Post processing for Instagram

A few people have been asking me what filters and tweaks I use before I post photographs to Instagram. Some people have also suggested that using any kind of post processing is "cheating" which I found surprising as I was not aware that art had any rules.  As I am a bit of a rebel I am ok with breaking the rules ;-)

The application, Instagram, comes with several pre-made filters that can be applied as well as tools that allow you to adjust your photograph.  As powerful as these tools are, for less than the price of a latte you can have a very powerful photo editor on your iPhone: Snapseed (Apple app store download).  The latest version of Snapseed allows the user to make non-destructive edits to photographs.

As you can see from the example below, several changes have been made from the original image on the left.  Snapseed allowed me to take away the shadow that was 'hiding' the buildings and to highlight the trees and water in the foreground.  It also allowed me to add more intensity to the color in the sky. The final version that was posted to Instagram can be seen here.


Similarly, in the images below I decreased the shadow in the buildings, increased the structure and sharpness of the photograph and made the sky 'pop'.


It is worth noting that both these original photographs were taken using the iPhone's HDR mode which takes two photographs, one underexposed and one overexposed. The photo application then merges the highlights and lowlights of the two photographs to create one balanced photograph.