I was a bit skeptical of this app when I read its description at first, only because I've used a whole heap of similar programs on my PC that dress up my ordinary pics in shades of Sepia or Black and White. I have often found that these filters make what is already pretty amateurish look just plain tacky. But, I was pleasantly surprised to find the filter I chose, for a particularly uninspiring photograph of my venerable visage, really transformed the whole feel of the picture. This was a photo I took of myself standing in front of some open kitchen cupboards, I really wasn't trying to do something extraordinary, I even had a shade of vampiric red-eyes, but when I applied the "Toaster" filter to the image I was genuinely surprised by how nostalgic the ordinary had become and how smoothed out my vampire eyes had become. So really, Instagram can be a great application for those who love to take photos wherever they go or those of us who somehow always seem to manage to make substandard captures.
Instagram works on two main features, the first is what I have discussed so far, and that is, it allows you to dress up your regular photos, captured or downloaded on your iPhone, with special colouring filters. There's quite a few really impressive picture transformers like the filter named "1977", which I assume, is bringing back a nostalgic 70s feel to the shades and colours of any photograph, though I wasn't sure why the year 1977 precisely was chosen for the name of this filter. Other filters include "Lord Kelvin"; "Gotham"; "Pop rocket" and Toaster (my personal favourite) to name a few.
But Instagram doesn't stop there , it lets you use a "share" feature to post your pictures on Twitter, Facebook, Flicker, Tumbler, FourSqaure and/or Posterous, it also lets you email the picture to yourself. This is really supposed to be the main purpose of Instagram: the ease of sharing your pics from your phone to the world wide web. Added to this is the fact that you then enter into a virtual space where you can see what other users are doing and uploading. In this way, Instagram is like Facebook for photos.
At the bottom of the main screen you can access a live feed of what others in your circle of friends are uploading. Here, you can get some inspiration and get a sense of how others are transforming their daily photo art, and it really is amazing how creative people can be. If only to have access to the brilliant amateur photography that is out there, Instagram is worth it. Instagram also lets you leave comments or press that thumbs up icon to indicate your approval on any uploads that appear in your live feed. If someone's photo art particularly takes your fancy, you can "follow" them so that any new posts by them appears in your "Favourites" list which you can also access from the bottom of the main screen. Otherwise, a "Best of" Instagram series of uploads populate your feed.
The best thing about Instagram is that it is yours gratis and if you like taking random, award-winning photos with your iPhone, and could use the luminary help of an automatic editing software then Instagram will be a valuable addition to your apps folder.
AppPicker Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Pick It Up in the App Store:Instagram
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