Instagram Week: Day 6

So Instagram has a Tumblr blog, and it’s pretty cool. One of the downsides to the app is that the photos are so small! You can’t just click on a picture you like and make it bigger, but the blog showcases amazing photos in a larger format.

They always feature photos from the week and here is one of my favorites, taken by rchptch:

The blog also picks random events from the week (like a freeze in Europe) and showcase user’s photos.

My favorite is their weekend #hashtag project. Follow along, use the hashtag, and you could be featured in their gallery (Obviously another way to gain followers).

Follow along on their RSS feed.

Instagram released a new update on Friday with some new features, so that’s what we’ll cover tomorrow!

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Instagram Week: Day 5

So this whole #hashtag thing has been on my mind. Back on day 2 I mentioned ReadWriteWeb’s tips on gaining new Instagram followers. I tried #3, which is to use popular hashtags. And let me tell you, it worked. You can even go back to old photos and add popular hashtags and peopl start liking right away! I even gained some new followers.

Here’s my most popular photo (yes, I know it’s only gotten 22 likes, I’m still a work in progress).

Here are some of the popular hashtags I used. I got most of them from photos from Instagram’s popular page:

#iphonography
#instagram
#instamood
#instagood
#ig
#jj
#photooftheday
#iphonesia
#iphoneonly

It also helps to tag the things in your photo, and #sunset, #clouds, and #trees seem to be the most popular. Another tip: like lots of other’s photos. It will bring people to your page and might gain you some new followers. Good luck!

Tomorrow: The Instagram Blog 

 

 

 

Instagram Week: Day 4

Geotagging!

Geotagging is simple, yet necessary. Geotagging provides another data point for Instagram users to see your work. When you tag a photo at a specific location, you can also see other user’s photos that were taken there too. Here’s the West Virginia University Library:

(Apparently I’m not the only one in love with that chandelier… Mine is the top right corner)

So, not only can you see what others have photographed at certain locations, it’s a nice little way to keep track of your travels. Like a photo diary. It also may gain you some new followers too.

Tomorrow is liking and commenting (and hashtags too).

Instagram Week: Day 3

The Popular page! The Instagram’s popular page is confusing, but I’ll do my best to explain it. It’s one of the features on the app that showcases 32 of the most popular photos on Instagram at that very moment. It’s kind of like Twitter’s “Trending Topics”. Here’s what it looks like from my phone:

The confusing part is that it doesn’t seem to have a formula to it. It’s not based on “likes” or views. Here’s what Instagram’s blog says:

In other words, WHAT THE? In order to find out more, I did some research. Apparently I’m not the only one to think, WHAT THE? Chris Smith at appdaptation came up with some rules, which I still don’t quite understand. If anyone has photos that are frequented on the popular page, please let me know how it works. Until then, I will just have to be at peace with the popular page.

To leave you on a positive note, ReadWriteWeb offers 6 effective ways to get more Instagram followers. Good luck!

Tomorrow: Geotagging! Stay tuned.

Instagram Week: Day 2

Yesterday we covered the basics of Instagram (Check out the web version at Webstagram). Today we’ll go over filters…

Instagram offers different vintage filters. Most of the time, I like to edit photos in other apps and THEN upload to Instagram, but sometimes the filters can make your photos turn out pretty cool. Here is a photo I took out my window this morning (I apologize for the gloom and doom… it’s yucky outside today). Click on an image you like to see the name of the filter.

My personal favorite is “Hefe” because it makes the colors so deep and bright. What’s your favorite Instagram filter?

Coming up for tomorrow… The ever confusing and complex Instagram popular page. STAY TUNED.

Instagram Week: Day 1

It’s Instagram week! For the next week I’m going to be talking ONLY about Instagram, because there is A LOT to talk about. I’m not quite sure why it’s taken me so long to talk about Instagram. Perhaps since it plays such a big role in the world of iPhone photography, it has seemed like a daunting task. But the time has come. INSTAGRAM. (And it’s free!)

