Heard of Instagram but not really sure what it’s all about?
Well, it’s basically an app for your phone (Iphone or Android) whereby you can take photographs and edit them, or edit your existing photographs.
Once you’ve done that you publish them to your very own Instagram timeline.
A little like Twitter, you can follow other people and therefore their photographs appear in your timeline. Other people can follow you, and your images then appear in their timelines.
You can ‘like’ or comment on your own photos, or those in your timeline. And again, like Twitter, you can tag your images with #hashtags and tag other users by including their Instagram @ handle in your comments.
The editing capabilities in Instagram are limited, you can change the overall look of your photograph by selecting an effect – some make it look old, some brighten your image, some turn it black and white, there’s a range of effects. You can also choose whether to include a frame or not, but you don’t get to choose which frame is used. You can also blur parts of your photographs, which helps both obscure parts of an image you might to keep private (your children’s faces for example), and it can also draw focus to something, by removing or blurring distractions. You can brighten a photograph and rotate it too.
That’s pretty much it, but it’s enough to turn a dull picture into something a little more special. Here are 4 versions of the same image…OK, so it’s not a great image, but you get the idea…
When you upload an image to Instagram you are given the option to share the image to various other places – Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and even FourSquare, so your friends on those platforms can see your photographic efforts too.
I rarely include photos of my children on Instagram but if you want to, there is a helpful security setting which you can turn on – this means only those you approve can follow you. It’s a simple yes/no to accept/reject potential followers.
Very recently, Instagram have also launched a video aspect to the app, where you can take or view videos as well as images, but I’ve yet to test this feature.
If you’re wondering if it’s worth it, then I’d say yes!
For me, it’s a really simple way of quickly improving my photographs, and sharing them with other people who like photography. I can include images from my blog which helps with drawing people to my blog, and I can create a ‘look’ if I want, styling my images similarly so people instantly know they’re mine.
I have different people following me in different places, so having the ability to share a photo on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook all in one go is great for me.
I can do it on the move, and because copies of all my Instagrammed pictures appear in my phone’s gallery, I can very easily add them to my blog too.
If you want to get into Instagram, then you’ll need to download the app from the Android Play Store or the Apple store. You can follow myself (@BoysBehaviour) and Sarah (@PuffinDiaries) to get you started too.
For more information on Instagram, go to www.Instagram.com.
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