Sheep at the Sussex County Farm Show (read: my only real country experience every year.)
Part One: Enhancing the Original Photo
This category includes brightness, contrast, shadows, highlights, saturation, and all those other tools used to make the picture look balanced. Instagram has a set of these tools built in when you edit a photo, so most of the time I just use these ones, but apps like VSCO Cam and Aviary are useful, too. I love these tools because it doesn't necessarily change the picture, at least it doesn't change it drastically, instead it just enhances it and brings out the better parts. It looks a lot more natural then when you use a filter; it looks as though the lighting and your photography skills are perfect. (Also, when you just use these tools it doesn't count as using a filter so you can still put #nofilter.) If you have horizons, landscapes, or any straight lines, make sure they're straight and if they're not, please straighten them out. Lastly in this section, be sure to sharpen and focus your pictures (nobody likes fuzzy photos.)
Before and After Photo Enhancement Using the Instagram Tools:
Part Two: Using Filters
Filters can be a tricky thing to master and few do. I can always tell a rookie Instagrammer (or even an old one without a good eye) by how filter-heavy their photos are. Filters are bad masks for even worse photography in most cases. They just tend to look very amateur. The only exception I'd make is using either the Instagram filter Rise or Valencia for vintage-looking photos. Those two filters are also perfect for countryside photos (one of the many lessons I've learned from Amanda Brooks; @amandacbrooks). I also like some of the ones from the VSCO Cam app, if you have more time to edit your pictures.
There are countless examples of well-filtered pictures from Amanda Brooks' Instagram. Countless.
Part Three: Captions
Yes, a photo is worth a thousand words, but the words underneath the photo still count. This is a bit simpler to master, but where most people have trouble is with hashtags. Hashtags can be useful things, but only if you use them how they're meant to be. Irrelevant, long hashtags are annoying; try to stick to one or two relevant or witty hashtags. @DerekBlasberg normally has great captions and @HamishBowles demonstrates how to use hashtags effectively.