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How to take the perfect photo

by Sydney Bear, The Sebel Host | November 3, 2017

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take the perfect travel photo. Whether you’re working with a DSLR camera or a smartphone, anyone can learn how to capture their adventures.

Apart from allowing you to share your experiences with friends and family (and give them some serious travel envy), photos are important for the memories they represent. Try these simple tips to master the art of travel photography.

The Basics

Like any skill, photography takes a little practice. If you’re new to taking travel photos, it’s best to start with the basics. The next time you go travelling, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Stabilise your camera. Regardless of how beautiful your surroundings are, photos with wonky angles never look quite right. If you’re trying to capture a landscape, use the horizon to line up your shot.
  • Stop moving. Avoid taking blurry photos by staying as still as possible. Use a tripod if you have one handy, or hold your camera steady with both hands.
  • If you’re working with a DSLR camera, experiment with the manual settings. It may seem like the easier option, but auto mode can limit your abilities.


Understanding photo composition can transform your travel photos from ordinary to amazing. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to capture a glittering city skyline or the countryside – these recommendations can be applied to any setting.


The human eye loves patterns. From the symmetry of modern architecture to tide marks on a beach, shapes that complement each other have a way of enhancing photos. If you’re planning to visit any famous landmarks, focusing on patterns can help you avoid ending up with the same generic image as everyone else.

Take the Sydney Harbour Bridge, for example: highlighting patterns in the bridge’s structure will make it look even more beautiful in your photos. Learning to make the most of patterns can take time, but the results are worth it.

The Rule of Thirds

This basic photography principle is easy enough to understand, but is often forgotten. To put it into practice, simply divide your image into 3 sections (either horizontally or vertically), then ensure each section features a key compositional element, such as a building, car or person. Many cameras and iPhones come with a function that allows you to place a grid over the screen, so you can see where your thirds start and finish.

Placing an object at intersecting points of the grid will draw the viewer’s eye, allowing you to create a focal point. When taking photos outside, use the scenery to fill your thirds, with the landscape taking up two-thirds and the sky taking up one-third, or vice versa.

Foreground and Background

Failing to distinguish between the foreground and background of a shot can make it look two-dimensional. To create the illusion of depth, be sure to add scale to your images, so that viewers can judge size and distance more easily. For example, if you’re capturing a large and majestic mountain, frame it in a way that highlights its size and features. Aim to capture a bit of the magic you’re experiencing as you see it through your own eyes. Including people, cars or inanimate objects in the shot can give an image scale without distracting from the subject matter.

Tell a Story

Australia is home to some of the most photogenic locations in the world. Each place tells a different story, but it takes a certain level of skill to capture that story on camera. Taking the time to set up your shots carefully will ensure your pictures are worth a thousand words.

Rather than snapping away at anything that catches your eye, find visual elements that capture the essence of your destination – whether it’s the beach, a rainforest or a bustling city street.

Food Photography

Everyone shares photos of their food on Instagram and Facebook these days, but making your meals look amazing on camera is harder than it looks. To make your photos stand out, experiment with different angles. Try taking an aerial shot of your food, or a front-on shot. You may find that different angles work for different types of cuisine – a pizza may look amazing from above, but a cake might look better from the front.

Including napkins, cutlery and drinks in the shot can help make it more colourful and eye-catching.

Are you ready to start snapping away? Even if you find travel photography difficult at first, practice makes perfect!

After a long day of sightseeing and practising your photography skills, you’ll need somewhere comfortable to stay. To find accommodation for your next trip away (and excellent last-minute hotel deals), contact The Sebel Hotels & Apartments today.


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