Every now and then when I scroll down my Instagram feed I will see photos that jump out from the others. The colors of the photo are magnificent and you can tell that a pretty sweet filter has been applied, one that you can’t get from Instagram. When I would see these pictures I knew that the person posting it was using an app outside of Instagram. However, although I always meant to research what these people were using to make their photos stand out so much I kept putting it on the back burner.
Last night I was reading a magazine when I flipped to the tech section that talked about photo editing applications. It mentioned a lot of different ones and then highlighted a few as the best available currently. After taking 2,600 photos on Instagram without using any other third party applications except for Instaframe and a couple others similar to it, I knew it was time to spice up my “Instagram Game” a bit.
Today I downloaded the free version of Pixlromatic and then I purchased the newest version of Color Splash. Let me tell you, these apps will blow your mind. I don’t want to spend too much time getting into specifics about what these two apps do. Just know that Pixlromatic is a service that allows you to apply a couple different levels of filters to your photos, filters that are 10x better than anything Instagram offers. Color Splash lets you isolate colors around a canvas of black and white. I am pretty sure you have all seen the product of this app before….think of an Easter basket sitting in the middle of a busy kitchen with everything black and white except for the vibrantly colored eggs inside the basket. That is what Color Splash does.
These apps totally transform a normal photo into something totally different. When done right, this “totally different” product looks like a work of art. In just the second image I created with Pixlromatic I took a photo of a tree with its leaves changing right by campus. By itself it was a decent picture but after I applied a couple Pixlromatic filters it went from a tree with yellow leaves in front of blue skies to a striking reddish-orange tree in front of purple skies and cool shadows. It immediately got 22 Instagram likes (a high number for me).
I feel now that if I wanted to I could do all my Photoshop work that I do on my PC right from my iPhone…and maybe even get better results! The technology available to edit photos on smart phones is absolutely incredible and for the most part, easy. Another cool aspect of these apps is that you can use them together. I can take a photo and use it in Color Splash. After I save it I can pull it up in Pixlromatic and manipulate it some more from there. Finally I can bring it into Instagram and do any further editing that I see fit.
However, it is important not to overdo it. I definitely have no plans to start uploading heavily filtered photos each and every time I post to Instagram. I just think if you continually post significantly doctored photos to your account it makes you and your photos look a little fake. We all know that filters help to disguise and flatter and trust me, some of the new photo editing apps take disguise and flatter to new levels. Whether it be a photo of nature or a selfie, it is important to go #NoFilter at least 35% of the time and give your audience a regular dose of reality.
I think an Instagram account for a sports team should go even lower than that 35% number but I will save athletics filtering for an entirely separate blog post.
If you like photos and you like posting to Instagram, definitely check out the photo editing apps out there. They provide a great way to get very artistic and creative. Remember to have fun with them but also remember to set a limit for yourself. Don’t blur that line too much between reality and Filter Land. Don’t Blink.