Photo sharing has come a long way in the last 10 years.
Gone are days of grainy, unfocused, high-gloss prints that graced our mother’s photo albums (or, in my case, a few dozen shoeboxes). From Canon 35mm cameras to the instant gratification of Polaroids, we were once amateurs determined to capture important memories.
In recent years, however, we’ve become pseudo-professional photographers.
We’re really good at image capture and video editing thanks to easy-to-use social media apps.
Instagram, the crème de la crème of the social media photo and video-sharing platforms, makes our images look amazing.
And there are a lot of us using Instagram. According to their site, Instagram has more than 400 million active monthly users. More than 80 million photos are uploaded each day, and those posts receiving 3.5 billion likes per day.
Instagram facilitates the public- and private-sharing function of these creative shots beyond the app’s platform through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Swarm (a companion to Foursquare).
For many Instagram users, it’s as much about sharing the image as it is about the 40-plus creative filters and editing features that accompany the app.
Add to these built-in features the third-party apps that tie into the Instagram platform, and you have a photo- and video-editing toolbox that will make you the envy of most Instagrammers.
Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Boomerang. Boomerang creates short, looping videos using high-resolution shots. Best part: It takes only a minute to learn. I tried Boomerang while taking shots of my kids jumping in the pool. After a few takes, I figured out the timing (which meant more pool fun for them). We ended up with some creative loops.
When you press the Boomerang button, the app takes several quick bursts and puts them together in a short video. As the app name suggests, it’s not a “start to finish” loop, but rather “forward and backward” loop (like a Boomerang).
You can shoot in portrait or landscape and share on several platforms.
Word of caution: give your device some time to process the video. I was a little impatient and inadvertently caused the app to shut down.
One Instagram faux pas is the rapid-fire succession of photo and video posts. If you’re a prolific Instagrammer, there’s a good chance you might be annoying a follower due to your multiple posts.
2. Layout. Layout, Instagram’s collage app, will take these images and collapse them into one image.
Open Layout while you’re in the Instagram platform and you’ll find previews of custom layouts using images from your camera roll.
The Faces option selects images from your gallery that feature people.
From there, you can flip, rotate, zoom, and rearrange multiple photos in a creative canvas, all the while using Instagram’s image filters. It’s fun and, like Boomerang, easy to use.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about communication and relationships, parenting and sports. He writes a weekly column for The Vindicator newspaper on social media and society.