A lot of people ask me how I take and edit my Instagram photos, so I thought it would be cool to show my process. By no means is it the best or only way to create images, but I'll share what works for me!
  1. Choose your subject. In this example, my subject is a landscape (Two Jack Lake in Banff, Alberta). Select a subject that captures your imagination or catches your eye. I chose Two Jack because of the stunning reflection of Mt.Rundle in the water.
  2. Frame your subject. Decide where you want your subject in the frame. You could centre your subject, put it approximately one third to the left or right, or utilize empty space for a minimalist composition. I chose to centre Mt.Rundle and its reflection to highlight the natural symmetry.
  3. Determine the appropriate camera settings. Use your shutter speed, ISO, and aperture to manipulate the lighting and depth of field to create the image you want. Because I wanted to show the clouds streaking and get a still reflection, I used a low ISO, narrow aperture and a slow shutter speed.
  4. Take the photo. Sometimes that will be as easy as clicking the shutter button. For long exposures such as my example image, using a remote or a two second delay will minimize the risk of moving the camera and causing the image to distort.
  5. Review and adjust. Rarely is the first photo I take the one I use. Is your photo in focus? Is the lighting what you would like to see? Adjust your settings/focus to allow for any improvements you'd like to see in your image.
  6. Back up and Import. When I return from a shoot I transfer the files from my SD card to my computer. Using an external hard drive and a cloud back up source such as drop box gives you peace of mind that your images are safe and frees up space on your computer's hard drive. I recommend organizing your photos in folders so you know where to find them.
  7. Edit the image. Adobe's Lightroom is a powerful and easy to use program to edit photos. Use the manual adjustments or presets to fine tune your image. In place of a computer based program, mobile device apps such as Snapseed can be used.
  8. Transfer the image. Now that you have an image you're happy with, you'll want to have the file on your mobile device so you can post it. You can sync through iTunes (I create folders of photos I want on my device and sync them) or use an app such as Dropbox or Google Drive to download the image on your phone.
  9. Fine tune for Instagram. You'll likely choose to crop the image into a square. You might also want to adjust the colour tones/brightness so that it matches the other photos on your feed.
  10. Post the photo. Now that you've crafted an image that you want the world to see, put it out there!
  11. Here is my finished product. Comment your Instagram username so I can see yours!
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