I love Instagram, it’s a cornerstone in my creative practice and the place where I go to be inspired.
Since I joined in 2011 I have gone from using the limited tools Instagram launched with to a range of apps to edit and prep my images for upload. While I don’t use every process on every post these are the tools I use on a regular basis.
VSCOcam is a favourite of many Instagrammers. It has filters, both free and paid, which add a filmic look to images but it’s the editing tools I use most frequently. With simple sliding scales for everything from exposure to skin tone, fine tuning your photos in VSCOcam is a joy.
Touch Retouch is like magic. Put simply: it erases unwanted elements from your photos. I’ve shown people how it works before to a reception of amazed gasps. Import a picture, zoom in on an area which has an unwanted aspect, brush over the area and hit the play button. Within a second your blemish is gone and the image is ready to save.
I find it works best on objects surrounded by homogenous backgrounds. As you can see in the picture above there is a slight pixilation but in the image below the hand, crumbs and light leak under the backboard have all been removed without a trace.
Squaready is a nifty app to add the white spaces around a photo you don’t want to crop to square. It’s a straightforward interface, select images from your camera roll and then adjust within the frame until you are happy with them.
Mappr is an app which geotags your images for you. Often editing software will strip out the location or you may not like to have location services on for your photos. With Mappr you upload an image then search locations. I find using postcodes quite useful especially for remote locations. Once you have selected the location you can export to camera roll or directly to Instagram.
When you go to select the location instead of the place where you are currently you will find a list of places based on the location you have added to the image.
Iconosquare isn’t an editing app but a website which provides insights and stats for your account. I use it to find out which pictures people engaged with the most and to search for hashtags which might fit in with my style.
AvgCamPro to use AvgCam to the best of its abilities you’ll need a tripod for your phone (check out the Manfrotto Pixi + Klyp for a good option). This app takes a series of photos and layers them to create the effect of a long exposure. Great for moving water or night lights. You can also use it as a slow shutter control on your camera which leads to load of creative possibilities.
PicTapGo is what I use to edit when I don’t have huge amounts of time on my hands. It has a series of filters for exposure, contrast, colour, sharpness etc as well as creative filters. As you apply each effect you have a slider to reduce the strength on your image.
SKRWT is a must-have if you take images of buildings or any other subject which needs to be straight. Upload your images and then gently reorient them through three dimensions by sliding your finger along the scale for each aspect. If you hold your finger on the image it will show you the original so you can compare how your edit looks.
Kat Molesworth is a Photographer and lifelong camera enthusiast. She works for a range of commercial and private clients and teaches photography workshops in the UK.
Kat is also Director of Blogtacular, the conference for creative bloggers. You can find her on Instagram as@thatkat and she writes her personal blog at Housewife Confidential.