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How to take Instagram photos that’ll get the ‘double-tap’

You’ll find swoon-worthy Instagram photos at nearly every turn in #ThisIsQueensland. But, having a good eye for photography can literally make all the difference (and ramp up those ‘Gram hearts).

So, we asked 16 Instagrammers and Influencers to spill the beans and share how they’ve captured (and edited) some of their best Queensland shots.

Grab your notebooks shutterbugs, class is in session.

#1 Snap-for-snap on Lady Elliot Island

Turtle at Lady Elliot Island | How to take Instagram photos that'll get the double tap

Photo by @_markfitz

Location: Lady Elliot Island, Southern Great Barrier Reef
Instagrammer: @_markfitz
Time of day: Midday
Photography equipment used: Olympus R-M1 Mark II, Olympus 7-14mm PRO lens with an Olympus housing and dome port.
Editing process: Minimum editing was required in Adobe Lightroom to straighten the horizon and brighten the image.

Lady Elliot Island is renowned for its vibrant marine life, especially in the lagoon. On a day trip, @_markfitz caught this little fella on his way to the surface. Luckily for the photographer, the turtle was close to the shoreline, providing a nice backdrop of the island.

Permits aren’t required at Lady Elliot Island. But, be mindful that the turtles and other marine life are wild and in their natural habitat. So, please don’t spook them by trying to get too close. If you’re lucky, they’ll come to you (like this little guy did).

Psst! Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Lady Elliot Island and eight reasons why you need to visit her sandy shores (and luscious reef).

#2 Spectacular sunset in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Wild Horse Lookout Sunshine Coast | How to take Instagram photos that'll get the double tap

Photo by @bestjobers

Location: Wild Horse Mountain, Sunshine Coast
Instagrammer: @bestjobers
Time of day: Sunset
Photography equipment used: Nikon D850
Editing process: Photos were shot in raw and edited in Adobe Lightroom. For this particular shot, a VSCO filter was applied and customised.

Glass House Mountains Sunshine Coast | How to take Instagram photos that'll get the double tap

Photo by @swaller4

Location: Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast
Instagrammer: @swaller4
Time of day: Sunset
Photography equipment used: DJI Mavic Pro (Drone)
Editing process: Two shots were blended together to make this epic photo. One for the sky and the other for the foreground, exposing the car. The images were stacked in Photoshop and then blended.

Location: Mount Ngungun, Sunshine Coast
Instagrammer: @adventurewithemily
Time of day: Sunset
Photography equipment used: Sony a7R with a Sony 16-35mm F4 Lens
Editing process: Using Adobe Lightroom, this shot was edited from scratch to create the photographer’s vision.

After exploring the Sunshine Coast for a few days, Elisa and Max (@bestjobers) ventured up Wild Horse Mountain to watch the sunset and capture the perfect shot for their souvenir.

@swaller4 scouted several locations on Google Maps and attempted to drone in each of them before finding the right road (pictured). Turns out, the leading lines of the pine trees created a perfect subject matter that framed the car nicely.

Using a small wireless remote, @adventurewithemily shot an incredible sunset self-portrait at Mount Ngungun.

Tip: The key to these epic shots is the fact that there’s not another person (or vehicle) pictured. It brings forth an exclusive feel.

Psst! If you’re keen to practice your photo skills on the Glass House Mountains, here’s everything you need to know about the family of mountains.

#3 Go nuts for coconuts in Tropical North Queensland

Thala Beach Reserve Tropical North Queensland | How to take Instagram photos that'll get the double tap

Photo by @_aswewander

Location: Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Tropical North Queensland
Instagrammer: @_aswewander
Time of day: Brunch (11am)
Photography equipment used: DJI Mavic Pro (Drone)
Editing process: The greens were enhanced in Adobe Lightroom to really make them pop.

Road tripping through Queensland means you’ll stumble on great photo opportunities. That was definitely the case for @_aswewander who were driving through Port Douglas to their next destination.

Stumbling upon Thala Beach Reserve, the pair knew right away that they needed to get their drone in the air and photograph the sea of palm trees. They didn’t need to venture far into the reserve either. Finding a little-unoccupied section, they sent their drone up and minutes later, this shot was captured.

Thala Beach Reserve has become a popular drone location and one that offers an easy win for beginners. Launch your drone at these other locations if you want more sweet aerials.

#4 a teal oasis in Outback Queensland

Boodjamulla National Park Outback Queensland | How to take Instagram photos that'll get the double tap

Photo by @mitch.toft

Location: Boodjamulla National Park, Outback Queensland
Instagrammer: @mitch.toft
Time of day: Mid-morning (10am)
Photography equipment used: DJI Mavic Pro (Drone)
Editing software: Adobe Lightroom

The teal blue gorge in this shot isn’t the first thing you picture in your mind when folks say “Outback Queensland” but, it was indeed shot in the Outback.

