7 New Year's resolutions every photographer should make With a new year around the corner you may be considering some ways to improve your life and career. For the photographers out there, from the occasional Instagrammer to professionals, here are some tried-and-true resolutions (pun intended) to break out of a creative rut or improve your skills in the coming year. Move away from the center Instagram’s emphasis on squares was big and something new for a lot of photographers. Now that Instagram supports both portrait and landscapes, it’s time to make better use of that space. The "rule of thirds" is a beautiful thing, and it means you don’t need to drop whatever you’re focusing on directly into the middle of the frame. Use the space you’ve been given and make your photos more dynamic. A photo posted by Junny (@junnyrw) on Dec 23, 2015 at 7:17am PST   Forget your filters, embrace the sliders Filters are a major part of Instagram’s popularity, but they make your shots look like everyone else’s. Sliders are where you can really make a picture your own and avoid the heavy-handed filters that are Instagram’s mainstay. Go Manual This is a big stepping stone for the budding photographer. Whether you’re on a smartphone or a feature-laden DSLR, learning to control and adjust your exposure manually to the specifications you need is essential in growing creatively. Avoid shooting in bad light... Director Terrence Malick and Instagram users everywhere agree: that time around sunrise and sunset will give you the best light possible. Dubbed “the magic hour,” the light available during those times is softer, warmer and put simply, makes everything look better. A photo posted by Norten Menezes (@nortenmenezes) on Dec 22, 2015 at 8:10pm PST   . . . But break that rule every now and then You can make good pictures when the sun is high in the sky. Midday light can produce dramatic shadows and interesting patterns. A photo posted by Katayoun Afrooz (@katayoun_afrooz) on Dec 23, 2015 at 7:21am PST   Blow out that background If your subject is extremely backlit (think of someone in front of a big bright window) you may be inclined to pop your flash to evenly expose your foreground and background. Instead, try just getting the exposure right for your subject’s face in the natural light and letting the background get completely blown out. It’s a great simple trick to make a clean, beautiful photo. A photo posted by Lize van Wyk (@l.v.w_photography) on Dec 19, 2015 at 10:23pm PST   Embrace imperfections The technically perfect photo isn’t always the best. An off-kilter composition, a little bit of motion blur or slightly askew colors can elevate your picture and add interesting elements you didn’t know would work. Experimentation is the key to unlocking your personal vision. Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Twitter lawsuit partly dismissed over U.S. information requests
Greg Hardy assault photos: More damning proof of NFL priorities
Automakers battle for high-tech dominance on the road to self-driving car