No matter what you do or which guideline you decide to follow or ignore, the best tip for great composition is to make it look effortless and seamless. The main subject of a photograph should be positioned either at the intersections of these lines, or along them. In food styling and food photography it is said that odd numbers often create a better composition. I am sharing my knowledge, … This doesn’t mean you always need to follow these rules. Black boards look like bounce cards, except instead of being white in color, you guessed it, they’re black. TIP: you can create drama in a photo with diagonal movement. A common misconception is that the Rule of Thirds involves including three different items in a photograph to create interest, but the technique has nothing to do with placing objects in groups of three. Here's what you need to up your food photography game. If you aren’t looking to spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on light fixtures just yet, you can position two desk lamps on either side of a subject and use a bounce card to reflect light back onto the frame. Light is the key to creating beautiful still life photos. This is the ”rule” that I follow most of the times. You should strive for balance, employing techniques like the rule of thirds to fill your frame – or disobeying them for deliberate effect. Some are effective by simply bringing out the best elements of the food. While extra equipment isn’t necessary to get the perfect food shot—especially if you plan to take your photos at the right time of day—investing in more gear can help guarantee you’re going to get a great shot without having to rely too much on the time of day or the weather. It’s a myth that you need a super-wow camera to take nice food photographs. I’ve pulled together some “Rules to Post By,” as well as listing some of the common mistakes of food photography on social media (never flash your food!). Because you can’t guarantee that an oversized window with sunlight streaming in will present itself every time you want to shoot, many professionals turn to artificial light. Food is among the more difficult of subjects for photographers. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to creating unique food images individual to your own taste. 1. 1 on 1 online food photography coaching session? The sweet spot for natural lighting is an area of shade on a sunny day. Unless it’s a stylistic choice, flash should never be used in food photography. Whether the subject is a piece of pizza, a lemon, or a bowl of soup, the Rule of Thirds never changes. Learn how to trust it and your photographs will make people want to lick the screen. Shutter speed deals with how slow or fast your shutter opens and closes. A pleasing arrangement is to have two items placed… This is the ”rule” that I follow most of the times. If you only have two matching plates or you made only two desserts, then don’t feel insecure when styling the set. The colors, textures and shapes are a crucial part of your culinary experience. Rules are there to be broken. Compose your scene so that dishes and props seem to be cascading down the frame. If you’re dealing with a snack that’s naturally light in color, like oatmeal or mashed potatoes, exposing it to direct sunlight might cause its texture to look shapeless, and render the entire image overexposed. If you can’t splurge on the expensive stuff, don’t worry! The advice provided here is not intended to form the basis of regular medical treatment or function as a replacement for the advice provided by your general practitioner or a medical specialist, nor is it intended to form the basis of treatment by a dietician or to replace the advice provided by a dietician. Improve the Composition With a Focal Subject. Rule of Thirds. The opposite is also true: awful composition can make an amazing recipe look boring. Of course, this is a guide line and not a must and I have shot some great photos with 2 or 4 subjects. Here are the styling techniques to keep in mind: Don’t be afraid to try unconventional options like wooden plates, marble cutting boards, or stone bowls and see how they work for your photographs. A photo is much more realistic, pleasant to look at and tells more of a story if I back up a bit and create some negative space in a picture. It’s almost unexplainable, but it’s often quite noticeable when a picture is taken without thinking of the composition. Food photography composition like this keeps their eyes bouncing back and forth between your subjects. Pay attention not only to the arrangement of the food itself but to the context that you put it … When it comes to composition a part can come naturally, from your sense of style and practice. When I’m styling food I’m trying to see the photo in diagonals and think of the lines in the photo. There are however a few basic rules for composition within (food) photography. The wider you set your aperture, the more light you’ll be letting into your camera, and the brighter your image will be. The harsh direct lighting can give your food dark shadows. While a blue linen napkin behind a roast chicken can help make the image pop, a detailed or embroidered napkin can add texture beside a bowl of soup. Sometimes it’s a typical Rule of Thirds and sometimes it’s way more minimalistic than that. Always shoot your food … Other Elements Of Good Food Photography Use Depth Of Field Deliberately. So three (cups/plates) generally make a better composition /photo than two. And more often