Today will be a meet and greet. Here we go…

I’m fairly new to the Instagram app, but it’s been around for about a year and a half now, which is basically forever in app years. I would describe it as a social media platform where users can upload a photo to their feed. That’s pretty much the gist of it. Now, before you upload the photo to the your feed, you can choose from 11 different “vintage” filters, use a geotag location, and have the photo simulaniously uploaded to your Facebook, Twitter, Email, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Posterous. You can also use hashtags to describe what’s in your photo (#trees and #clouds are my personal favorite). You can also “like” other people’s photos.

One a personal note, I have really had a lot of fun with this app. To be completely honest, it’s what sparked my newfangled passion for iPhone photography. I feel like I’ve developed my own personal style, and it’s cool to see what others are doing and learning different techniques and filters. It makes me feel like a real artist. Sort of. So, it’s pretty simple and easy to use. Here’s a look at my profile page. If you’re following along at home, my handle is @youlittlebeauty.

 

Later this week: Instagram Filters, the “Popular” page, Geotagging, Liking and Commenting, and the Instagram blog. In the meantime, what’s your Instagram handle? I want to know! And please, STAY TUNED.

Does the iPhone replace the point-and-shoot camera?

I have had an iPhone for years. It goes everywhere with me, so I always have a camera ready. I also have a Canon G12 that I don’t use very often, even though it’s a great camera (and was really expensive). It’s small but I still only take it on trips and special occassions. So, I guess in many ways, my iPhone really has replaced my camera. Mostly because of the convenience. My iPhone 4 takes great photos, and I can edit them and change the filters right on the phone. I can order prints right from my phone and 9 times out of 10 they turn out pretty well, even as a 5×7 or 8×10.

The blogs on my blogroll don’t really cover this issue, mostly because they are instructional guides or app reviews. I did find a couple of articles on the web that make some pretty good arguments.

PC Magazine points out that while the iPhone lacks in optical zoom, it has a fast shutter speed that allows you to take lots of photos in sequence. They argue, however, that while the iPhone still provides a great camera, if you’re going to be somewhere, like a family event or vacation, the iPhone is always going to beat the iPhone in terms of quality.

Ars Technica tested out the theory and compared iPhone pictures with other smart phones and digital cameras. They argue that while the iPhone doesn’t take photos as high quality as a digital camera the differences are fairly minimal, and the apps and tools make it strong enough to replace a digital camera.

ZDNet argues that the iPhone isn’t the only smart phone on the market threatening to replace the digital camera. HTC has a phone with an 8 megapixel cameramegapixel camera, just like the iPhone 4S.

While I don’t think that my iPhone has replaced my camera completely, it does always win due to convenience. I still wouldn’t ever replace it forever for my camera.

Take great photos with your iPhone

Here’s a photo I took the other day.  I ran it through Cross Process twice.

Using your iPhone to take pictures is obviously not the same as using a real camera. It can be awkward at times, until you get the hang of it. So how does one take a great photo with their iPhone? Here are four blogs that weigh in…

I took this at WVU the other day and uploaded it through Instagram. (I’ll be posting about them next week)

Camera Bag

Camera Bag! You upload a photo and it gives you 15 different camera styles (or filters) to choose from. Here is a photo I took last summer in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Hover over the image to see which “camera” is used. I dig it.

Have a look at the Camera Bag Flickr group.

Ordering photo prints from your iPhone.

Taken with Camera+ and edited in Lo-Mob.

I recently discovered PostalPix, an app that lets you order prints directly from your phone and are usually shipped to your mailbox within a week, and prices fairly decent compared to developing analog film. Here are how some of mine turned out:

Personally, I think the best feature of this app is that you can actually get 4×4 prints, and for you fellow Instagram lovers, this is perfect! It’s tricky to find 4×4 frames in stores, but Etsy has a great catalog of homemade frames, and Apartment Therapy and A Beautiful Mess offer some inspiration for cute ways you can display yours at home.

Walgreens also offers a simple app that lets you upload photos from your phone to their website and you can usually pick them up from a local store within an hour! Tip: If you are ordering prints you’d like to frame, go back into your photo roll and crop them into a standard 4×6 format and save before you upload (you can always go revert to the original). Otherwise, Walgreens will print them out as “True Digital”, which is actually 4×5.3 and won’t fit into a standard photo frame. The nice thing about true digital prints, however, is that they come out in matte format, instead of gloss. Enjoy!

Here are some photos I took of the West Virginia University campus this week, using Cross Process.