I had a lot of trouble finding information on where to shoot photography in Cappadocia, Turkey. Based on the fact that it’s such a popular place for photography, I found that really surprising. As such, I went into my trip to Cappadocia really blind, as a photographer. I caught myself guessing on locations, and wandering around a bit more than I usually do. In the end, though, I found some great places to photograph the hot air balloons, and some of the beautiful landscapes. This is a bit of a guide to photography in Cappadocia.
#1: Panoramic View
I took a wild guess that this would be the best place to photograph the hot air balloons in Cappadocia, and I was spot on. The truth is, you could really photograph the hot air balloons from anywhere in the area around Goreme. There are so many balloons up in the air each morning, I’m fairly sure there’s not a spot in the region that you couldn’t photograph them from. However, this location is ideal for a number of reasons. For one, you have the sun at your back. Thus, the sunrise works to light up the balloon and gives you nice warm colours and an image that’s easy to properly expose. Secondly, from here you can use the canyon for a beautiful foreground. Most of the other locations to photograph the hot air balloons aren’t nearly as pretty.
#2 Rose Valley
The Rose Valley is fantastic no matter what time of day you visit. The light always seems magical, and there’s a lot to see and photograph. Moreover, there are non-landscape images to be made here as well. One of the coolest aspects of this valley are the stone cave churches, all of which are fairly short hikes to get to.
#3 Sunset Point
True to the name, this spot right above the town of Goreme is great for sunset. There are a lot of different shots you can get from up here. You can shoot away from the city and get beautiful shots of the phallic-shaped stone pillars in the valley. Or, you can photograph the cave-town itself.
This is also a good place to photograph the hot air balloons at sunrise. In fact, I’d say that the vast majority of other tourists I saw came here to see the balloons lift off. There are advantages to this spot. Firstly, you are much closer to the balloons than at the panoramic view point. You are also surrounded by the balloons so you have a lot of different style of photos you can make. Ideally, you’d have one morning here and one at the panoramic view point.
#4 Love Valley
I only stopped in at the Love Valley during the day, and though it is very interesting, I don’t think it’s the most photogenic spot in the Cappadocia area. The hike around the rim of the valley, and through it again is definitely worth the walk though. I managed to get some pretty cool drone footage of the valley during the day. And, though I say it doesn’t really photograph well, like the Rose Valley it is a great place to spend a day hiking.
When to Visit Cappadocia
I think that the simple answer here is that you can visit any time of year. I was there in April and it was a great time. There weren’t that many tourists around, and I felt like I had the place all to myself. However, there were enough tourists around to mean that restaurants, hotels, and the balloons were all still running. So, maybe avoid summer and winter, but the spring and fall seem like great times to visit.
Which Village Should you Stay in?
I’d say that the most popular village to stay in is Goreme. I think the vast majority of tourists that come to Cappadocia stay in Goreme. The town is really central and close to all the top attractions. Uchisar also seems like a great option, and has some cool photo-worthy sights.
Video Clips from Cappadocia
In total, I put together 3 videos in Cappadocia. Check them out. Hopefully they give you a better understanding of the various locations that are available for photography.
Format Changes and the Penis Valley
On this episode, I talk about the changes to the format of my YouTube Photography Channel and this blog. I also go into the Love Valley in search of some cool locations for photography.
Cappadocia Balloons and Nap Times
One of the biggest reasons people visit Cappadocia is to jump in a hot air balloon and see the landscape from above. For photographers, capturing the scene of all the balloons in the air is amazing. I spent the morning in this episode photographing the balloons, and then photographing the city from Sunset Point afterwards.
Drones Named Fido and Churches in Caves
In my final episode from Cappadocia, I explored the Rose Valley and checked out some of the cave churches. I ended the day by photographing the stunning landscape from above at sunset.
What’s Next on the Travel Photography Blog?
I’m off to the South of Turkey, and heading to destinations like Antalya, Cirali, Oludeniz, and Pamukkale. Lots of fun content coming from those locations.