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 pull out their passports.
Expedia.com.au marketing and communications manager Amee Evans said it was remarkable how many holidays were booked as a result of the envy created by someone else's holiday slideshow.
To help Aussie travellers take the sorts of photos that will inspire their friends to book a seat on the next flight, Expedia.com.au sought advice from Australian Geographic deputy editor John Pickrell.
Mr Pickrell believes anyone can take that awe-inspiring shot if they remember the following five steps when taking aim at any time:
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 until 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."