Well, I don't think you can. Paint the Grand Canyon from photos, that is, without first experiencing the canyon itself in person. I believe this is true with most things or places - people too.
In some cases painting on location is not possible, so you take as many photos as you can and... guess what? Your painting will have more, much more sense of being there than if you had never viewed your subject. This will not take the place of painting on location for some, but it will far exceed painting from photos your friends took on their recent trips.
I think the "art of being there" somehow gives you a different feel for a place than just painting from a photo
A Grand View
11" x 14"