5 Photography Tips + Top 10 Instagram Spots in Byron Bay
Pretty much everybody takes photos on their holidays. It’s just what you do to remember the fun you had, capture a time and place, document your adventures and, let’s be honest, possibly to post on social media to make all friends jealous.
However, even with the invention of the iPhone and other smartphones and the capacity of their cameras, it’s still hard to do a really great job snapping photos. The sun might be too much in a certain direction, do you use a flash or not, how to do you know if you should use landscape or horizon and even if you should consider taking yourself or other people out of the photo and just photographing what you see. (Crazy idea, right?!)
So we gathered together some top tips from pros to help you take the very best holiday photos you can, so you’ll never forget the amazing time you had. (And perhaps make you want to come back!)
Plus, keep reading for our top 10 Instagram spots in Byron Bay because we all know you were wondering!
1. Pick the right time of day
There’s a reason that sunrises and sunsets register as popular photo opps. Photographers call it the “golden hour,” the 30 minutes before and after sunrise or sunset. This timeframe typically gives you that extra whomp you want in your holiday pics—you’ll find warm tones and glowing light, giving you the perfect backdrop for an amazing photograph. Plus, the bonus? Oftentimes at sunrise, at least, you’ll find most places at quiet and free of tourists, so you’ll be able to set up your shot slowly and carefully.
2. Consider using the flash or white balance
During the day, most people wouldn’t think of using a flash. But professional photographers employ this technique in order to fill in dark shadows. However, you only want to use the flash for this during the day if you are up close and personal with your subject. The flash won’t extend much past the light source, so if you’re taking a photo of your kid or your partner on the beach and there’s a brilliant blue sky in the backdrop, that’s the time to try it. (Yes, it probably helps your selfies, too!)
If you are only using your iPhone to take photos, then this doesn’t really apply to you. However, for the more serious travel photographer, you could think about adjusting the white balance. It allows you to switch to different settings, such as auto, daylight, cloudy, shaded and more. The pros say the resulting photos will have improved colour tones.
3. Get creative (but not cluttered)
Don’t make the mistake of just snapping random photos of your kids playing in the ocean off in the distance, or a far way shot of someone hiking that later you won’t remember where or what you were doing. Instead, figure out the focus of the shot: Is it a beautiful waterfall? The wet sand with ocean waves rolling in? Your kids’ footprints in the sand? Your mate sitting looking out at the beautiful view?
It could even be something smaller, such as a flower, bird, your favorite meal or drink or, yes, a face that will then pop out of the photo at you. You’d be surprised how your more creative, non-traditional holiday photos might turn out to be your favourites.
Just keep in mind, you don’t want to overcrowd the photo — so one meal in the photo, not the whole table, for example.
4. Maybe not all selfies?
One of the tips we saw in our research more than once from the pros was to consider just taking photos of the environment, the sunset or even just the flower—without you in it. The onslaught of social media and handheld cameras (and those selfie sticks!) created an abundance of selfie holiday photos. However, there are times when a photograph of just what you see will capture the moment more perfectly than your head stuck in the middle of it.
5. Less is more
Professional photographers take tons and tons of photos when trying to capture a moment or image, but they certainly don’t share all of the images. So they suggest self editing, and keeping only one or two of each fun adventure or moment you have on your holiday. And that certainly applies to social media posting, too!
On to the fun stuff, our favourite Instagram-able spots in Byron Bay:
1. The Lighthouse
As the most iconic attraction in Byron Bay, the Cape Bryon Lighthouse stands out as the must-have holiday photograph on any trip here. The lighthouse, which sits at the most easterly point of the Australian mainland, was built around the turn of the 19th century, and the light, now automated, is visible at night from the main township of Byron Bay.
The best part about coming to the lighthouse, though, is the gorgeous views of both the ocean and the hinterland you’ll experience. Plus, visitors often catch sightings of turtles, dolphins and, during migration season, whales. Definitely worth of a selfie and/or snap for your Instagram account!
2. Main Beach
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It is almost required that while on holiday in Byron Bay that you make a pit stop at Main Beach. The location can’t be beat—a short stroll from the centre of town (in case you want to grab food for picnic on the way). Your camera might be on overdrive as you try to capture all the pictures opps.
Plus, if you and your family on holiday, check out Apex Park, just off the beach. Who doesn’t want a photo of your child on a swing with the beach and ocean as a backdrop? That’s a travel photo that deserves a place on the wall at home!
