A very user-friendly app known as one of the easiest ways to edit and share photographs.
Pros & Cons:
Putting aside the following of teenage “hipsters” that Instagram has become famous for – it’s also known as one of the easiest ways to edit and share photographs.
Let’s start with the basics; to download Instagram, you’re looking at a 14.5MB download from the App Store. The iOS requirement is iOS5 and higher, so if you’re still rocking the iPhone 3G or lower, you’re unfortunately not going to be able to use this app. Once your app is finished downloading, it’ll open up a screen asking you to either Sign In or Register. Being an avid instagrammer myself, I had to completely alienate myself from the environment of my own profile and create a new alias to review the app under.
Once all your details are filled in, you can click Done and get down to the good stuff. The interface is easy to work with – which is nice for those of us who don’t want to meddle around with intense camera settings to take a nice photo. You can use a photograph which is already stored on your device or take a new one.
Taking a new photograph & editing it
Once you’ve framed up the photograph that you want to take, you can shift the light-focus by clicking on the object you want in focus on the viewfinder. By default, the entire image will be of the same light. Once you’ve assigned an area of focus, the rest of the image around that object will fall darker. Once you’ve taken the image, you can move it around to frame it up along the grid as well as zoom in or out – and then click Crop.
The next window will look fairly similar, except for the new row of options at the bottom of the image. You’ll notice a variety of filters that you can use to edit the photograph. Options to tilt, blur and Sharpen/Contrast the photograph are also available. I’m not a personal fan of the Instagram-filters, due to the fact that the majority of them just apply a blotch of light in the centre of the photograph – all just in different hues.
The blur function is useful for those of us who enjoy using depth of field. It gives the photograph a slightly more professional look. Another feature available on this window is the use of Frames. Unfortunately, each filter (as if it were a type of film) has its own unique frame, and it is only possible to enable or disable the function and not alternate between the frames within the filters.
Using an old photograph
Not much changes when you use an old photograph instead of taking a new one. Instead of using the functionality of the camera in the viewfinder, you will click the photograph in the left hand corner which will be a thumbnail of the latest photograph in your Photos. Once you’ve clicked on that, it will bring up a window that allows you to select a photograph to edit. Once you’ve framed that up and cropped it, the editing continues as it usually would.
Posting a photograph
Now that we’ve prettied our photo up, we want to see what the world thinks of it. So we’ll go ahead and click Next. You now have the option to add a Caption, Place or Person to your photograph, as well as choose the sharing domains. An important fact to remember about Instagram is that other users can only find your photograph if you use hashtags in the Caption section. If you’re wanting to use Instagram for personal purposes, it is advised not to add hashtags. The hashtags used are usually one-word descriptive of the content of the photograph. You can view my example in the screenshot.
I like the use of the hashtags in instagram, as it’s always nice to get feedback from other users. An empty newsfeed is a sad newsfeed. Once you’re finished setting your domains etc, you can click Share. This will post your photograph to your profile and to the instagram hashtag pages (if you applied any).
As an Image Editor, I wouldn’t rate Instagram as one of the best. It’s a great Image Viewer and Sharing Platform, but I do believe that there are Apps that could work better for editing. Some of the more popular, serious Instagrammers do not use Instagram for editing purposes at all – but rather exclusively for sharing. They’ll edit the photographs beforehand on another app and then post it from their Photos.
I like the interface of the app, as it is very user-friendly. This could be one of the reasons that it is so popular among the youngsters. If you’re between the ages of 13-18 and just want to take some pictures of your dog or your best friend’s silhouette on the beach, throw a filter on it and get some likes, Instagram is the platform for you. For the more serious Editors, watch this space.
Instagram was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on based on version 5.0.7.