shallows.

Port Louis, Mauritius

A post shared by Daniel James (@danflyingsolo) on

‘Exploring Mauritius was a huge surprise for me. I expected amazing beaches, but there were so many outdoor hikes and activities too. The buzzing markets in the capital, Port Louis, were a great starting point for an insight into daily life on this pristine island.’ – Dan, @danflyingsolo

Why we like it: Dan’s frame of a bustling Mauritian market is a masterclass in movement. By snapping from above, Dan was able to feature not only the vibrant palette of colours that the market’s produce creates, but also its busy shoppers, weaving their way through the stalls. By using a slower shutter speed to capture the moving people, Dan was able to further enhance his razor-sharp focus on the stands of fruit, veg and spices. It’s a real buzzing, frenetic market in motion.

Invergarry, Scottish Highlands

‘Whilst exploring the Scottish Highlands on an Easter road trip, the owner of our lodge insisted that we drive along the 'Road to Nowhere', a 22-mile lane that claims the title of the longest cul-de-sac in the world. After driving for over 10 hours to reach Loch Lochy, we almost couldn't face the thought of a further few hours in a car, but the lodge guestbook convinced us, with many stating it was the most beautiful place they'd ever seen. 30 minutes into the winding road and we were secluded between lakes and snowy mountains, spotting stags among the long grass. This handsome creature was one of many who watched us pass, defending the secrecy of his home.’ – Eppie, @eppie_s

Why we like it: Capturing wildlife in its natural state is no mean feat, but Eppie has managed to frame this majestic stag perfectly against a backdrop of the Scottish Highlands’ rugged, snow-capped mountains. Setting the stag slightly to one side allows the eye to take in the scenic backdrop, before focusing fully on his steely, proud stare, which leaps from the image and brings it to life completely.

Arizona, USA

A post shared by Deborah Findling (@dfindles) on

‘Hot days, cool nights – the desert has by far my favourite climate. Our group of four set out on the West Fork Oak Trail, wading through some calf-deep waters before finding this campground. The magic of backpacking here is that no matter how many times you go through the red rock dusted canyons, they looks different every time. At one point the water became unexpectedly waist deep, and we had to scout out a way across. It felt a little bit like underwater rock climbing but we made it, and had a blast!’ – Deborah, @dfindles

Why we like it: The rambling, red rock landscapes of Arizona are no stranger to a good photo, but there’s something about the slightly upward angle of Deborah’s shot that captures the sheer scale, and multi-hued beauty of the natural world she is exploring. The light hitting the tops of the rocks creates a path through the image, from the glistening stream of the foreground, to the sunlit treetops in the upper third. It’s the kind of frame that makes you want to lace up your hiking boots and jump right in!

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