How to find photo spots with digital location scouting

Easily find new photo spots for your landscaphe photography from home. Read here how to find photo spots online.

Digital location scouting

Are you planning a photo trip but have never been there? So that you can explore and find the most photo spots at home, you need to get involved with digital location scouting.

How to find photo spots with the following platforms:

this is how digital location scouting works

Find photo spots (again)

But let’s start with a method that you can use to find your photo spots that you have already researched on the internet. You can use Excel, for example. The advantage of this method is that you can carry all your photo spots around with you offline. You can open and manage an Excel spreadsheet on your smartphone as well as on your PC.

So that you don’t lose the overview, you should create a separate table for each photo region and photo trip. Next to the table, a folder with sample photos of the respective photo spot is helpful. In the table, you can store the following information about the photo spots, for example:

  • Coordinates (GPS)
  • Example photo
  • Point of the compass for taking the photo
  • Weather phenomena (sunrise, blue hour,
  • polar lights, fog…)
  • Name of the location
  • Parking place coordinates
  • Walking time
  • Hiking route
  • (…)


This is all the information you will need on the spot during your trip. So think a lot about what information you might need to find the photo spots. Now it’s time to fill in the table.

How to find photo spots with VIEWFINDR

The easiest way is to use photo spots provided by the community in VIEWFINDR. The advantage of this is that you find all the information you need as a photographer in VIEWFINDR. You can immediately see where a photo spot is located, find many example photos and of course a direction in which the photo was taken.

We developed VIEWFINDR to exchange and share photo spots. This will save you a lot of time during the preparation of your trip. Of course, you are welcome to do some pioneering work and research your own photo spots.

find photo spots with viewfindr

How to find photo spots on photo platforms

In digital location scouting, you won’t find any completely new photo spots. At the latest since the camera phone, every aesthetic location that is easy to reach has already been photographed. It’s just that some places have never been captured in a photo with good light and good composition.

But you can make up for that. Many people share their photographs on platforms on the internet. One of them is Flickr, for example. On Flickr you can enter a search term. For example, if you search for “Lofoten”, you will see many photographs of Lofoten. Some photographers upload these photos with coordinates/GPS data to Flickr. You can therefore view the photos on a map.

If you find an interesting photo, you have to hope that it has GPS data, otherwise you are out of luck. If so, you can save the photo and enter all the information you need about it in your spreadsheet. With the help of Google Maps or Hiking Navis, you can take a look at the surroundings and research, for example, a car park and a hiking route.

find photo spots on flickr
searching for photo spots on flickr

Find photo spots with other photographers

Local photographers in a region you want to visit often have a wide range of local photo spots. If you write a nice email to photographers abroad, they will often give you the coordinates for the locations. What seems exotic to you personally is usually a well-known place in the local community. So as long as you don’t ask for a secret spot, the local photographer will help you find your photo spots.

We at VIEWFINDR have exactly this goal: local photographers share nature-safe photo spots in their region, making it easier for everyone to find photo spots, because at the end of the day, every photographer has one goal: to have fun with photography and not to spend ages researching on the internet.

Books and maps

Some photographers have recognised the need that many amateur photographers are always drawn to certain regions to do landscape photography. For this reason, there are entire books and maps available for purchase for many popular regions, such as the Alps, Iceland or Norway, which offer many suggestions to photographers who are not familiar with the area. With such books, it is possible to find photo spots and at the same time learn the visual language of a professional landscape photographer.

photo spot book
how to find photo spots with google street view

Find photo spots with Google Maps

Google Maps offers three different map layers: Satellite, Road and Terrain. In combination with these maps, you can discover possible interesting places that could be suitable for landscape photography: lakes, rivers, mountains, beaches, viewpoints…

For example, you can see if a lake is near a mountain peak by searching for lakes on the “terrain” layer and looking at whether there is a mountain peak next to it. If you are lucky, Google Maps will already have a photo of that lake. If you click on the name of certain “Points of Interest”, you can often discover photographs of that place and the surrounding area.

You can also see connections between points of the compass in your subject directly in Google Maps. This way you know in which compass direction you have to take a photo and can plan for it.

Another interesting function is Google Street View. With Google Street View, you can find a 360° view of the surroundings along important streets. For photo spots near the street, this is a great way to get an overview of the area.

searching for photo spots

Find photo spots on Instagram

This method requires a lot of patience, as there are very few people who leave an exact description on Instagram of where a particular photo spot is located. You start your search by searching for a specific hashtag. For example, “Tenerife”. You will then see a large collection of photographs that have all been tagged as #Tenerife. Now you have to check every single landscape photo that appeals to you visually.

Try to discover as much information as possible in the photo about where exactly on the island the photo could have been taken. Of course, you can also send a message to the account that published the photo and ask them to give you the coordinates, as you are in the process of finding photo spots.

find photo spots with instagram