3. Top Shop
Known both for its excellent burgers and great coffee, The Top Shop is located along the way to the favourite surfing destination (and our next Instagram selection), The Pass. Check out the cute takeaway window—might need to snap a pic!—and be sure to take a wide shot so you can see the beach off in the distance as well. It’s a win-win for you with a stop for great food and another stop on your Instagram tour.
4. The Pass
A favourite (and famous) surfing destination, The Pass also is home to several excellent photo settings, such as the rock hill with stairs that goes all to the top. There you can view the beach from the top and capture some excellent photography. You can catch the trail here that heads up to the lighthouse, so you can hit up two to three Instagram stops in one day!
5. The Rails
Having a drink while on a holiday isn’t unheard of, but try grabbing it at a cool location like the Railway Friendly Bar, and you’ll surely want to take a picture (or more likely a selfie) to remember your stop here. It gets its name because visitors to the bar used to hear the sounds of the trains on the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line until the line ceased use.
Known locally as The Rails, this bar is classic and unique, with a rustic metal roof over the inside areas, but lots of outdoor areas too. Describing itself as the only bar in Australia to offer live music every night for over 30 years, it’s the perfect place to down a pint or two and add to your growing collection of travel photos.
6. Mt. Warning
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When we talk about “traditional country” we mean something beyond the dictionary meaning of the word. I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, the people, the nation and pay my respects the Elders of the land past and present. The climb to the top was worth the 2:30am start. What a morning. Can’t thank you enough @mikaylarosepope @_devdawson 🙌🏽 #mtwarningsummit #australia
About an hour from Broken Head Holiday Park in Wollumbin National Park is the 1,100m high Mt. Warning. Head here for a hike to the summit where you’ll be among the first to see sunshine in Australia. It will take you about two hours to get to the top (maybe more in the dark) and the last 250 metres is done by chain assist, but we promise the amazing 360 degree views are well worth sacrificing some sleep.
However, if you can’t make it up during those pre-dawn hours; don’t worry, you’ll still find magnificent views of the area that stretch from the Gold Coast to Byron Bay.
7. Brunswick Picture House
The Brunswick Picture House is the end result of a group who took the building (also called Brunswick Picture House), which had been abandoned for 30 years, and renovated it into a cool, vintage-looking film and entertainment venue.
The cool, hipster feel to the exterior (and interior) make a great selfie addition to your Instagram account of your Byron Bay holiday.
8. Minyon Falls
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Part of the World Heritage Nightcap National Park, Minyon Falls features a 100 metre waterfall that is well worth your time to visit. An excellent hike either to the top or from the top to the bottom, snapping a picture of the gorgeous waterfall will surely remind of the amazing sight and the fun you had visiting it.
9. Whites Beach
One of the great reasons to stay at Broken Head Holiday Park is its proximity to this next Instagram-worthy spot. Whites Beach has been dubbed one of Byron Bay’s (and even Australia’s) best kept secret beaches.
The secluded location helps keep its pristine sands and azure waters a local secret for generations, and it is the perfect place to escape the tourist crowds. Ask our staff for directions – but don’t tell anyone else how to get there!
10. The Wreck
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Where can you literally just wade into the ocean in crystal clear water, and snorkel around a ship wreck? The simply stunning and beautiful Byron Bay of course 🙌 🤙👌 #byronbay #gopro #goprokarma #goproanz #thewreckbyronbay #dronestagram @visitnsw . . . . #drone #dronephotography #dronelife #dronesdaily #goprooftheday #goprohero #goprolife #australia #nsw #australiagram #beach #ocean #travelgram #instaphoto #exploringaustralia #wanderlust #ig_discover_australia #seeaustralia #dronefly #aerial #aerialphotography #droneporn #droneofficial #shipwreck . . . @dronesclub @droneaddicts @dronebuds @drone.globe @drones.paradise @droneofficial @drone_countries @droneoftheday @dronenature @dronedudes @droneofficials @gameofdronez @gameofdrones @dronelifestyle @drones.of.earth
The Wreck, another of Byron Bay’s awesome surfing locations, is named after the wreck of the ship Wollongbar, which was blown out of the pier during a cyclone in 1922 and sank – parts of the wreck are still visible, depending on the tide. Imagine catching one of those in a photo? Or try some fun photos on the rocks that lead down to the beach.
Yet another option is stopping by on a Sunday afternoon when a group of percussionists hang out and play music until the sun goes down.
Bring your camera and make memories at Broken Head
Don’t stop snapping photos now! You’ll want to capture the beautiful beach just off your camping site at Broken Head Holiday Park, and you’ll enjoy the facilities, as well as the reasonable pricing on accommodation. So, check out our location, and then book your stay here to start ticking off your holiday photo bucket list.