Hey, this photo is © Alexander Vik

Boost your instagram photography

November 30, 2014 blog

This arti­cle is now about how to make bet­ter pic­tures or how to improve you Pho­to­shop skills. It’s about what I think you should begin with.

1. Look at many good pho­tos.
That will improve your taste. To take nicely framed pho­tos your eye should be well trained.

2. Get out and make pho­tos.
By doing many mis­takes with com­po­si­tion you sharpen your skills. And that is the only way. No short­cuts here. By 20 000 pho­tos you are going to be really good. Magic of math, you know. Begin with what sur­rounds you. Is it city — learn how to pho­to­graph archi­tec­ture. In vil­lage you can start with landscapes.

3. Cam­era.
I know insta­gram is all about mak­ing pho­tos with smart­phone. But why not to start think­ing out of the box. And take all advan­tages a decent DSLR offers? In fact I believe that’s exactly what you should do. Advan­tages of this approach are many. You get that shal­low depth of field (nicely blurred back­ground). It’s eas­ier to get really good results in post, spe­cially if you shoot RAW.
Yes, you’ll need a mech­a­nism for get­ting your pho­tos back to phone. OneDrive or Drop­box are your friends.

4. Become good at Pho­to­shop.
There are lots of absolutely free edu­ca­tional videos on YouTube. Yes, it takes time. Yes, you’ll have to learn some the­o­ret­i­cal stuff. No short­cut here either. Get your lazy butt off the sofa.

5. Learn how insta­gram works.
Pub­lish­ing time, hash­tags, who to fol­low, how to drive atten­tion to you account… You bet­ter under­stand these before.

Here is some exam­ple of how I do it. I live on the edge of the big city. Today I went out for an hour in the morn­ing and took some frosty pho­tos. To the left is before and to the right is my insta­gram ver­sion.

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