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Photographers Guide to the Yarra Valley

two empty wine glasses with tree-covered landscape behind them

With the help of Go West guide Chris R (aka @budgewana) who is an avid photographer, we have put together a Photographers Guide to the Yarra Valley. Whether you are a seasoned professional, or just getting started, we hope you can find some useful tips and suggestions for capturing the incredible local produce of this foodies’ paradise.

Food and wine

While the Yarra Valley is a world-renowned wine growing region, wine is only half the story of this gourmet wonderland. No tour is complete without tasting the very best of the local wines, and local produce. This also means you have an incredible array of opportunities to practice your food and wine photography.

Our top wine tips:

  • The colour contrast of a red wine, or even a rose, generally works best for photos
  • Use reflections from the wine glass to capture other elements in your photo
  • Try different angles, including close ups to remove unwanted objects from the background
  • Don’t hesitate in setting up your photo; grab the wine glass and go outside, set it up with food or produce in the background, or ask someone to hold it for you
  • Take photos or the packaging and/or labelling of bottles, this provides a great contrast and tells a story long with the wine itself

Our top food tips:

  • For food photos, include the plates and table settings in your photos, this sets the scene for the meal instead of just a close up of the dish
  • Using different filters, either when taking the photo or adding them later, can really highlight the dish/product and draw viewers’ eyes to the focus of the photo
  • Once again, look for colourful and eye-catching labels on the food and produce, not just the product itself

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The Yarra Valley is a cool-climate wine growing region, with over 80 vineyards stretched across rolling hills, and a stunning backdrop of mountain ranges. Visit the vineyards gives endless opportunities to capture the vines, stunning gardens, and surrounding views. Capture the lush greens, growing grapes and blooming flower beds in summer, or the changing leaves and vivid hues in autumn. Really this is just an excuse to come back and visit many times over!

Our top tips:

  • Look for ways to frame your photos; maybe through the vines, through a wine glass, or in a garden with overhanging trees
  • Use the lines on the landscape; the planted vines or rows of trees can create great angles and draw the viewers’ eyes deeper into the photograph
  • Research what time of the year is best; as mentioned above, summer and autumn provide a lot of colour and great detail for photographer in photos
  • Look for details that you can juxtapose with the surrounding landscape; a wine glass, grapes growing, flowers blooming, artwork or farm equipment, animals – or of course friends and family!

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Smart phone or Camera?

There are great opportunities for capturing photos in the Yarra Valley on both your smart phone and with a camera. You might like to consider the filters and the flexibility that a smart phone can provide, or bring along your camera to set up some great shots which you can edit later.

Camera tips

  • For beginners, remember the basics such as using the grid for the rule of thirds and straight horizons when capturing the scenery
  • For food and wine, try to get something else in the photo as well as the subject to give some depth and perspective
  • Remember that taking the time to set up you photo will give you the best results

Smart phone tips

  • Play around with the features on your particular phone – use the grid, lock in contrast and test out the full range of after-effects
  • Particularly for food, produce and wine shots, experiment with the filters that you can add immediately after taking the photo, to really draw attention to the subject

If you found this photographers guide to the Yarra Valley useful, please share it with others!


And if you are inspired to visit this fantastic region, come and join us on a Yarra Valley Gourmet Tour – where not only will you get endless photo opportunities, but you’ll also be able to indulge in the delicious food and wine from local producers.

Check out the tour itinerary here!

To see more of Chris’ fantastic photography, follow @budgewana on Instagram

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