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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Instagram Effects

Aloha Sprinklerinos,

As a lot of you with smart phones may know, there is a photo sharing social network app called Instagram which, in my humble opinion, is AMAZING.

My username on it is @Sprinkleofglitr (like my twitter) and I go on it, scroll through, 'like' things, comment on other images and upload my on photos multiple times a day. I think it's fair to say, I have an addiction.

At least once a day, I am asked what effects I use to make my pictures look the way they do and so I thought that this might help a lot of people who enquire (although I will continue answering on Instagram too for those that don't read this blog).

For images like the three above, I have simply used the filters that Instagram offers. I find these to be full and varied and enjoy the different warmths of colour you can create. You can really make images feel cosy. I tend to stick to 'Rise' (brightens the image with a buttery tone), 'X-pro II' (darkens round the edges and increases shadow depth) and 'Walden' (adds a cool tone). Once you have the app, you can play around and see which filters you find appealing and you'll develop your own insta-style. Oohhh, see what I did there? Haha.

After a while, you might want to spread your wings a bit from the Instagram-provided filters and stretch your wings a bit to something more fanciful.

You can create these filters and light effects by downloading an app called Picfx from the app store. I believe it is about £1.49 (app prices often vary over time) but I think it was money well spent. This app is simple pimple to use, has a huge array of filters and plenty of light effects to choose from. It also automatically crops your picture to instagram size so you can rest assured that whilst you are creating your masterpiece you won't loose any of it when you upload it. Instagram images are always square. 

I absolutely adore the sense of magic and whimsy you can add to your snaps with these effects. Even if you aren't on Instagram, you could buy this app and play with your existing pictures just for your own amusement. It certainly makes you feel like a little photographer!


And then there are all the other little tricks you can do on your phone to make interesting or fun instragram pictures. I'm sure there are a million and one different things you can do, but above I have features some of mine. 

The top picture is a collage I made on Nostalgio (this app was free when I downloaded it but I believe you have to pay for it now) and Picfx. I took a picture of myself (vain!), played with filters and saved 4 images that I liked the colours of, put the chosen 4 into Nostalgio in the collage format I liked (a simple quad) and tada! Uploaded to Instagram. I thought it looked a little pop-arty and I felt so artistic!

The second picture is a really simple way to share blog images (I use to hlp with those) and all I did was hopped onto the internet on my phone and took a screenshot of my blog. By doing this you are sharing a sneak peak of your new blog post with your instagram audience and can let them know there is something new to read if they fancy it. It's a double bonus because you are playing on Instragram (which suits my addiction) and promoting yourself too! Yay!

The last image is a new app I have found and is a whole heap of fun! This is 'Tiny Planet' and it allows you to take any picture and turn it into a (as the name would suggest) tiny planet! It's not something I use on a lot of my photos as I tend to take a lot of close up pictures but I think it's really fun for far away shots and makes for interesting results!

As well as the artistic license that Instagram affords you, I really love that you can link up all your updates to other social networking platforms (facebook and twitter to name but two) as this allows you to share the joy a bit and also means you have more places to nose at other people's creations.

In summary, I'm an instragramaholic and like any good 'aholic'!

Are you on Instagram? Would you be interested in playing a little Instagram-Blog game with me? Feel free to leave your Instagram name below too.