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When you’re visiting a place that millions of people have gone before, it’s always tempting to recreate ‘that shot’ we’ve all seen on our social feeds. But with the help of Sony’s latest flagship smartphone, Xperia 1, we captured some incredible, unusual images in the historic city of Venice.

Skipping Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco in favour of quiet backstreets and beautiful winding canals, we put Xperia 1’s remarkable triple camera through its paces to capture shots that are identifiably Venice while looking new and different.

Of course, the camera’s bright aperture and large pixel pitch can be relied upon to give you a helping hand in taking shots that attract plenty of Instagram likes – even in challenging low-light situations – but we’ve got some more handy tips for the budding travel photographers among you.

Choose your mood

The Cinema Pro app pre-installed on Xperia 1 not only allows you to capture professional-quality video, it also offers the chance to take still shots in glorious 21:9.

Using different ‘look’ colour settings, you can shoot imagery in your preferred mood. We took these identical shots in the ‘Cool Blue’ and ‘Venice’ settings – the former creates an almost sci-fi appearance, while the latter offers brightness and warmth.

Move Xperia 1 from head height

Most people shoot with the camera held directly in front of them at head height. Make your images look different by putting your Xperia 1 at low or high angles. This simple trick will make your images already look different from everyone else’s.

Use background defocus

Blurring a background, bokeh effect, is great for taking portrait images, but that’s not all it’s good for. Set it to maximum and try focusing on different parts of the image to create depth. It can be used creatively to reveal or hide different parts of the image.

Set yourself a project

Try shooting only with the wide angle or telephoto lenses for a day and see how it changes the type of images that you take. Or set yourself another challenge such as only shooting images above head height or from just above the ground.

In this series of images, shot by Mobile Photography Award-winner Dominika Koszowska, you can see the advantages of ‘looking up’ to capture the perfect shot.

Crop your images to frame your shot

Using the Xperia 1, with its RAW noise reduction inspired by Sony’s Alpha cameras, you can capture lots of detail in stunning clarity. But sometimes, it’s a good idea to edit your shots to frame them in clever ways.

Here, Dominika visited the island of Burano, where the streets are full of colourful houses abundant in character. By focusing on individual windows and doorways, she captured stunning shots.

Play and experiment

With a powerful triple camera system, Xperia 1 allows you to play around with your images. Use the cameras, use your feet, move around and experiment. You will soon find you develop your own style. Below, Dominika captured land, sea and air by finding the perfect vantage point.

Look out for patterns

When capturing architectural shots, look out for patterns in doorways, arches and the small details of each building. Often this is more effective than presenting your followers with a shot of the building as a whole.

Still on the lookout for more inspiration? Check out what happened when we took our Xperia smartphones to Barcelona and London.