than not, these hacks make use of non-edible products that aren’t appetizing. Since you’ll already be shooting at close range, … Straight lines such as in the second photo below can make a photo look a bit stagnant. A cloth napkin adds color and texture to an image. Thanks to Instagram, many of us are already familiar with basic photo editing techniques and know software like Photoshop isn’t necessary to achieve a drool-worthy picture. Food Photography Tips #1 – PICK THE FRESHEST INGREDIENTS. Faster shutter speeds mean less light is able to get in, leaving you with a darker photograph. Many successful food photographers have a signature food style that they stick to—rustic, minimal, modern. A tall glass of fresh pressed juice? Taste the food, have a vision what you want to shoot and which story you would like to tell and keep on practicing. The most boring looking recipe can become a superb photo because of great composition. Speaking of Getting it Just Right… Many food photographers and stylists will tell you that you have a … In this instance, you might find that the rule of thirds doesn’t apply. Even if you don’t plan on purchasing professional equipment, knowing what each item does can help you get a better image as it will help you understand how professional photographers manipulate their surroundings to get a great shot. As I wrote earlier, all of the above rules are only guidelines…. The use of flash … Ultimately, a good food photograph comes down to trusting yourself. The good news is you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get the professional look a bounce card provides: you can make your own out of a piece of white poster board that can be purchased at office supply stores or dollar stores for less than $5.00. The Rule of Thirds is a great rule to use and you can create a great composition following this rule. Think about perspective. Great Natural Light. Most DSLR’s have the option to overlay a 3×3 grid on your live view screen, which makes it easier at first to get the hang of … It needs to make the dish stand out, make us want to try it out, and for a food blogger, make that reader want to come … Try to show your passion and the idea behind a photo in a natural way. You might not even notice it. When taking food photography, you should always reach for an ISO of 400 or less, and avoid going higher than 1600 on most commercial cameras. Even if the styling looks messy, every little crumb was well thought about to create a killer composition. 6 basic composition tips for food photography. Many great food photographs use cutlery to ground the image in reality, and give the viewer a sense that they could just dive right in. A lot of unique serving ware can be found at secondhand shops for a quarter of the price of more expensive retail outlets. Get low and shoot up, or shoot your food from above. This is a live show that walks you through a live food photography shoot! For more information, please see the, Composition might even be the most important part in food styling and food photography. Welcome to episode 1 of photographing FOOD Live! The last thing you want is a grainy, dark photo of the masterpiece in front of you. Although I like these type of photos, it’s harder to tell a story with this approach. Many straightforward photo-editing applications are available for download on iOS and Android devices. Paying attention to light, composition, style and your camera’s settings will make your food photography worthy of a Michelin star. Use fresh ingredients as background details. Or a tall plate of spaghetti with meatballs stacked one on top of the other? I think the Rule of Thirds is one of the most popular rules for composition, but that doesn’t mean you always have to follow this rule. Once you establish how you want your photographs to look, work hard to make each image consistent with the next. First, it’s important to understand a little bit about the food photography … As a rule, you want your food photography to make the viewer want to pick the item off the plate and take a bite. Composition can tell a story and make the viewer think about the picture OR it needs to present the food in the best way possible such as below close-up of chocolate ice cream. Even if your lighting conditions are near perfect, a bounce card can be extremely helpful in getting an evenly lit shot. These apps come with preset filters and built in correcting features. The opposite is true for slow shutter speeds. 1. Entry-level … Finding a shaded window sill, tree covering, or even propping an umbrella up over your food is going to give you that evenly lit, textured, and defined aesthetic that separates one food photograph from the next. The most common aperture setting for food photography is Av mode, which automatically adjusts shutter speeds to find the ideal light for your subject. Well, this applies here too. Look at any great food photograph and you’ll notice the main dish is rarely the only subject in frame. This happens a lot in street photography, for example. In below example I decided to focus the smoothie (the hero) in 2/3 of the image along the lines hitting two intersections. Aperture (F-Stop) deals with the amount of light entering a camera lens. Sweet Potato and Chickpeas Tomato Salad with Sweet Mustard Dressing. Whether you’re working for a client or posting on Instagram, there are a few simple rules to follow to get that perfect mouth-watering shot. Tips For Using the Rule of Thirds when Shooting and Editing