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How to Take A Good Instagram Photo

Taking a 'good' photo is subjective - “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” (Plato). What you think a decent photo is may not appeal to other users, and vice versa. However, if you are getting started and struggling to take a good photo, there are three simple photography principles that can be followed to improve your photos.

The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is one of the most essential photography techniques that can help to improve photographic composition and the overall balance of an image.

When you are taking a photo, you need to mentally divide the scene you intend to capture into thirds. You then want to position the important elements of your photo along these lines, or at the points where they meet. This will guide the viewer to the important elements within an image.

In a portrait, this could be the eyes, in a landscape, this could be the horizon. You can use this rule to dictate how a viewer will interact with your image.

If the initial photograph that you have taken doesn’t follow this rule - you can always crop your photo so that it does. You can crop the photo before you upload to Instagram, or in the app.

Stay Focused

You can increase the size of a photo, but if the original picture that you are using is out of focus, then little can be done to correct this. It is a good idea to keep the subject of your photo in focus. If you are having difficulty stabilising your camera for your photos, consider using a tripod.

Keep it Level

If your photo has a horizon within it, try and make sure that it is level, this will make the photo easier to ‘read’. If the horizon is crooked, it can make the viewer uncomfortable looking at your image. You can use the guidelines in the Instagram app once you have uploaded it to rotate the photo.

Once you have got started with your Instagram photography, you will want to make sure that you upload the highest quality photos. Here is an article that explains how to avoid the pitfalls of Instagrams compression algorithm and keep your photos with the best possible quality.

Download Instagram

If you have not already, you can download Instagram for Android, iPhone and PC here.

Photo credit: Unsplash


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This document, titled « How to Take A Good Instagram Photo », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).

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