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Love Valley

A sprawling valley filled with dozens of unique volcanic rock formations that were created millions of years ago – some reaching a height of more than 130 feet.

Where: Cappadocia, Turkey – at an altitude of more than 3,000 feet. While hiking at that altitude, it's easy to get out of breath, so take your time while exploring this area on foot.

When: Not in the summer, when I was there, and when it was unbearably hot. At all times, bring plenty of water and keep hydrated.

Photography: While hiking around the formations, you can make some nice photographs with a wide-angle zoom – like the Canon RF15-35mm zoom. Try to photograph in the early morning and late afternoon, when long shadows add a sense of depth, as well as drama, to a photograph.

For a unique view, take a sunrise or sunset hot-air balloon ride. Here, a 24-105mm zoom is the way to go. Take only one camera body with one lens, as your landing may be a bit bumpy – and you’ll want to hold on tight to your camera.

Book your hot-air balloon adventure well in advance, as Cappadocia is a very popular tourist destination for hot-air ballooning.

If you like to photograph patterns, look directly up from a hot-air balloon gondola and take a few shots, placing the center/top of the balloon in different areas of the frame. Usually, off center, as shown above, is more interesting than a "dead center" shot.

For a darker sky and whiter clouds in your photographs, use a polarizing filter like the ones offered by Breakthough Photography Filters.

If it’s a bit hazy, use the DeHaze feature in Camera Raw/Lightroom for sharper images.

More: Learn more about the formation of these “fairy chimneys," as some folks call them, in this post: Natural Wonders: Fairy Chimneys.

© Rick Sammon

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