In case you haven’t heard, B&N College is running a contest to find your best original Instagram photos for our National Class of 2017 calendar! We’ve been amazed to see how talented some people are with Instagram. After leafing through almost 4,000 entries you pick up a thing or two about what makes an Instagram picture really pop. Here’s the inside scoop on some of our favorite tactics and filters!
1. Focus on one object and angle the camera so your object of interest takes up the whole camera. Up close pictures are very easy to enhance by sharpening the contrast and using a filter like X-Pro II, which gives your photos a more vibrant and warm effect. Lo-Fi might also be a good option as it adds rich colors and strong shadows to the image.
2. Create an interesting arrangement of the subject(s) in relation to the background and surrounding elements.Play with and manipulate the objects by moving them more to the side, forward, or backward. To make objects appear larger, move them closer to the camera and vice versa. Amaro will add more vibrant light to the picture, especially towards the center. This naturally draws the viewers eye to where you want it.
3. Take an action shot that tells a story. Insta-jump shots or pictures where people are laughing and doing other silly things are often more interesting than if everyone is pretty and posed. Early Bird fades and blurs the colors of a photo making it look like a throwback, and the Valencia filter can make the picture look as if it were taken in the sixties.
4. Capture gray, moody skies on a cloudy day. I’ve noticed grim lighting actually works very well with the low resolution of most smartphones. The picture here is unfiltered, but you can use a filter like Sutro to give the setting a smoky, creepy kind-of-look, or Brannan to add a greyish tint and enhance dark tones for a metallic feel.
There are a ton of ways to make interesting Instagram art, just remember to have fun and change it up! Don’t just post pictures of food or scenery. If you’re going to post selfies, be tasteful about it (and leave out the duck face).
Don’t forget to enter your best original photos into the B&N College Photo Contest which ends on Monday, February 4th by uploading photos to instagram with the hashtag #bncollege. What do you think makes a great instagram photo? Tell us in the comment below or tweet at us @bncollege!