Calling all Instagrammers: Enter your photos in Tempus' new show

5 Tips for taking the perfect Instagram photo

1. Use your phone’s original camera. If you’re using an iPhone, or just about any smartphone, the original camera will take a clearer photo (especially if you use the HDR setting) than the camera built into Instagram. Just be aware of your dimensions — once cropped on Instagram, your photo will be a perfect square, not an oblong rectangle.

2. Find the right lighting. The contrast feature on Instagram can add texture and depth to your photo, but unless the lighting is good, it’ll only make the photo grainy. Touch the screen where you want the camera to focus and it will brighten/darken accordingly. Avoid fluorescents and shooting directly in front of or behind a bright lamp. If you’re outside, dusk and dawn make for the best-lit backdrops — the middle of the day when the sun is directly overhead is never a good time to shoot. Some bulkier phone cases might affect the clarity and color of the photo if you’re using a flash, so it’s best to take cases off when shooting. Also, be aware of the shadows your phone, and your body, might cast.

3. Shoot from an angle. Offsetting the object of your photo from the center doesn’t automatically make it look artistic. Try tilting your phone at different angles to see what looks most dramatic or creates the coolest effect. Shoot something high up from the ground, something down low from an incline.

4. Focus. The focus of your photo doesn’t have to be the most apparent item. It might be something in the background or off to the side. Play with your phone’s auto-exposure and auto-focus settings to make the lens focus where you want it to. The out-of-focus area will appear blurrier than the in-focus area, adding dimension. For added effect, use Instagram’s blurring feature, which can be adjusted as big or small as you like.

5. Use a double filter. If you turn your phone on airplane mode while posting to Instagram, the photo will fail to upload but will be saved to your photo gallery. You can place a filter on your photo, then run it back through app to add another. You can also achieve this by taking a screenshot of the photo while it’s being editing.

Contest Details:
Photos must be submitted to [email protected] by 6 p.m., Aug. 16. Use subject line “FILTER/BORDER/your name.” Artists will be notified of whether their work is accepted by Aug. 23. All works selected for the exhibition must be printed 10-by-10-inches and priced at or below $200. Accepted works will be installed unframed. There is non-refundable $20 entry fee for three digital image files, with an extra $5 for each additional file. Submit as many photos as you wish. Artists will receive 40 percent commission on any sales made the night of the show or online. More info here


The Tempus Projects inaugural fall 2013 show, FILTER/BORDER: AN Instagram EXHIBITON, invites iPhoneographers (and anyone with access to Instagram on their phone) to submit original photos produced exclusively through the Instagram app. The juried show opens at 7 p.m., on Fri., Sept. 6, at the CL Space.

Before whipping out your phone to snap a pic of your cat licking itself, the giant burrito you’re about to devour or that looming rain cloud in the distance just looks so darn artsy, take a moment to plan. Check out CL's tips for Instagram best practice.

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