Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinders: top Instagrams from July 2018

Jodhpur from above © Mark Hadj Hamou

Our Insta-savvy Pathfinders truly outdid themselves in the month of July, schooling us all in the art of expertly framing and capturing all manner of dramatic vistas in every corner of the globe. From the misty mountains of the Andes to the balloon-strewn horizon of Cappadocia, here are the Instagrams that had us at hello.

Ghyaru, Nepal

'Whilst trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, on the fourth day we had already reached 3700m. It made me feel quite sick, and I struggled to sleep that night. Although this made the ascent really difficult, the night also brought maybe the best views of the whole circuit – full moon, Annapurna and the temples of the small town of Ghyaru. It was a tough night, but that didn't stop me from capturing the moment.' – Javi, @javilorbada

Why we like it: Apart from the incredible sense of perspective that Javi has captured in this frame, the unusual lighting adds lashings of drama. The mountaintops shrouded in cloud and the vibrant blue roof split the image into thirds, with the top section filled beautifully by a perfect, starry sky. This is a skilful composition and unique snapshot of a well-trodden hiking circuit.

Machu Picchu, Peru

'I woke up early to capture Machu Picchu in the morning before the ancient citadel became too crowded with tourists. I hiked to the viewing platform, set up my shot of the majestic Machu Picchu shrouded in mist, and just as I was about to take the photo, a curious local llama pops out of nowhere!' – Eddie, @portmanteau_press

Why we like it: What's not to like!? This llama's expression more than conveys his irreverent intrusion into Eddie's otherwise perfect capture of the world-renowned Machu Picchu. Despite presumably having only a few seconds to grab this shot, Eddie has managed to achieve razor-sharp focus on both the Incan ruins and the woolly star of the show himself. This is a great example of a photobomb gone right!

Cappadocia, Turkey

'Cappadocia is famous for its stunning mornings, and is one of the best hot-air ballooning destinations in the world. During my one-month stay in this beautiful region, I was able to enjoy several unforgettable morning moments, while trying to find the most special hidden spots, away from the crowds.' – Joao, @joaoleitaoviagens

Why we like it: Fairytale landscapes, a skyline dotted with brightly-hued balloons and dramatic sunrises – Cappadocia has all the ingredients for Instagram gold. However, Joao has managed to take his capture to the next level, expertly framed by lush foliage and with the rising sun adding a romantic, golden hue.

Oregon, USA

A post shared by Nick (@berealtravel) on

'Multnomah Falls is a beautiful waterfall in the state of Oregon. Located just a short hike from the parking lot, this waterfall is recognizable thanks to the signature bridge that crosses in front of it.' – Nick, @berealtravel

Why we like it: Nick's image is beautifully framed – simple, but effective. His use of slow shutter-speed to capture the soft flow of the cascading water draws the eye directly through the centre of the shot, all brought into focus by the gathering onlookers on the bridge, who also add a sense of scale to the overall composition.

Jodhpur, India

'Jodhpur – the Blue City. We spotted a vantage point from our guest house that looked like the perfect spot to watch the sunset. After hours of searching and getting lost in a maze of alleyways, gravel, dirt and rocks climbing up the cliffside, we finally made it to the perfect point, and what a sight it was: a 360° view of Jodhpur as the sun started to set and the sky turned golden. I couldn't have asked for a better way to end my time in India.' – Mark, @pr4w

Why we like it: Mark's clever use of light and colour in this image has a truly magical effect. A confluence of blue hues, this rooftop scene is unmistakably Jodhpur, but somehow seen through fresh eyes. The setting sun framed in the rough centre of the image creates a hazy focal point, set against the sharply focused buildings and figure in the foreground.

Follow @lonelyplanet for more Instagram inspiration.