Photography is a challenging hobby, which is one of the things that makes it so rewarding. But there are a lot of crutches you can rely on that will make it harder to improve your skills. Using automated filters, like those provided by Instagram, is one of those crutches (as is using the “Auto Enhance” feature in your preferred photo editor).
Instead of applying your favorite filter next time, why not trying applying these basic principles of photography first?
In my own photography, this has been by far the most valuable skill that I’ve learned. If you see a photo and you’re not sure why it looks as amazing as it does, there’s a good chance that the composition is spot on. When you know the principles of composition, your photos will really start to stand out. While there are a number of schools of thought on composition, there are a few generally agreed-upon principles that I’ll share here.
The Rule of Thirds
When you start taking photos, there’s a good chance that you’re putting things right in the middle of your pictures; it could be the horizon, a portrait subject, or a notable feature in the landscape. But that’s not a great way to go; when something splits the photo in half, your viewer has trouble deciding what to look at first. There’s no focus.