Aussies see travel pics as prompt to pack and go

 Expedia shows how to take travel-inspiring photos

What do images of blue waters in Santorini, sunsets in Hawaii and snow-capped landscapes in Patagonia have in common?  They all inspire travel, and as digital camera technology develops, more Australians are inadvertently encouraging friends and family to dust off their passports and explore foreign lands.

As Australians wheel back into their desks for another year of work, breathtaking travel photos are likely to provide the inspiration to book our next holidays sooner rather than later, according to

Amee Evans, Marketing and Communications Manager of, says:

"We've always been told 'a picture is worth a thousand words', yet it's remarkable just how many holidays are booked on the basis of a single photo."

"The 'holiday slideshow' is rapidly becoming an opportunity for all returning travellers to showcase their budding photography skills at the envy of those looking on, and we're finding more and more people booking holidays are doing so because they've seen a location photo and want that experience for themselves." has sought advice from John Pickrell, the deputy editor of Australian Geographic*, to help Aussie travellers take the sorts of photos that will inspire their friends to book a seat on the next flight.

"Camera technology has come a long way in recent decades and now even the most inexperienced photographers can capture travel moments similar to the professionals," Mr Pickrell said.

Mr Pickrell believes anyone can take that awe-inspiring shot – they simply need to remember the following five steps when taking aim:

Subject: "With a digital camera it's easy to fire off shots of everything you see, but when you post the pictures to Facebook or Flickr, people don't want to trawl through hundreds of photos. Think quality over quantity. Look for beautiful things to photograph: bright colours, unusual scenes and striking landscapes. Think about whether what you're seeing with the naked eye is the kind of thing that will translate well to a photo or not."

Lighting: "Have a think about the light conditions when you're taking your holiday snaps. If it's a clear day, then dawn, dusk and the hours thereabouts provide some of the best light conditions for outdoor photography – be it landscapes, people or wildlife. Your subjects are likely to be bathed in a nice orange glow and you'll get much more interesting detail in the pictures at these hours of day."
Positioning: "Don't always have the subject of the photo bang in the middle of the frame. Split the viewfinder or screen into thirds both horizontally and vertically and try to get the subject two thirds of the way across or down – this is known as the rule of thirds."

Framing: "If you're shooting an object in the distance try to get something in the foreground that helps frame the edges of the picture – maybe some trees, the walls of an alleyway or a building. This helps to focus people on the subject of the photo and gives it a sense of depth and scale."

Focus: "Make sure you're focusing on the right thing in the frame! It can really help a photo to have additional elements either in the foreground or the background that are out of focus, to give it a bit of depth – but you want your subject to be crystal clear. Hold the camera steady and wait till it's focused properly before you take the shot. Take multiple shots of the same thing and delete the blurry ones later if you're not sure."

To help inspire all Australian travellers to share their best photo with the world, Expedia is running its Summer Stories competition until Sunday, 22 January 2012.  Successful entrants could have their best summer photo appear in an Expedia campaign next year.

People can enter simply by uploading their holiday snapshot and telling Expedia about their summer tale in 25 words or less on the Expedia Facebook page.  Three winners will be chosen out of the top five most voted for stories.  Winners will receive a travel voucher from Expedia and a big canvas print of their photo delivered to them.

* John Pickrell is the Deputy Editor of Australian Geographic magazine, which features some of the best photography in Australia. Find more detailed photography tips at Australian Geographic.


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