One thing that can make a photo sometimes “pop” is to compose the shot at an angle. Especially if you have many lines that run parallel to the picture edge, both top and sides.
A picture of a sign is a good example. A square or rectangle sign being the focus of a square or rectangle picture just looks boring. But angle the shot a bit, either when taking the picture or later when editing, and it just seems to “break out of all the geometry” just a bit.
The post and rope fence above is another good example. In actuality, the post isn’t angled at all. It runs straight up and down.
I took the shot straight up and down because I knew I would edit it later and put the angle in.
I think this makes it pop a bit more. Click on this picture to view a larger shot, and enjoy all the texture in the rope. The shot was taken on a rainy day, and as I look at this shot, I can almost here the rope tightening and squeaking a bit.
Give it a try. When you take a shot that has parallel lines in it on several sides, tip it over just a bit. If you don’t do this when you take the picture, be sure to leave plenty of room so when you crop it at an angle, you still have it all.