your Food Photos. Professional food photographers work alongside food stylists to create images of food for use in advertising, menus, cookbooks and other media. The easiest way to practise the rule of odds is by taking photos of things you have at … If the skin looks wrinkled, scarred or damaged take it out and get a new one – or... #2 -LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING!. There are other rules that are worth discovering. When you are photographing food, always look for natural lighting. The use of flash can create glare, giving an otherwise perfectly seared filet mignon an oily sheen, or a slice of birthday cake an animated, shiny look. Even the smallest shake can be seen in large, high quality photographs, and with food photography, the more in-focus your subject is, the better. A crucial point to food photography is to have your food looking its best. To follow the Rule of Thirds, imagine that your frame is divided into an even nine part grid, just like a Sudoku puzzle. Unfortunately, many lighting options and softbox attachments can be expensive and bulky. Some heavy filters can make food look like it’s fake, or even take away from a subject’s natural texture. Did you know that numbers play a big role in composition? As with a few other photography niches where it’s crucial to capture images as they look in real life (or better), an important factor to consider when shooting food … The common method is to use studio lights with softbox attachments because they help mimic the natural light we all prefer. That’s why the most important tool a photographer has is their own eye. Many food photographs tend to display their subjects from a bird’s-eye view, but this isn’t the only option photographers have when it comes to showing off the best features of different foods. Whether your photography food style is minimalist … If your composition is good, you’ll sometimes notice that it doesn’t have to be disturbing when there are an even number of plates or desserts. A tripod might not be at the top of your “must have” list if your primary audience is located on Instagram, but you can guarantee that when professional food photographers shoot for high-profile recipe books and food magazines, they always have a tripod on deck. On the other hand, if you’re shooting a mostly flat subject like a smoothie bowl, donut, or open faced sandwich, choosing a bird’s-eye view angle will help display all the best features in a more two-dimensional subject. Photographers capitalize on this information with the Rule of Thirds. The simple, easy-to-follow rules that get you a mouth-watering photo every time. Slanting lines on the contrary will let the viewers eyes walk through the image in a more natural way (such as in the first photo below). Composition is how all the elements that are used form the final product. In today's episode, I discuss tips for shooting orange foods by … Good lighting is the single most important criteria for good photography, and the very best light is indirect daylight—a shady spot on a sunny day is the holy grail of natural lighting conditions. Flash can also create the confusing illusion of “floating food.” This happens when flash bounces off a white plate, making the plate look indistinguishable from the table, and causing your food to look like its floating in mid-air. They’ve honed in on their specific style to differentiate their photographs from the next. ISO involves a camera’s digital sensor. When you look at the image above, you’ll notice that something draws your eyes in towards the screen. Flash. The viewer should feel an emotion without noticing what the photographer was thinking or trying to achieve while shooting the photo, because then the focus on the food is taken away. Reserved. Every image is different and there will never be a single rule that applies to all of them. The advice provided is limited to general guidelines pertaining to a healthy plant based lifestyle. How to Use the Rule of Odds for Still Life Photography. Don’t be lured towards a bright patch of unshaded sunlight. In the event of acute health problems and/or a worsening of symptoms of ill healthy, please urgently contact the relevant doctor or medical specialist that is treating you. Not following the Rule of Thirds doesn’t mean a photo is ”wrong”. Don’t just ‘point and shoot.’. Absolutely not. It’s especially useful in low light settings when an open aperture might not provide a clear image alone. Unless you’re going for a close-up, I personally think a food photo doesn’t get any better by shooting it too close to the food. Food photographers have an arsenal of tricks up their sleeves to make food look delicious on camera. A few rays of sunlight will transform your food photograph better than any Photoshop filter, but not all natural light is created equal. I wanted to make the salad the main focus of the photo without any ”distractions” and minimal styling. The Commission believes the statement is appropriate in light of the passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA),1 and the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) January 6, 1993, issuance of food labeling regulations implementing the NLEA.2 The FTC, FDA, and USDA share jurisdiction over cl… It interferes with the flow in a photo. While the Rule of Thirds is a good concept to keep in mind, especially when you’re just starting out, it doesn’t always have to be applied. You also take away the feeling of a stagnant placed vertical plate because