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How to use filters to improve your Instagram photos



If you want to get the most out of Instagram, it's worth enhancing your pictures with a little bit of technical magic before you publish them. Reputable photographers use digital tools to adjust everything from color balance to sharpness to saturation.

For everyone else, the Instagram app includes easy-to-use filters and editing tools that let you make your photos and videos more visually appealing.

Step by Step with Instagram Editing Tools

Look at this photo I took in a city park in Austin. Maybe not bad, but what if I could increase the visual appeal before I share it on Instagram? Here's how it works:

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First upload the photo to the Instagram app using the + button on the home screen. Then select the desired picture from your phone's photo library and click "Next". (You can use the built-in Instagram camera to take the photo, but it's usually easier to use your phone's camera app so you can take as many shots as you need to get the best results.)

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Although Instagram makes photos square by default, you can also use the <> button in the lower right corner, to resize the photo to its original dimensions.

If you keep the square format, put your fingertip on the photo to move it and get exactly the image you want. The grid lines shown help you to balance the visual composition. (It is no coincidence that the grid is 3×3; it helps you to follow the classic “rule of thirds”.)

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<img srcset = "https: // cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/_8_ey_-_k4zFRBHMyUf7vSkGi8Y=/0x0:828×1792/320×0/filters:focal(0x0:828×1792):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/ 5._Gridlines.jpg 320w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/nezfFoYtnk4f4Z1GxntzjomydHc=/0x0:828×1792/520×0/filters:focal(0x0:828×1792):no_upscale()/cdn.ox /uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/5._Gridlines.jpg 520w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/bgsHjofoCbh6cbnzm0NeNF8VqZA=/0x0:828×1792/720×0/filters:8ocalxsc02: 0x08xxscale (0x): no. ) /cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/5._Gridlines.jpg 720w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/KbjvuO4205804zC1-sVvzzFMd4s=/0x0:828xx17929 filters: focal (0x0: 828×1792): no_upscale () / cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/5._Gridlines.jpg 920w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/ IB9OejidzSM91CSPcGkB mJwFRME = / 0x0: 828×1792 / 1120×0 / filters: focal (0x0: 828×1792): no_upscale () / cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/5._Gridlines.jpg 1120w, https: // cdn .vox cdn.com / thumbor / nglRBemoo50O12i_kUuRqM6CeYA = / 0x0: 828×1792 / 1320×0 / filters: focal (0x0: 828×1792): no_upscale () / cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/5._Gridlines .jpg 1320w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/7AGg0f2Aoyb87iDA-rPOJAUC0jU=/0x0:828×1792/1520×0/filters:focal(0x0:828×1792):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn uploads / chorus_asset / file / 19748496 / 5._Gridlines.jpg 1520w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/6ZUrLBado0YmPLS8wBR0-ozO_RQ=/0x0:828×1792/1720×0/filters:focal(0x0::28_17xxale:no28 () /cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/5._Gridlines.jpg 1720w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/xvx35NoncQ3I3cVr3IuwxXRAPd0=/0x019828x1792 : focal (0x0: 828×1792): no_upscale () / cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/5._Gridlines.jpg 1920w "sizes =" (min-width: 1221px) 846px, (min- width: 880px) calc (100vw – 3 34px), 100vw "alt =" http://www.theverge.com/ [19659013] As soon as you click on "Next", you will get from the app to the filter screen. If you tap on one of the filter thumbnails below – for example on the "Clarendon" filter – the app immediately applies this filter to your image. (This works the same way when you publish a video.)

If you tap the same filter thumbnail a second time, you can use Instagram to decrease the intensity of the filter to achieve a more subdued appearance. If you're using an iPhone, you can also tap the small square icon to add a simple frame.

Here are some other examples using the "Amaro", "X-Pro II" and "Lo-Fi" filters. Note the different effects that you can experiment with in just a few minutes when playing around with different filters.

Before you click Next, you can also tap Edit at the bottom of the screen to make further simple adjustments to the orientation, contrast, brightness, texture, warmth, saturation, color, and various other categories of your photo. These also use simple linear sliders or buttons to achieve different effects.

When you have everything the way you want, click "Done" and then click "Next" to go to the posting page where you can fill in details for your post, e.g. B. a label, hashtags, person tags, location tags, and sharing on other social media platforms.

If you have more experience with filters, you will probably start to develop favorites that you keep returning to. If you slide all the way to the right on the filter page, you can select “Manage” to go to a new menu where you can change the order of the filters using the three-stripes button on the left and the right one Pull spot. You can also hide filters by tapping the check mark. This way, your favorite filters will appear first, and you won't have to scroll through the filters you never use.

You can also do this without using the menu. On the filter page, just hold down some of the filter thumbnails for a few seconds. The thumbnail gets a little bigger, which means it is ready to move. You can then drag it left or right to change its position on the list, or drag it up to the "Drag to Hide" area, which temporarily appears in place of the photo you want to edit.

Here are the final results for the inclusion of Onion Creek in Austin.

The photo of the author of Onion Creek before (left) and after (right) the editing on Instagram.

The published version turns a pretty good original photo into something that offers more punch when users scroll through the picture using their Instagram feeds on their phones. Keep experimenting with filters and make your Instagram photos and videos more attractive to your followers.

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