Down south, the weather is generally warmer year-round and the landscapes tend to be more barren than dense with forests and undergrowth. The desert-like landscape stands in sharp contrast to the rest of the United States and presents a whole new set of pictures to take.  The cities themselves have a charm and quaintness that you won’t find elsewhere in the U.S.

Austin, Texas

Just hearing Austin’s motto of “Keep Austin Weird” will give you a solid idea of what to expect (or rather that you can’t reliably expect anything) within these city limits. There is a funky charm throughout this southern city where “laid-back” is a way of life and appreciation for the arts and creativity is at an all-time high. Admire the odd yard-art, chill out in any of the parks, visit for one of the two major music festivals, or catch a live show any night of the week. Photographers who enjoy taking pictures of musicians – behind-the-scenes or during performances – will love Austin, where famous artists live their lives during the day and take on stage personas as night falls.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Frenetic Mardi Gras, first-class food for every meal of the day, soulful jazz festivals and clubs…need we say more? New Orleans is a city of fun and good times as the unofficial motto states, “Laissez les bon temps rouler” or “Let the good times roll.” While the city is still rebuilding from the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, the joy and sinfully fun personality of New Orleans has persisted. Try taking photos of the famous Bourbon St, of jazz performers baring their hearts, or of piping hot plates of fresh beignets and you’ll get a taste of the true New Orleans that continuously draws tourists back and back again.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia is the bad-girl town of the south. While on the surface it looks like a perfectly composed southern belle with its impeccable mansions, Colonial public buildings and a perfectly preserved history, there is a different side of the city to be enjoyed as well. Savannah is the perfect combination of New Orleans’s love of rowdiness and partying with Charleston’s pride, grace and dignity. The local college keeps Savannah in touch with modern times and prevents it from growing too staid. Try taking one of the popular ghost tours by chauffeured house and learn about the city’s haunted history while snapping photos of the somewhat romantic, somewhat mysterious and captivating Spanish moss that adorns most trees throughout the city.

Tucson, Arizona

Pronounced “too-sawn”, this southern city is an attractive, fun-loving and youthful place to holiday. It is set in the middle of a flat valley that’s surrounded by odd-shaped mountains and rock formations. In the city you’ll find a culturally-diverse native scene that comes from a combination of Native American, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo influences. Try taking pictures of the colourful historic buildings downtown, or if you prefer to take pictures of nature, head out of town and keep your eyes open for giant cacti, watch the sunset over the Santa Catalina Mountains or just explore the surrounding desert. You’re sure to come back with a number of interesting, and uniquely-Tucson, photos.

The Grand Canyon, Arizona

You can’t talk about the south and photos without mentioning the Grand Canyon. No matter how often you’ve read about it or seen pictures of the deep valleys and steep cliffs, there’s nothing that can really prepare you for seeing the Grand Canyon in person. It’s one of the world’s seven natural wonders and the utter immensity of it, and the play of light off the walls, dips, and ridges is hard to peel your eyes from. If you’ve got a camera, you could spend an entire day here just trying to get the perfect picture.

If you’re taking the effort to capture amazing photos and to use the right equipment (even if it’s your smartphone), you will want to protect the devices and equipment against damage or potential loss during the long trip from Australia to the United States. With a comprehensive travel insurance policy, you won’t have to worry about your equipment and you can turn your focus back to the quirky towns, natural wonders, and scenic landscapes found throughout the South.

Image courtesy of Flickr user ritesh3