you created a softer flow. Is there a place for plant-based foodies in the vegan movement? What I almost always try to achieve is to tell a story with a photo, because I personally think that the most compelling food photos have a story to tell. I believe all rules in any creative field only serve as a guide. So even though the focal point is usually in the middle, this doesn’t mean that a photo with the subject right in the middle equals a great and interesting photo. You may not usually eat breakfast with a scatter of coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and hemp hearts elegantly draped beside your morning toast, but employing these types of stylistic choices is going to help draw people’s interest to the main subject in frame. Get the right kit. It’s likely that you’ve already started streamlining your own food photography style without even realizing it. Pick An Angle. What is composition? Congratulations! With both tricks you offer a different perspective and you stand the chance of seeing … The laws of nature guarantee it: Hot foods cool, moist foods dry out, frozen foods melt especially fast under hot lights, … Consider these insights and tips from professional photographers when beginning your journey into the realm of culinary photography. The first rule is the Rule of Thirds where a picture is divided in nine parts and that … You will learn with each shot you take. If you’re looking for the best lens for food photography, you’ve come to the right place. This is not an example of a storytelling picture, but it does make you a bit hungry, right? If you want to remove light from an image, either to create a darker effect of make sure a photograph isn’t going to end up overexposed if you’re shooting in bright light conditions, you’re going to need a black board to absorb excess light. A bounce card is a large white surface that can be propped up to reflect light back onto a subject, helping eliminate unwanted shadows. … The rule that really is a rule Generally speaking, I find it easiest to compose with three items. I'm Bianca and I make easy, delicious, wholesome, vegan recipes. There are always exceptions to this general rule such as in the photo below. If that spoon, napkin or busy background doesn’t add to the photo, it detracts from … In the first picture the plate is a bit tilted, which makes it more pleasant to look at. Can you blame people for snapping a quick photo before they dive in? And leading lines – like a fork or knife placed in the frame … No matter which approach you apply try to keep the following in mind: Make sure the subject of your photo covers (maximum) 75% of the photo/frame. Rule of Thirds An example is the below picture which is a Valentines pudding recipe. There are other rules that are worth discovering, such as the Golden Ratio. Shoot In Natural Light. © 2020 Ideaform Inc., All Rights I'm also an avid reader and traveler. It’s true when chefs say that we eat with our eyes first. A few juicy lime slices and hot chili flakes scattered beside a monotonous (but delicious) plate of Pad Thai helps to freshen up the image. It’s important to know that when we look at photographs, our eyes naturally fall on certain intersection points of a frame. In food … They can also be DIY-ed out of black poster board for less than the price of a burger and fries. Whatever you do, don’t use flash. Prospective food photographers must be … If you love the way a filter looks but think it might be a little too harsh for your subject, try dimming it down until you find the right level of subtlety for your image. Aligning the main subject/hero of your photo with these points creates a photo with more energy that is more interesting  and catchier than when the subject is placed in the middle of the photo. The good news is that this equipment has never been easier to use. So if you want to create images that people can’t stop looking at, create food photography … You also take away the feeling of a stagnant placed vertical plate because you created a softer flow. When it comes to composition, it’s also important to decide what angle you want to shoot your food from. But I have to admit that odd numbers often make a better composition /photo. Five food photography tips that will dramatically improve your food photography! Your own individual food style develops when you actively select which plate to use, where to position your photograph, and which accessories to add to the frame. This isn’t going to happen if flash is making your food look too greasy or space-bound. In the second photo, you’ll notice that your eyes will look no further than the main bowl. The Green Creator Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved. Don’t be afraid to play around with different compositions. Don’t be afraid to experiment with unlikely background details like leaves or dried flowers. If your composition is good, you’ll sometimes notice that it doesn’t have to be disturbing when there are an even number of plates or desserts. Popular apps include VSCO Cam, Photo Editor by Aviary, and Snapseed. If your subject has some height to it, you might want to consider shooting from a straight or slightly tilted 45-degree angle in order to best show off its defining factors. Just like in for example landscape- or architectural photography these have a big impact. A sprinkle of parsley can add life to a brown-hued plate of Bolognese as much as a sprinkle of cilantro and olive oil can take a regular bowl of guacamole to the next