Photo tips and hacks for the 12 Apostles Coast and Hinterland

Photo tips and hacks for the 12 Apostles Coast and Hinterland

Sure we can frame a shot and have a good eye for light but beyond that our photographic skills are fairly limited. If anyone asked us (and no-one has) We would tell them that the best equipment purchase we ever bought was an armband for our council supplied iPhone.

Smartphones have revolutionised photography both as an accessible medium and also as a conduit to connect directly to upload images to social media. We run, ride, paddle, swim and walk this wonderful region most days of the week and having an armband for our phone and a waterproof case means that we always have our phone with us. The rest just happens!

Are we good photographers? Well we are not bad but mostly we are just lucky people that get to wave their phone at the wonder that surrounds us.

So what are our top tips to capture a great image with a smartphone?

  • Pay attention to the rule of thirds it really works
  • Play with the tilt of your phone a smartphone only has a small lens. Tilting and turning your phone just a few degrees can completely change the way light enters the lens and transform a photo.
  • Play around with where the centre of focus of your shot is (tap the screen in a different spot and the exposure and look and feel of your shot will change completely)
  • Choose your times, best times for photography in Port Campbell National Park are in the 3 hours after sunrise and in the 1.5 hours up to sunset. Shoot west in the mornings and east in the late afternoon to capture colour and detail on the sea stacks (Apostles)
  • Completely ignore the previous suggestion because magic moments can happen at any time just have your phone at the ready.
  • Look for foreground detail and texture to improve depth of field get down low (no wonder kids have all the fun it’s pretty spectacular down there)
  • Use HDR mode on the camera for more realistic light grading, depth of field and definition but go easy on the edit coz nature knows best.
  • Spend some time in beautiful places and look (like really look) at the beauty that surrounds us. Let your photography change the way you view the world

Why not follow our social channels and join us on live crosses from all of our favourite locations? Ask a question, request a different location and control the camera as we explore the region sharing our favourite spots and compositions. We go live on Facebook, Instagram occasionally on YouTube and have been known to pull out the odd selfie for Tiktok . Joining in a live video is a good way to build excitement and familiarise yourselves with opportunities before you arrive.

Ethical photography: None of the photos we take or feature are taken over safety barriers and all locations are generally accessible on level signposted pathways. Lean, reach, get up on your tippy toes and get down low to be creative but please stick to designated walkways to protect our delicate clifftop ecology and shoot and post responsibly.

Equipment used

  • iPhone 15 Pro Max April 2024
  • Retired: iPhone 6 with lifeproof case and modular pieces for bike/running arm band
  • iPhone XS arrived with lifeproof case and accessories handed over to the wonderful Nina September 2022
  • iPhone 13 pro arrived with lifeproof case and accessories September 2022
  • Gorillapod tripod (good for time lapses and action selfies)
  • Gorillapod jaws mount (Timelapse here we come:) arrived August 2019
  • Retired: Go Pro Hero 3+ used with Telesin 6″ dome port (still using dome port with old camera)
  • Go Pro Hero 7 arrived August 2019
  • Retired: Ricoh Theta 360 camera
  • Nikon Coolpix p520
  • Insta 360 one R August 2020 thankyou GORRT (Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism)
  • Super selfie stick  Yeeeeeehah November 2020
  • Zhiyun smooth Q smartphone gimbal August 2019

Apps used for content creation 

  • Insta 360
  • Strava
  • Relive
  • GoPro Quick
  • Hyperlapse
  • Imovie

Main forums to see our photos and videos


Accommodation Nearby

Surf View Beach House

Port Campbell


Port Campbell

Ocean View Getaway

Port Campbell

13th Apostle Accommodation


Things To Do Nearby

Places To Eat & Drink

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.