Better your chances of bagging the $25,000 grand prize by following these tips.

THE INTEL APPUP TRAVEL PHOTO CHALLENGE is giving away $40,000+ in custom vacations, gear, gift cards, and cash to a handful of exceptional travel photographers.

To enter, just register, download the free Intel AppUp software, and upload your favorite travel photo. Entries will be voted on by AppUp users, and the photo with the most votes on August 14 will win a $25,000 custom vacation for the photographer and three guests.

Second place earns $10,000, third $5,000, and simply entering the contest gets you a chance at the $500 weekly drawings. For more info, check out Photo contest: Win a $25,000 USD dream vacation in the AppUp Challenge.

And to improve your odds, follow these 4 tips straight from the MatadorU Travel Photography curriculum:

1. Incorporate action

The travel photographs that really work portray some sort of action.

It could be something as subtle as a glance over a steaming coffee mug or an aggressive rugby match on a muddy pitch. Capturing action in your photographs adds atmosphere that an otherwise straight-on shot lacks.

The same concept can be applied to landscapes. A photograph depicting a lush green meadow can easily transform from boring to interesting if you capture a couple grazing white sheep as well. Including action elements in your landscape shots also adds a sense of scale.

More: Learn the A-B-C-D-E of travel photography.

2. Switch vantage points

Change your perspective on the subject. Chances are the more common angles you’ll come across are the full-on shots with people smiling (and sometimes waving) towards the camera.

Try a more unconventional approach by photographing buildings or landmarks at an angle or from a different perspective than you normally would.

More: Learn how to take better photos of landmarks.

3. Focus on one person

If you happen upon a group of people who you want to photograph, you know you’re instantly going to get a busy shot. By focusing on and connecting with just one individual in the group, their intense portrait can invite viewers to join the party.

More: Learn how to take better travel portraits.

4. Learn a few basic editing strategies

While using certain polarizing and UV filters can help adjust composition in the field, such equipment can be pricey for someone still contemplating whether to get into travel photography more seriously. Also, investing in the latest photo processing software may be overkill at this stage.

Instead, consider free photo editing software to enhance your shots. By learning a few editing strategies such as adjusting contrast, lighting, and saturation, you can improve the visual impact of your photographs.

More: Learn essential tips for the budding travel photographer.

Now that you know the ropes…

…head over to the Intel AppUp Travel Photo Challenge and make us proud.

[Editor’s note: This post was created in partnership with Intel.]