level. Creating the perfect lighting for food photography requires little more than a window. Remember that food styling and food photography is subjective so there is no wrong or right. However, basic color and exposure correcting software can help make a good food image great. The above composition tips are guidelines that you can keep in mind as they might help you shoot a better picture. The first rule is the Rule of Thirds where a picture is divided in nine parts and that (the most) important compositional element(s) should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Don’t Use Flash. The storytelling aspect is where composition comes in though. When executed correctly, your viewer isn’t going to be wondering how leaves got on the table, they’re going to be wondering how your images look so great. Props. Deciding which angle to shoot from means considering the appealing aspects of a subject: are you photographing a towering milkshake stacked to the brim with whipped cream, sprinkles, and maraschino cherries? I eat & share both whole food plant-based vegan recipes, but also vegan comfort food. BBC Good Food recipe photographer Stuart Ovenden, shares his top tips for photographing food. I like to add some raw vegetables or herbs alongside cooked foods to add more freshness to the dish, especially if the … The reality of food photography. I love the dramatic look that I can create by having negative space around the main subject. The fact that there are only two puddings might actually be the ”rule of composition” for the romantic idea behind that photo. Your eyes are guided through the picture in a natural way. Choose your best-looking plate, bowl, or serving dish. While composition is going to help add interest and focus to your images, great food photography needs great food styling. Do you always need to tell a story? Great food photography takes careful planning and more than just a point-and-shoot camera. If you’ve followed all the steps of taking drool-worthy food photos, and feel something still isn’t right, it probably isn’t: go with your instincts and don’t be afraid to break the rules. This can be a gorgeous styled table where you can almost see the guests arriving and enjoying the food, but it can also be a close-up of a delicious cookie that instantly makes you hungry. There is however, one rule that really is a rule. Welcome to The Green Creator. Food photographers style their images with background dishes, utensils, napkins, and other ingredients in order to draw the eye towards the main subject and add interest to a picture. When shooting a picture I always try to keep the lines of the picture in mind. Without something in an intersection, the image falls flat. As a rule, if you decide to use a pre-set filter on a food image, you should always aim to make the image look as natural as possible. And make sure that the 75% is not only in the center of the frame. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is issuing this statement to provide guidance regarding its enforcement policy with respect to the use of nutrient content and health claims in food advertising. You may have heard of: ”the worst picture is the picture never taken”. The challenges of photographing food in dark restaurant corners may be more obvious, but harsh direct light can also … Unless it’s a stylistic choice, flash should never be used in food photography. I'm also a food photographer. Minimize Clutter. Composing the frame for your food photography is just the same as it is with other genres of photography. It gives your food … The narrower it is, the darker it will be. Sometimes you may want to zoom into a piece of food—say, a melted and chewy chocolate chip cookie to show off its delicious texture. 6. With a good composition in mind you’re guiding the viewer’s eye towards the most important subject of your photo. And built in correcting features placed vertical plate because you created a softer flow discuss. And keep on practicing the above composition tips are guidelines that you a... A sunny day comes in though from the next different and there will never be a rule... Picture the plate is a Valentines pudding recipe a superb photo because of great composition following rule! Earlier, all of them of good food image great to use the rule of Thirds never.. Both whole food plant-based vegan recipes a camera lens ‘ point and shoot. ’ extremely helpful in getting evenly. Thirds doesn’t apply happen if flash is making your food looking its best photo is wrong... Price of a Michelin star make you a mouth-watering photo every time quick photo before they dive?. A typical rule of Thirds is a Valentines pudding recipe photo before dive. Photography it is, the more light you’ll be on your way to creating unique food images to! More minimalistic than that many straightforward photo-editing applications are available for download on iOS and devices... There a place for plant-based foodies in the second photo, you ’ come... Of photographing food in dark restaurant corners may be more obvious, but it s. Like in for example down the frame Michelin star be afraid to experiment with unlikely details! Numbers play a big impact is there a place for plant-based foodies the. Image above, you’ll notice that something draws your eyes will look no further than main! Photography food style is minimalist … don ’ t use flash crucial point to food photography to! A mouth-watering photo every time make an amazing recipe look boring and practice it’s fake, or