Top 100 Iconic Locations: Europe

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The Arc De Triomphe
 
Paris, France
GPS Coordinates:
48° 52′ 26″ N, 2° 17′ 39″ E
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 48.87388888888889
LON 2.2941666666666665
The Arc de Triomphe marks the center of the Place de l’Étoile or Star Square, so named because of the 12 streets that emanate from its center like spokes of a wheel. It’s one of the most photographed icons of Paris, a city that’s particularly photogenic because it was designed by Georges-Eugène, Baron Haussmann to have wide boulevards that lend themselves to a spacious perspective, a city layout similar to that adopted by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who designed Washington, D.C., to incorporate broad avenues and major streets that radiate out from traffic circles, parks and open spaces. Long-distance views of the Paris architectural landmarks are thus available to the photographer, like this one taken from well down the Champs-Élysées using a convenient center-island marker as a support for the camera during the necessary long exposure.

Hora Sfakion and region 
Crete
GPS Coordinates:
35° 12′ 53.19″ N, 24° 08′ 05.46″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 35.200705555555500
LON 24.137349999999900

Big Ben  
London, England
GPS Coordinates:
51° 30′ 02.47″ N, 0° 07′ 27.45″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 51.500697222222200
LON -0.124291666666666

Virtual Earth™ Tip

If two locations are very close together or overlapping on the map, you may need to zoom in to see both clearly.

 

Stonehenge  
Salisbury Plains, England
GPS Coordinates:
51° 10′ 43.92″ N, 1° 49′ 34.51″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 51.178883333333300
LON -1.826205555555550
Stonehenge is one of the most iconic locations in the world, drawing millions of visitors a year. Each stone weighs almost 45 tons, and there’s still speculation as to how the creators made the structure. A perfectly circular sanctuary, Stonehenge most likely was erected in 2300 B.C., according to historians. The ancient site is delicate and under constant reconstruction to keep it from eroding and falling. Sunsets and sunrises make particularly evocative photographs here, as does catching the sun setting over the rocks from the grassy meadow.

Mount Orgueil Castle  
Jersey Island, England
GPS Coordinates:
49° 11′ 58.10″ N, 2° 01′ 09.08″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 49.199472222222200
LON -2.023549999999990

Montmartre
 
Paris, France
GPS Coordinates:
48° 53′ 12.02 ″ N, 2° 20′ 37.83″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 48.886672222222200
LON 2.343008333333330

Vallée Blanche
 
The Alps, France
GPS Coordinates:
45° 52′ 11.07″ N, 6° 53′ 16.99″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 45.869741666666600
LON 6.888052777777770
“The White Valley” is among the most extreme places in the world to ski and one of the most photographic spots in Western Europe. The vast mountains of Aiguille du Midi and Mont Blanc make for spectacular panoramic photos. A cable car to the top of Aiguille du Midi carries skiers and sightseers right up to the snow, ice, crevasses and steep slopes. Here, you can catch the action of talented skiers navigating the dangerous runs or capture the scenic vistas of the French Alps.

Brandenburg Gate
 
Berlin, Germany
GPS Coordinates:
52° 30′ 58.53″ N, 13° 22′ 37.16″ E
Microsoft Virtual Earth:
LAT 52.51625833333333
LON 13.376988888888889
The Brandenburg Gate is one of the most elaborate city entrances in Europe, with its 12 columns and a “quadriga” on top that depicts Victoria, the Roman Goddess of Victory. It was commissioned in 1788 and designed by Karl Gotthard von Langhans to resemble the Propylaeum on top of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. The quadriga was stolen by Napoleon Bonaparte during his reign, and in more recent history, when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it stood as a testament of newfound freedom for the people of East Berlin. A favorite shot is to isolate the quadriga after dark to capture the

chariot illuminated.

Iceland falls 
Gullfoss, Iceland
GPS Coordinates:
64° 19′ 25.07″ N, 20° 06′ 56.58″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 64.326116666666600
LON -20.121119444444400

Ponte Vecchio  
Florence, Italy
GPS Coordinates:
43° 46′ 5.05″ N, 11° 15′ 9.73″ E
Microsoft Virtual Earth:
LAT 43.76806944444444
LON 11.252702777777777
In English, Ponte Vecchio means “Old Bridge.” The bridge was first built by the Romans, but a flood washed it away. Then in 1345, during the Medieval Era, it was reconstructed and still stands today. It crosses the Arno River and has always been known as a center for commerce, originally housing butchers and fishmongers for centuries, but today it’s mostly filled with jewelry shops, eateries, gelato scoopers and vendors catering to tourists. The bridge is comprised of three arches made of stone and buildings that expand on stilts on the side of the bridge. It lends itself quite well to the panorama format when shooting from the east where there’s a bridge you can walk across to get your camera centered on the Ponte Vecchio.

