Amazing Coastal Photography
Transport yourself across the globe to one of our stunning postcard destinations. Soak in the view. Imagine you are there.
Time seems to pause, just for a moment, at dawn on the South End of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Viewed from Peirce Island, the back channel of the Piscataqua River lies as calm as the deserted streets. Soon, inside gorgeous 18th- and 19th-century houses, sleepy people will start to stir. Tourists will begin strolling the sidewalks, devouring the feast of historic architecture. The Chandler's Loft, a favorite waterfront café, will open its breakfast/lunch counter, and life will go on as it has here in Portsmouth's oldest neighborhood since 1630. But first, in the still morning, the best efforts of humans and nature come together for a fleeting instant of transcendent beauty
During the day, this lifeguard station is a hub of South Beach, surrounded by cushioned lounge chairs, white umbrellas, and bronzed bodies on bright beach towels. But as the sun sinks into the horizon, the crowds dissipate, letting this red, white, and blue beauty be the lone star on the shore. This station—one of 29 individually designed towers that dot the white sands of Miami—was part of an effort to draw people back to the beach following the devastation of hurricanes in 1992 and 2005. And sure enough, it has earned its glory
A jeep excursion, a ferry ride down the Preguiças River, and your own two feet—that's what it takes to reach the lagoons in northeastern Brazil's Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. The sweeping, Sahara-like landscape of 40-foot-tall white sand dunes may seem all desert at first, but the park is prone to great rainfall during the wet season (December through July). The freshwater droplets collect in valleys, forming beautiful blue and teal lagoons. This particular spot, Lagoa do Peixe, maintains a healthy water level even in the driest season, so bathing suit--clad visitors know they can stop here for a dip in crystal clear water. Cradled in the desert's cool blue, you realize you've reached no mirage—just pure miracle.
On this mystical isle in the Aegean Sea, a colorful tableau comes alive over the town of Oia at sunset, when fiery swaths of orange, yellow, and rust meet up at day's end. Visitors and locals take to the narrow streets around town, populated with blue-domed churches and traditional Cycladic whitewashed homes. The view from Santorini's cliffs is pristine, suspending you somewhere between earth and sky as the sun kisses the wavy horizon. Is there a sizzle when they meet? You hear only silence, beautiful in its simplicity. Golden light ignites the sky and streaks the hillside, the black-pebble beach, and the ocean below. It's a true rendezvous of sun and sea.
It is no wonder that Viking and Basque explorers returned home with tales of a wild and magnificent land across the sea, having reached this northern-most tip of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island. Off the wind-scoured highlands swam a plentitude of whales, porpoises, dolphins, and cod, luring ancient adventurers back to build summer fishing camps and tiny ports, digging small farms and sturdy villages into the soil. Now, a staunch string of eight Top of the Island communities (including tiny Capstick on Wreck Cove, shown here) inherits that legacy of farm and fishery, plying those trades into the modern age. And it welcomes a new generation of explorers seeking the remote beauty of Canada's maritime treasures
Some have compared it to gin. That's how clear the water is surrounding the 40 islands and cays of Turks & Caicos, a tranquil Caribbean archipelago that arcs southeast of the Bahamas and points the way to the Dominican Republic. When you don a mask and wade into these warm waters, you discover just what lures divers and snorkelers here: the islands' coral-rich barrier reef, one of the world's longest. Underwater, you see everything with a clarity that seems enhanced, a high-definition world of light and sparkle. It's a view that may, in fact, be even more transformative than a Tanqueray, neat.
Shot by in the shallow water just offshore of Northwest Point with a Canon EOS-1Ds and 15mm fisheye lens in an underwater housing. To get the "over/under" image of half air, half water requires a very wide-angle lens and a small aperture for exposure.