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How to use filters to enhance your Instagram photos



If you want to get the most out of Instagram, it pays to improve your photos with a little technical magic before you post them. Serious photographers do this by using digital tools to adjust everything, from color balance to sharpness to saturation.

For everyone, the Instagram app includes user-friendly filters and editing tools that can make your photos & videos & visually more attractive.

Step by Step Using Instagram Editing Tools

View this photo I took in a city park in Austin. Not bad, maybe, but what if I could increase the visual appeal before I share it on Instagram? Here's how you do it.

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

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Although Instagram makes photo & # 39; s square by default, you can also use the <> button in the use the bottom right corner to resize the photo to its original size.

If you stay in the square format, leave your fingertip on the photo to move it and get exactly the desired crop; the grid lines that appear help you to balance the visual composition. (It is no coincidence that the grid is 3×3; it helps you follow the classic "third-party rule.")

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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/chorile/ass4849 5._Gridlines.jpg 320w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/nezfFoYtnk4f4Z1GxntzjomydHc=/0x0:828×1792/520×0/filters:focal(0x0:828×1792):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn /uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/5._Gridlines.jpg 520w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/bgsHjofoCbh6cbnzm0NeNF8VqZA=/0x0:828×1792/720×0/filters:focal (0x92: no28x (nox92: no28) ) /cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/5._Gridlines.jpg 720w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/KbjvuO4205804zC1-sVvzzFMd4s=/0x0:828×1792/920×0/ 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/ IB9 Ojid2 SM91CSPcGkBmJwFRME = / 0x 0: 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/52048496lines , https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/7AGg0f2Aoyb87iDA-rPOJAUC0jU=/0x0:828×1792/1520×0/filters:focal(0x0:828×1792):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/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(0x0:828×1792):no/upscale() cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19748496/5._Gridlines.jpg 1720w, https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/xvx35NoncQ3I3cVr3IuwxXRAPd0=/0x0:828×1792/1920xfocal (filters) 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 (100 vw – 334 px), 100 v w "alt =" http://www.theverge.com/ [19659013] As soon as you click on "Next", the app takes you to the filter screen. When you tap one of the filter thumbnails at the bottom – for example, the filter & # 39; Clarendon & # 39; here, the app immediately applies that filter to your photo. (This process works the same way as when you place a video.)

If you tap the same filter thumbnail a second time, you can set the intensity of the filter with Instagram to get a more subdued look. If you are using an iPhone, you can also tap the small square icon to add a simple frame.

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

Before you click & # 39; Next & # 39; you can also click & # 39; Edit & # 39; at the bottom of the screen. tap to make other simple adjustments to the alignment, contrast, brightness, texture, warmth, saturation, color, and various other categories of your photo. Again, these use simple linear sliders or buttons to achieve different effects.

Once you have everything the way you want, click "Done" and then "Next" to go to the placement page where you can enter details for your message, such as a caption, hashtags, people tags, location tags, and share with other social media platforms.

As you gain more experience with the use of filters, you will probably develop favorites that you keep returning to. By scrolling all the way to the right on the filter page, you can choose "Manage" to go to a new menu that allows you to rearrange the order of the filters by using the three-line button on the left and dragging it into place. You can also hide filters by tapping the checkmark. That way your favorite filters are displayed first and you don't have to wade through the filters you never use.

You can also achieve this without using the menu. On the filter page, simply hold down a few filter thumbnails for a few seconds. The thumbnail becomes slightly larger, which means that it is ready to be moved. You can then drag it to the left or right to change the position in the setup or drag it up to the "Drag to Hide" area that appears temporarily instead of the photo being edited.

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) editing on Instagram.

The published version transforms a pretty good original photo into something that will pack more punch as users browse their Instagram feeds on their phones. Keep experimenting with filters and you make your Instagram photos & # 39; s and videos & # 39; s more attractive to your followers.

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