Instagram revolutionized photo-sharing by creating a space where users can upload their photos and socialize with other enthusiasts. The service is used even by professional photographers thanks to its simple construction: an application on a phone which can take photos and add filters in order to make them prettier.
There are some basic rules when somebody uses Instagram, such as to post regularly or to offer a good description for every photo, but if they really want to master this program and post stunningly awesome photos there are more things to do. Follow the article to discover some of the best Instagram tips and tricks that will help you to learn how to improve your photo experience and gain some extra followers.
10 of the best Instagram Tips and Tricks
Instagram is a social network where users can share edited photos and videos with a length of 15 seconds. It was launched in 2010 and in merely two years it gaine over 100 million active users. Due to its huge success over these years, the company was bought by Facebook which added a series of improvements, such as the video-sharing service which was implemented in June this year.
Know your filters
While not the most powerful tool section of Instagram but certainly the most used, Filters can alter the appearance of your shot in several ways. Even though Instagram offers preview before applying a certain filter, is good to know the actual benefits and modifications of each and every one and, most of all, when should a filer be used. So, here they are:
- Amaro – alters the center of the picture and slightly increases exposure, to add more light and make the picture a bit more harsh and aged, as if the photograph was left in the sun for a bit too long. Also, it’s worth noting darker pictures experience a more pronounced effect.
- Rise – slightly increases exposure, adding a warmer temperature effect and a yellow tilt. Images tweaked with these filters will be rendered in a softer light with a golden ring.
- Hudson – also messes with the center of the picture by heightening shadows and making images appear as if they were taken in a cold, icy weather.
- X – Pro II – enhances color edges and increases contrast, giving golden tints and a juicy flavor to vivid colors. In other words, the definition of funky.
- Sierra – increases exposure, lowers the contrast and slightly moves the center of the picture. After application, the image will be infused with a cloudy effect.
- Lo-Fi – instantly adds rich colors and strong shadows, increasing overall saturation.
- Earlybird – adds a vignette effect to corners while increasing the temperature fell and applying a sepia tint. Overall, the image will receive a gold-red tone.
- Sutro – burns edges, adds dramatic highlights and enhances shadows. It’s a filter born to make all pictures more sinister.
- Toaster – as the name suggests, Toaster adds a vivid red-yellow glow to the center of the image and an sherbet tint, while aging the picture in full.
- Brannan – another aging effect, which applies a metallic tint and increases the contrast, as well as the exposure.
- Inkwell – turns the image into black and white.
- Walden – increases the exposure through the use of a yellow tint, which fills the image with light.
- Hefe – increases contrast and saturation, while adding a vignette effect to edges. It’s a bit similar to Lo-Fi but the end exposure is a bit less and the picture ends up a bit more vibrant.
- Valencia – increases exposure and warms the picture by completely washing out color.
- Nashville – lowers down contrast while increasing exposure. This adds a warm effect and a pleasant pastel tint.
- 1977 – makes the picture look like it was taken in that same year, by applying a red tint and a high exposure tweak.
- Kelvin – the extremely high saturation effect makes the picture look like it was taken in a really hot environment.
To revert to the normal version of the photo, apply the “Normal” filter, which can be found in the first position.
Some of the filters that are available in the Instagram application are borderless (Amaro, Rise and Valencia), but when others are applied, they automatically add a frame to your photos. This may not suit for you every time, but how to take them off?
It’s very simple, all you have to do is select a picture or to take a new one and apply any filter that you prefer. After that, search for a square above of the filter tray and toggle to switch off the border option. Now your pictures will be more airy and will fit better with the environment.
Lux is like a magic wand that makes photos more colorful and highlights details that couldn’t be seen before. Basically, when users press the sun button which is located under the filter tray on the left side, the light in the photo will enhance making the picture more vibrant.
This feature works very well with underexposed outdoors photos that were taken in natural light representing landscapes. However, it’s not suitable for photos that were taken indoors, such as the ones representing food or people.
Apply the Tilt-Shift Effect
This feature can be applied by pressing the rain drop icon, which can be found on the top of the screen. This allows users to create a focus area on a part of their picture and a slightly blurry area for the rest of it. Doing this you’ll create a point of interest in your photo.
There are two different types of focus area: a circular one, which can be resized by pinching your fingers, and a rectangular one, which can be resized by placing a finger on the starting point and spinning around until the rectangular is created.