@mitch.toft has pimped his Hilux into a camper and is exploring Australia state-by-state. During his Queensland stint, he discovered Boodjamulla National Park in the heart of Outback Queensland.

The striking reds of the rocky walls really bring forth the blue hue of the fresh stream that stretches through Lawn Hill. And, she isn’t the only gorge-ous site to see, here are six other gorges in Outback Queensland that are drone-worthy.

#5 Perfect beach sunrise on the Gold Coast

Snapper Rocks Gold Coast | How to take Instagram photos that'll get the double tap

Photo by @amyloubrowne

Location: Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast
Instagrammer: @amyloubrowne
Time of day: Sunrise
Photography equipment used: iPhone (yes way!)
Editing process: Used personally created presets in the Adobe Lightroom iPhone app.

The early bird gets the worm (and the best sunrise shot) if this pic is anything to go off. On a recent visit home to the Gold Coast, @amyloubrowne and her sister’s traditional sunrise hangout ended with this epic shot of fairy floss skies.

As @amyloubrowne recounts “we were just sitting there and all of a sudden, everything turned pink!” Now that’s perfect timing.

With nothing but her iPhone in hand, she quickly snagged this beautiful shot and edited it right there and then. Want your own sunrise shot? Here are a few spots along the Goldie.

#6 A whale of a tail in Hervey Bay

Whale Tale Hervey Bay | How to take Instagram photos that'll get the double tap

Photo by @photosbyfarr

Location: Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast
Instagrammer: @photosbyfarr
Time of day: Lunch (1pm)
Photography equipment used: Canon EOS 6D with Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens. F-stop f/8, exposure 1/1000 sec, ISO-250 and focal length 190mm.
Editing process: WiFi’d the shot from camera to Samsung Note 8 and tweaked the photo slightly in the Snapseed App before posting to Instagram.

From June to November, humpback whales swim up the coast of Queensland giving budding and expert photographers the chance to photograph these graceful giants on their migration.

@photosbyfarr used her personal leave wisely and booked a day trip with Blue Dolphin Marine Tours, departing from Hervey Bay. The result? This epic shot. In fact, she almost missed lunch because “whale watching trumped eating.”

And, who can blame her? This experience is once-in-a-lifetime and the shots you get are purely dependant on how playful your models (the whales) are.

Psst! Here’s everything you need to know about whale watching in Hervey Bay. You’re welcome.

#7 Shipwreck envy at Magnetic Island

Location: Magnetic Island, Townsville
Instagrammer: @ghislain_fave
Time of day: Midday
Photography equipment used: DJI Mavic Pro (Drone)
Editing software: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom

This, friends, is the wreck of the passenger ship known as the City of Adelaide. She was constructed in 1864 and converted into a coal storage vessel in 1902.

The City of Adelaide was then sold with the plan to refit her as accommodation for tourists, but she ran aground in Cockle Bay. Today, she’s a sight for sore eyes and a bucket-list item for drone photographers.

After a two-day family adventure on Magnetic Island, @ghislain_fave captured this aerial of the shipwreck before having lunch at Picnic Bay.

#8 Spotting turtles at Heron Island

Turtle at Heron Island | How to take Instagram photos that'll get the double tap

Photo by @jamesvodicka

Location: Heron Island, Southern Great Barrier Reef
Instagrammer: @jamesvodicka
Time of day: Afternoon
Photography equipment used: DJI Mavic Pro (Drone)
Editing process: Minor editing required to fix light levels and colour correct in Adobe Lightroom.

Whilst on a shoot for Heron Island Resort, a guest spotted this little dude cruising in the shallows. Taking this opportunity, @jamesvodicka got his drone in the air and followed the turtle capturing this shot and some footage before it disappeared into the deep blue.

As he was on a paid photoshoot, @jamesvodicka didn’t need permits to fly his Mavic Pro. Although drones are allowed to fly over the reef of Heron Island, it’s best to speak to the resort before filming on the island.

Need more time to drone? Here’s how you can spend a long weekend on Heron Island.

#9 Roads that lead to hidden beaches in Tropical North Queensland

Location: Etty Bay, Tropical North Queensland
Instagrammer: @conormoorephotography
Time of day: Morning (8am)
Photography equipment used: DJI Mavic Pro with Freewell ND8/CPL Filter
Editing process: Simple exposure adjustments were made in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Some colour correction was made to the water and the highlights on the palm trees and sand were dodged.

