Not sure where to go on your next photography adventure? Read Dan Ballard's top 5 (or 6) places to photograph in the Wild. Dan Ballard is an internationally known travel and landscape photographer from Colorado. His images take you on a visual journey to some of the world's most beautiful and far-reaching corners. Dan has visited nearly 50 countries on five continents around the globe, and his work has attracted the attention and praise of some of the biggest names and companies in the photo industry.

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Out of the 60+ countries that I have visited in the last 12 years, Norway might just be the most beautiful, and the Lofoten Islands in the north are simply incredible.  Stunning peaks and fjords mix to create a truly unique and special place.  You can hike and camp almost anywhere on the islands, and while you might not be alone on the trails or that far from civilization, the stunning landscape makes it one of the most unforgettable experiences anywhere. With 3 to 5 hours of hiking you can find yourself looking out over some the best views on the planet.  The photos don’t do it justice.

The Wind River Range, Wyoming

The Wind Rivers are a real treat for backpackers and photographers. There is a large network of trails that you can link up and explore, so you can spend as many days as you want backpacking in the area. With rugged peaks around every turn and countless ponds and streams there is no shortage of photographs waiting to be made. If you are also a rock climber take a friend so you can climb some great multi pitch routes during the day while you are waiting for the evening light.

The Dolomites, Italy

One of the most beautiful (and easy) places to do a multi-day hike in the world. Using the hut system in the Dolomites is a very different experience then what we have in the states. You can stay in luxury (at least compared to a tent or basic hut) and have a great meal and a beer every evening. With hundreds of miles of trails and numerous “huts” you can spend as time much as you want shooting and dinning your way though the mountains. It might be a stretch to call it the “wild”, but as with Norway and Switzerland, it is stunningly beautiful. All you have to do to be alone is get up early. One of the best things about being a photographer is not being stuck in bed with everyone else when the truly amazing views are at there best.

The Junfrau Region, Switzerland

One of my favorite places in the world, and one of the few places I consider a close equal to Norway in terms of beauty. If you want to be alone you will have to go in the winter, but anytime of year the area is just gorgeous. With cable cars taking you a big part of the way up into the mountains, getting to far off locations is much easier then almost anywhere in the world. Of course you will need to spend the night outdoors if you want to shoot sunrise and sunset from on high, but that makes it all the more fun.

The Needles Area, Utah

Much more challenging to get to and much less busy then Arches or Canyonlands, the Needles Area is a playground for photographers, hikers and off roaders that have the ability explore the area. You can either hike or go off road if you have a 4WD. There are great views of the red rock formations with the La Sal Range in the distance making for great photo opportunities. If you have a good off road vehicle take Elephant Hill out towards the south entrance of the park. There is permit camping and a ton to explore and photograph.

Honorable Mention:

Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado

Much less well know then famous Rocky Mountain National Park to the north, the Indian Peaks Wilderness area is no less beautiful. The Indian Peaks area offers a great range of hiking and backpacking options from easy day hikes to serious backpacking and climbing. Some of the long hikes can be challenging and brutal even for serious hikers, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Many of the high mountain lakes and secluded valleys will be empty at sunrise making it a great outdoor experience.