We want to hero the award-winning professional photographers that join every Aurora Expeditions voyage as part of the Expedition Team. Our expert photographers are an integral part of each expedition because they help our passengers to leave with more than just memories. Whether you’re a smart phone user or a semi-professional shooter, take your photography to the next level by learning photography tips from the world’s best!

Aurora Expeditions photographer Scott has shared 10 photography tips and basic rules, which will help you refine your composition, mood and visual communication, to guide your audience, friends and followers through your images.

Scott Portelli

Photography Guide

Scott has had a camera in his hand since he was a teenager, always ready to document the world and educate people. He worked in advertising and marketing until he was awarded BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Sony World Photography Award in 2015. This pivotal moment allowed him to pursue his passion. He is now credited with being one of the world’s best wildlife and landscape photographers, specialising in underwater and aerial photography. He has spent over a decade working in the polar regions and is a regular photography guide with Aurora Expeditions. Scott is also a polar SCUBA diver and Zodiac driver who is ready to jump into anything.  

Scott's 10 Photography Tips

1. Rule of Thirds​

The rule of thirds divides an image into nine quadrants. This allows you to place the subject into the areas of the composition to give a natural balance to an image.

2. Leading Lines

When we look at a photograph our eyes naturally guide us through an image. Leading lines help draw the viewer towards important elements or focus on the main subject.

3. Balance

Placing a subject off centre can create a more interesting image but can leave the image empty on one side. Place a subject of lesser importance in the background will balance your image.

4. Framing

Using natural elements to frame your subject will isolate the main point of interest and create a more prominent drawing your eye to the focus of the composition.

5. Point of View

The viewpoint of an image can affect the message or what the subject matter conveys. Shoot your subject from multiple positions. Ground level, high above and at a distance.

6. Depth of Field

Depth of field refresh the subject in the foreground and background that is in focus. The sharpness is usually on the key subject and the background focus varies creating a shallow depth of field.

7. Symmetry and Patterns

Patterns and Symmetry are visually appealing elements in a composition. Natural lines create symmetry while patterns suggest balance and harmony, especially when they are unexpected.

8. Negative Space​

Creating negative space in an image can give a sense of place and make the subject matter stand out. The empty space should enhance the composition without making it confusing or off balance.

9. Fill the Frame

A tight crop or placing the subject within the entire frame eliminates the background noise and helps the viewer focus on the smaller details of the subject, like expression, markings and subject reflections.

10. Moving Subject

With moving subjects, you want to leave space to give the subject somewhere to go. The subject should not look like they are exiting the scene. He human eye will try to anticipate the path of the subject.

Learn more about our photography program

Photography Mini Brochure​

With a Photography Guide on each expedition, every expeditioner from smartphone user to semi-professional shooter can benefit from our experts’ deep professional knowledge. Find out more in our Photography Mini Brochure.


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