My Favorite Photos of 2013

For me 2013 was a pretty great travel year, especially since I further honed my meager photography skills. I don’t know what I’d do without my photos; they help me recall truly remarkable adventures and moments in time. I decided to take a look back at the last year and share with you all a few of my favorite photos from 2013 and why they mean so much to me.

hike Antarctica

Antarctica was a special trip for me. It was an adventure in every sense of the word and while it may have not been comfortable at all times, that was part of the fun. Of the thousands of pictures I took, I especially like this one because it shows the scale of the icy 7th continent. Pictured here are two shipmates of mine on top of a massive hill overlooking the bay below. Everything in Antarctica is massive in scale, it humbles you and makes you appreciate just how awesome (in the pure sense) it really is. The pink streaks pictured were left by penguins, they are penguin highways between the water and their nesting grounds.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Before visiting Dubrovnik, I just assumed it was another over-hyped destination. I quickly learned that every bit of hype was well earned. The ancient, walled Croatian city of Dubrovnik really is a magical place, and I hate using that word. As soon as you step inside, it feels more like a movie set than an actual place. I also understood why the Game of Thrones uses it for the show; the light, the buildings and everything has a fantastical, otherworldly quality. I only spent a couple of days there, but I would gladly return just to feel that special sensation again.


Ireland Cow

This picture of a lonely coastal cow in Ireland makes me smile every time I see it. Not only do I think it’s a nice photo, but it captures perfectly my time spent exploring the Wild Atlantic Way, a driving route along Ireland’s coast. It was my first time leaving Dublin and the beautiful country I met for the first time was extraordinary in every sense of the word. Ireland is incredibly green, with beautiful landscapes and warm-hearted people. It’s a country with which I fell madly in love and hope desperately to revisit one day.



I spent a lot of time in 2013 on or near the water, exploring coastal destinations and several Caribbean islands. This particular photo was taken while I was snorkeling in the Bahamas, but for me it exemplifies all of my tropical exploits in 2013. I had a great time not just diving into the warm waters, but exploring the cultures and traditions of many different islands, so similar yet so different at the same time. I gained a whole new respect for just how disparate these palm tree laden nations are and I loved every minute of that exploration.


Taiwan Rice Paddies

I added this photo because I think it’s pretty. It also reminds me of an extraordinary week spent in Taiwan, meeting a new country for the first time. I was guilty of never really considering a visit to Taiwan before I was hired by AFAR Magazine to visit so I could write an advertorial promoting the island. While it was my job to write nice things about it, I found myself quickly falling for Taiwan so that every word I wrote absolutely mirrors my honest affection for this sometimes over-looked nation.


perfect sunset

I was lucky to capture this photo in Båstad, Sweden. My partner and I had just sat down to eat dinner when I looked out the window and saw the most extraordinary sunset I think I’ve ever seen. The entire sky was an explosion of purple and I rushed out armed only with my iPhone and did the best I could. What resulted was this photo, one of my overall favorites and probably the best one I’ve ever taken with my phone.

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

12 thoughts on “My Favorite Photos of 2013”

  1. This is a great set of photos cause it shows some really diverse scenery and travels! I love the lilly pad one as well and never would have guessed it’s from Taiwan. Happy New Year!

  2. Stunning photos Matt!
    I’d be curious to know with which cameras you took each of them (and, more generally, what you usully use in terms of gear and apps). I really enjoyed seeing your photos throughout the year on your blog. Keep up the amazing work, and here’s to another year of great travel adventures and more and more beautiful pictures!


    1. That’s extremely kind of you to say Catherine – thank you! I’m a low tech kind of photographer really. Now a days I use a Nikon D5100 with a Tamron 18×270 lens. But like I said in the post, that last shot was done with my phone and many older photos on my site were done with a point and shoot. I’m a big believer in learning whatever camera you have to the best of your ability. Over time you’ll start to get a better feel for composition, which can’t be replicated with a device. Oh, and as far as apps go I use Camera+ :) Safe travels!

  3. Lovely photos, Matt. I think the one from Taiwan is my favorite.

    And kudos to you for being able to narrow down your favorite shots! I was going to do a similar post, but simply couldn’t pick out just a handful of pictures. Like you said, my photos are my favorite souvenirs and memories!

    1. Thanks so much and you’re right, it was really hard :) It wasn’t just nice pictures though, the images had to have an emotional connection for me.

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