Use Photography Editing Tools
In order to have better results, users don’t have to limit at only the simplicity of the Instagram’s filters for creating amazing pictures. There are many applications available for iOS and Android devices which can be used for offering a little bit of style to your photos, before adding them to the filters in Instagram.
Users can download and edit photos with Adobe Photoshop Express for basic image editing (like setting exposure, saturation, tint, contrast and more), Diptic for combining multiple photos, Fuzel to create marvelous collages or TouchRetouch to remove unwanted content from pictures that were taken with mobile devices.
Another worthy application which can be combined with Instagram right on the Android device is PicsArt, by Photo Studio. Free to use, the package has claimed over 60 million installs and can easily be deemed among the fastest-rising photography apps on Google’s plain. When it comes to features, PicsArt can create amazing collages, apply grids and even allow users draw their own sketches. Besides that, it comes with a wide range of photo manipulation processes, like masks, borders, stickers, text effects, clipart, callouts, crop, rotate, color adjust and more, which goes great with Instagram.
Hashtags, an item now available in Facebook as well (for example: #iPhoto), are used to organize, tag and categorize content. This feature became very popular in Twitter which initially brought them to service. It’s important to use a popular Hashtag in the description of a photo, because it can be very useful in bringing more likes. There is not a top on Instagram where one can see which are the most used words, but there is a third party website named Webstagram that comes in help of users and offers a list with the first one hundred tags.
Users can choose to tag the content of the photo, the applications that were used before adding the filters or other things depending on their own criterions, but in essence,s hashtags have to be relevant and specific in order to gain more followers. If nothing is crossing your mind, you should check the Tagstagram website where the most popular tags are organized in categories. After deciding, just copy the one that suits for your picture and paste it in Instagram.
Geotag your photos
Another way to make your photos more discoverable for other users is to geotag your pictures. On Instagram, every location has its own page where users can see a map of it and all photos that were taken in that specific area. So, every user that takes a photo from the same location and publishes it becomes a potential follower, because it will see your image too.
Also, users can utilize other applications, like Instamap or Worldc.am which display photos depending on their location. This particular application is available for iPhone/iPad for a price of $1.99 and represents an attractive way to see photos that were taken in different locations. Furthermore, users can subscribe to a particular area and receive updates every time a photo is taken there.
Save photos on internal storage
Do you want to benefit of Instragram’s filters and features, but not to publish the photo to your account? Normally, the photo uploads automatically and users don’t really have a choice, but actually there’s a way to save them on your smartphone.
Just set the mobile device in “airplane mode” and use the application as normally you would and the photos will be saved on the internal storage.
Conserve your time when using Instagram
In the Instagram feed there are a lot of photos added by all your friends and to like one of them you have to select it and press the “heart” button. Another way to do this is to double press on the photo to quickly “like” it. If you want to reply to someone’s comment at a picture, just tap and hold on his username and from the popped up menu select “mention user” and start writing your reply.
Searching to delete a comment that you left on other users’ pictures? This is a little bit tricky because there is not actually a button that does this. This is what you have to do – just click the clog in the top right corner and select the red circle that is placed next to your name.
When users want to delete annoying or inappropriate comments they have from other people, they just have to press the same button, the clog, and select the option to delete comments.
There are several applications on the market that can offer a large amount of information about your Instagram profile, from the number of published photos to the number of likes received. One of the best is Statigram which provides a wide range of data and offers the possibility to share photos to other platforms.
This service is very good for bloggers or companies that are interested in feedback, because the application offers more than the common information that can be found on the Instagram account.
It can show the follower growth, ratio between followers and following, number of comments and likes, who recently left following you and more. Furthermore, it can even determine when it’s the best time to post a new photo based on the activity of your Intagram friends.
Tips when shooting a movie
The recently added capability, shooting and sharing 15 seconds length videos, is helping with a fast growth in the number of fans. This feature was very well embraced by users and some of them are using it towards promoting their personal business. In order to have the best results some important things have to be done before starting shooting videos:
- The video has only 15 seconds length, so users have to get everything they want that limited time.
- Plan everything better, because the videos can be shot and edited only through the Instagram app, unlike photos that can be firstly taken and processed with other applications.
- Cater for the light, because the filters concerning it aren’t enough. You should shoot the videos in natural light, but not close to a window or in the direction of the Sun.
- Master the exposure. Take advantage of the iPhone application which permits to control the exposure when shooting videos. Just tap on the darkest part of the image and the rest of the photo will get lighter and vice versa.
- Keep the camera stationary and leave the action to come towards the mobile device.
- Choose from 13 different filters in order to create the very best video.