Etty Bay is one of the best places to spot cassowaries in Queensland. It’s some 50km north of Mission Beach and is home to a relaxed coastal village.

So, it’s no wonder why @conomoorephotography visits often to unwind and photograph cassowaries. This particular morning, Conor decided to bring his trusty DJI Mavic Pro with him and was surprised at how the road was such a contrast to the rainforest.

Not wasting the opportunity, he took the pic, despite the heavy clouds. There are no restrictions of drone use at Etty Bay apart from the standard flight restrictions of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (flight limited to 120m).

#10 Insane 360 in the Whitsundays

Location: Sailing in The Whitsundays
Instagrammer: @guillaumecornetfilms
Time of day: Late morning
Photography equipment used: 360 camera (GoPro Fusion)
Editing process: The shot was first stitched and framed via the GoPro Fusion Software (stitching 2 pictures into a sphere). After exporting a hi-res file, the colours were edited in Adobe Lightroom.

Sailing the Whitsundays is an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a skilled sailor or a bareboat beginner, you’ll be able to captain your ship and explore the tropical Whitsunday Islands.

@guillaumecornetfilms was wrapping up a photoshoot and had some free time up his sleeve. So, he decided to play with his 360 Camera. After some stitching and editing, the result was this epic shot of him standing at the stern of his private yacht.

Have you ever been bareboating in the Whitsundays? Well, here’s everything you need to know before you set sail on your own adventure.

#11 Sunflares in Tropical North Queensland

Secluded beach in Tropical North Queensland | How to take Instagram photos that'll get the double tap

Photo by @aero.aus

Location: Tropical North Queensland
Instagrammer: @aero.aus
Time of day: Sunrise
Photography equipment used: DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Editing software: Adobe Lightroom

Tropical North Queensland is abundant with exclusive beaches along its coastline. And, you can pitch a tent at most of them.

For @aero.aus and his wife who are travelling around Australia in a home-built camper van, they decided to overnight at a secluded beach and woke up to an incredible sunrise. Sending their drone up, they were able to catch this sunflare action.

@aero.aus uses an app called “Can I Fly There” to check for drone restrictions and this beach had no restrictions according to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Looking for the best places to pitch your tent in Tropical North Queensland? Check out these camp spots (fires-allowed).

#12 Wrecks-a-plenty at Moreton Island

Location: Moreton Island, Brisbane
Instagrammer: @danielrockyryan
Time of day: Morning
Photography equipment used: DJI Mavic Pro (Drone)
Editing process: A quick 5-minute edit using Adobe Lightroom.

Personal drones are permitted to fly around the Tangalooma Wrecks between 8am and 5pm, giving newbies and experienced aerial photographers the chance to shoot the 15 wrecks which make up the man-made reef eco system.

From above the wrecks are a spectacular contrast to their surrounding blue waters. And from below, they’ve created a haven for fish and marine life.

On a three-day holiday with his family, @danielrockyryan was on a mission to see the wrecks IRL and capture them on his first and only drone. Sending it up just after sunrise, he was able to snag this epic shot to commemorate his first time to Tangalooma.

Have you seen the Tangalooma Wrecks up close? Here’s seven photos that will make you want to visit them stat.

#13 Wallabies at sunrise in Cape Hillsborough

Wallabies at Cape Hillsborough | How to take Instagram photos that'll get the double tap

Photo by @wanderreds

Location: Cape Hillsborough, Mackay Region
Instagrammer: @wanderreds
Time of day: Sunrise
Photography equipment used: Sony A7RII and 16-35mm F4 Lens
Editing process: Used Adobe Lightroom to clear the shadows and add some contrast to make the wallabies pop.

Nothing is more Aussie than seeing a wallaby or kangaroo up close and personal. And, you can find both types of macropods feeding on the shoreline of Cape Hillsborough in the early hours of the morning.

Luckily for @wanderreds who was road-tripping through Queensland and Northern Territory, part of his 900km journey included a stay at Cape Hillsborough. And, he was able to spend the morning with our natural mascots.

Need more tips on how to get the best “wallabies at dawn” photo? Check out this handy guide.

Tips to get more eyeballs (and double-taps) on your Insta shots

  • Ensure your Instagram account is public.
  • Use the right hashtags. (Use #thisisqueensland so that we can share your best shots).
  • Tag like a mofo. Don’t hold back, tag relevant accounts including us via @queensland.
  • Write interesting captions. Tell us more about your epic shot.
  • Engage with your followers.

Are you a social influencer or Instagrammer? Show us your best Queensland shots by tagging #thisisqueensland.