Planning a trip to some truly photogenic territory? Here are a few tips for taking photos that will make your Facebook friends and Instagram followers wish they were there.

Practice makes perfect

Take the time to learn the different features and functions of your specific camera, then practice a LOT. Take photos of your family and pets and set up practice photoshoots in the backyard or around your local area. This will give you the confidence and know-how to take a great shot when the opportunity arises on your travels.

Don’t over-edit

It can be really tempting to over-edit photos in an app or editing program, but try to keep things natural. If you use your camera correctly, you shouldn’t really need to edit a photo. Keep your images real and relatable by minimising editing and letting the natural beauty shine through.

Rule of thirds

Use the rule of thirds to make sure your photo is balanced and the eye is drawn to the important parts of the shot. The rule of thirds is based on placing the interesting points of the subject in the intersections or along the lines of a 9 square grid (the grid you see in Instagram).

This means your photo is balanced and easier for people to interact with, based on the idea people’s eyes generally fall to the (invisible) intersection points, rather than the centre of an image. In short, it makes it easier for people to view your photo and it makes it naturally more appealing to the eye.

Wait for the golden hour

The best time to take photographs is when the sun is soft and golden, making for beautiful photos with a magical glow to them. This time of day is known as ‘the golden hour,’ and it happens at sunrise and sunset. Get up early or head out just before sunset to get photos that are naturally beautiful and glowing with natural, golden light.

Try nighttime shots

Learn how to control your camera’s exposure time, leaving the shutter open for longer and letting in a lot of light. This can make for some absolutely amazing photos of a city at night. The lights will glow bright against the darkness, making it seem other-worldly.

Think outside the box

Don’t just take the same photo everyone else takes, look for a new angle and push the boundaries. Try to see something from a new perspective or take the photo from up high or down low. It’ll give your photo a point of difference and make it stand out. Constantly look for new ways to capture a place, challenge the process of regular photography and push the envelope! The beauty of digital cameras is you can always delete the photos that didn’t work out.

Ask the locals for tips

Make friends with the locals of the place you’re visiting and ask them where the best views or hidden spots of their city are. Chances are you’ll find a photography spot nobody else knows about and get some amazing photographs to boot!

Quality equipment

Using a really good camera and lens make a huge difference to taking great photos. When you’re travelling you can’t afford to miss a great photo opportunity or you may not get a second chance, so investing in a DSLR is really worth it. Saving up for a high-quality camera, rather than buying a quick, cheap and easy digital camera, is worth the wait and you may be able to take advantage of duty-free to claim tax back at the airport if you buy overseas.