With the onset of Instagram, anyone can take a good picture. So how do you stand out against the rest? How do you take your pictures from amateur to professional? Here are some quick tips from my arsenal as an amateur photography hobbyist.
- The rule of thirds, use the grid
First is to be aware of the rule of thirds. When you frame a picture, whether you are on a DSLR, digital camera or iPhone, you should never completely center your subject.
Imagine you have this grid on your screen when taking a picture, you want your subject to be at one of the four intersections. I have placed blue dots on these intersecting points.
2. Getting the perfect crop
Here is the rule when it comes to cropping. Crop it once and then crop it again. There is always more you can crop after you crop it once. You want to bring peoples attention to the focal point of your picture. Practice makes perfect. Use a couple pictures that follow the rule of thirds. Identify the focal point of each of those pictures and crop the image to get rid of excess negative space. The easiest way to describe this is that positive space is the subject and negative space is the area around the subject. Here is an example of a crop of negative space.
3. What to use for editing photos: Pixlr, Photoshop, iPhoto
Until I got a mac I was using pixlr.com, a free online web app or desktop app that you can use to edit pictures. It is a simplified version of Photoshop because it doesn’t have all the tools or capabilities. I usually advise people that if they are not interested in taking time with Photoshop that they should stick with Pixlr because it has everything you need and is user friendly. If Instagram filters and photo cropping is all you need, don’t go fancy just stick with iPhoto. Apple really understands their consumer and builds in everything you might need. What’s great about iPhoto is if you edit a photo, you have the option of keeping the original. Therefore, if you mess up you always have the option to go back and fix it.
If you are just editing photos for social media, possible tools to play with include: Canva and VSCO.