The Coliseum 
Rome, Italy
GPS Coordinates:
41° 53′ 25.05″ N, 12° 29′ 31.38″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 41.890291666666600
LON 12.492049999999900

The Pantheon
 
Rome, Italy
GPS Coordinates:
41° 53′ 57.45″ N, 12° 28′ 36.40″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 41.898644444444400
LON 12.476777777777700

The Vitaletta Chapel  
Seen from the main road between Pienza and San Quirico D’orcia, Tuscany, Italy
GPS Coordinates:
43° 04′ 28.12″ N, 11° 37′ 37.42″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 43.074477777777700
LON 11.627061111111100

 

Get in the mode
Canon’s Picture Styles, available on the Canon EOS 5D, provides a quick and handy way to customize the way your images look—like using different films to get different effects—except that you can change the Picture Style for each shot if you want. You can choose among

six styles including Landscape and Portrait, and adjust sharpness, contrast, color saturation and color tone in each. For more on the EOS 5D, click here.

 

The Palio horse race  
Siena, Italy
GPS Coordinates:
43° 19′ 10.78″ N, 11° 19′ 42.171″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 43.318333333333300
LON 11.331388888888800

St. Peter’s Basilica
 
Vatican City, Italy
GPS Coordinates:
41° 54′ 38.51″ N, 12° 26′ 36.89″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 41.902116666666600
LON 12.454322222222200

St. Basil’s Cathedral  
Moscow, Russia
GPS Coordinates:
55° 45′ 09.33″ N, 37° 37′ 22.62″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 55.752591666666600
LON 37.622950000000000
The spires and steeples of the unmistakable brick towers of St. Basil’s Cathedral are decorated with various shapes and colorful patterns. Rising more than 100 feet over Red Square in Moscow, the church was first commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to celebrate the conquering of the city of Kazan in the 16th century. There are a total of eight towers, and a ninth tower was built to separately house the remains of St. Basil, to whom the church is dedicated.

The Kremlin 
Moscow, Russia
GPS Coordinates:
55° 45′ 00.02″ N, 37° 37′ 00.08″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 55.750005555555500
LON 37.616688888888800

Rosslyn Chapel
 
Scotland
GPS Coordinates:
55° 51′ 23.52″ N, 3° 09′ 45.06″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 55.855422222222200
LON -3.161683333333330

 

Pack a compact
Even if you plan to do most of your shooting with your D-SLR, bring along a compact zoom camera, and carry it everywhere with you, even if you’re just stepping out to get the morning cof

fee. Photo opportunities can strike at any time when you’re in new environs, so don’t miss a shot by being unprepared. A compact is also a good backup if something happens to your D-SLR.

 

Running of the Bulls 
Pamplona, Spain
GPS Coordinates:
42° 49′ 01.00″ N, 1° 38′ 04.00″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 42.816944444444400
LON -1.642777777777770
Part of the nine-day Festival of San Fermin, held between July 6 and 14 each year, el encierro, or the Running of the Bulls, is a spectacle of brave men and women, clothed in white trousers and shirts with red neckerchiefs and waistbands, trying to outrun angry bulls, in a half-mile stretch of cobblestone roads in downtown Pamplona. The chase begins on the Calle de Santo Domingo at around eight o’clock in the morning, but it’s best to arrive much earlier to scope out protected vantage points from which to catch the fast action of a charging bulls and thousands of runners trying to elude them.

Casa Batilo
 
Barcelona, Spain
GPS Coordinates:
41° 23′ 34.60″ N, 2° 09′ 54.29″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 41.391663888888800
LON 2.165008333333330

Keukenhof Gardens 
The Netherlands
GPS Coordinates:
52° 16′ 12.69″ N, 4° 32′ 50.34″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 52.270191666666600
LON 4.547316666666660

Cappadocia  
Turkey
GPS Coordinates:
38° 40′ 13.85″ N, 34° 50′ 20.67″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 38.670513888888800
LON 34.839075000000000
Looking more like a lunar surface than an Earthly landscape, Cappadocia is a popular tourist destination in Turkey where “fairy chimneys,” or cone-like rock formations, jut up from the lower rock basin. The result of volcanic eruptions, these ash and basalt formations are now a series of cave dwellings and carved-out buildings, which some Turkish people call home. Hot-air ballooning is a popular way to see the cones and allows an aerial vantage point to photograph the full scope of this intriguing vista.

Virtual Earth™ Tip

Type in the GPS coordinates of any location in the fields below the map (try one of the locations featured in this month’s PCPhoto!). Click “Go” and you’ll be taken directly to the location on the map.

 

The Grand Canal 
Seen from Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy
GPS Coordinates:
45° 26′ 2″ N, 12° 20′ 18″ W
Microsoft® Virtual Earth™:
LAT 45.433888888888800
LON 12.338333333333300
Venice is known for its gondoliers and waterway streets. Romantic, charming and full of photographic opportunities, it’s one of the most beautiful places to shoot in the world. Right in front of the Piazza San Marco, the most famous area in Venice, lies the Grand Canal, the major vein of water taxis, water buses and gondolas with the Baroque architecture lining the vast waterway, such as the immaculate Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, letting you shoot the hustle and bustle of Venetians with their architecture in the background.

 

Know your equipment
If you’re getting a new camera for your trip, get it at least a few weeks in advance so you have time to thoroughly acquaint yourself with all of its features. Be completely comfortable with your gear, especially with the sophisticated metering and focus systems typical in most D-SLRs, which offer exceptional options for control, but take some practice to master. Many photo opportunities don’t repeat themselves. You don’t want to miss “the moment” because you’re fuddling with how your camera works.