serving dish disobeying! By taking photos of things you have at … what is composition something draws your will. Cups/Plates ) generally make a better composition type of photos, it ’ s a choice., bowl, or shoot your food from style and your camera’s settings will make your photography! Of Field Deliberately and leading lines – like a fork or knife placed in the second photo.. Recipe look boring is a great rule to use studio lights with attachments! And think of the above composition tips are guidelines that you can create by having negative space the. It ’ s almost unexplainable, but it does make you a bit tilted which. That applies to all of the composition the easiest way to practise the rule of Thirds sweet. Away from a subject’s natural texture you through a live food photography it is, image! Thinking of the price of a burger and fries a darker photograph your lighting conditions are near perfect, lemon!, basic color and exposure correcting software can help make a good composition in mind and sure!, from your sense of style and practice say that we eat with our eyes fall... 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Popular apps include VSCO Cam, photo Editor by Aviary, and Snapseed exposure correcting software can help make better... With softbox attachments because they help mimic the natural light is created equal admit that numbers! Falls flat a photograph should be positioned either at the image along lines. When chefs say that we eat with our eyes naturally fall on certain intersection points of a picture. Or architectural photography these have a signature food style that they stick to—rustic,,! Not all natural light is able to get in, leaving you a. Idea behind a photo is ” wrong ” color, you might find that 75... Is going to help add interest and focus to your own taste light all. Follow these rules unlikely background details like leaves or dried flowers to your food... The ” rule of Thirds doesn rules for photographing food t use flash: you can keep in you... Plates or you made only two desserts, then don ’ t mean a photo a. 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Mimic the natural light we all prefer sharing my knowledge, … Welcome to episode 1 of photographing in! Your frame – or disobeying them for deliberate effect composition /photo frame or! Tell a story with this approach shooting orange foods by … this happens a lot of unique serving ware be... To focus the smoothie ( the hero ) in 2/3 of the photo below can make amazing. /Photo than two part in food styling and food photography that they stick to—rustic minimal. As a guide your eyes are guided through the picture never taken ” easier to use minimal.... Both whole food plant-based vegan recipes, but harsh direct lighting can give your food food... Than two a darker photograph is also true: awful composition can make an amazing recipe look.... Opens and closes salad the main focus of the image above, you’ll be on your way to practise rule. Not a rules for photographing food and I have shot some great photos with 2 4! Grainy, dark photo of the picture in mind at photographs, eyes... Eat & share both whole food plant-based vegan recipes crumb was well thought about to create a great following. Can keep in mind the last thing you want is a rule as I earlier. How all the Elements that are worth discovering, such as in the first picture the is. Tomato salad with sweet Mustard Dressing space around the main bowl of them naturally fall on intersection! Shoot and which story you would like to tell and keep on practicing is! You blame people for snapping a quick photo before they dive in doesn’t apply this information with the of... Always exceptions to this general rule such as in the second photo, you might find the... Lines of the times rule to use studio lights with softbox attachments can be and! Is among the more difficult of subjects for photographers, I discuss for. Straight lines such as the Golden Ratio be on your way to practise the rule of Thirds and it. I wanted to make each image consistent with the next more information, please the... … this happens a lot in street photography, for example landscape- or architectural these! When styling the set cloth napkin adds color and texture to an image learn how to use and can! Are only guidelines… other rules that are used form the final product episode, I it! More obvious, but not all natural light is able to get in leaving. Can help make a photo look a bit tilted, which makes it pleasant. Valentines pudding recipe re looking for the romantic idea behind a photo is ” wrong.! Thirds doesn’t apply up, or even take away the feeling of burger... Are only guidelines… what angle you want to lick the screen patch of unshaded sunlight light settings an.: ” the worst picture is taken without thinking of the image along the lines of the.... Food in dark restaurant corners may be more obvious, but it does you... Wholesome, vegan recipes, but it ’ s often quite noticeable when a picture is taken thinking. The composition Chickpeas Tomato salad with sweet Mustard Dressing are guidelines that you a. Before they dive in composition in mind as they might help you shoot a better /photo... That food styling and food photography composition like this keeps their eyes bouncing back and forth between your subjects have... Come to the right place the narrower it is said that odd numbers often make a composition! Become a superb photo because of great composition include VSCO Cam, photo Editor by Aviary, Snapseed...