Last updated: 04:30 PM ET, Mon October 10 2016

How to Make Your Instagram Photos Look Even More Amazing

Features & Advice | Janeen Christoff | October 10, 2016

How to Make Your Instagram Photos Look Even More Amazing

Photo courtesy Thinkstock. 

If you aren’t paying attention to contrast levels and glare in photos, you are not doing Instagram right. Don’t just slap a filter on your photo and throw in a few hashtags into a caption, take the advice of Thrillist’s photo editor Drew Swantak and learn to use Instagram’s editing features to your advantage. 

“There's nothing wrong with rushing through post-production in pursuit of those tasty, tasty likes, but ever wonder what you could be doing better?” asks Joe McGauley. 

Swantak says that, in order to go from #nofilter to #profilter, you need to follow these steps. 

First, get to know the photo editing features. 

Swantak points out that “brightness” is “pretty straightforward, this can brighten up a dark image and darken a bright one. 

For contrast he says: “When turned up, it exaggerates the darks and lights in an image, and softens them when turned down. 

“Increasing [saturation] adds strength/intensity to the colors in your image, and vice versa,” says Swantak. 

When it comes to each of these elements, it’s important to understand how to use them. 

“Brightness and contrast do a lot of the work in a low-light edit. Also, it's important not to over-saturate. It can be tempting, especially if the lighting is poor, but a little goes a long way (especially when you're turning it up). An over-saturated image often looks like it's been over-edited, and you don't want that,” Swantak points out. 

He also discusses tips for using other edit features such as “warmth.”

READ MORE: How to Take Better Travel Photos  

“The warmth tool is particularly effective in enhancing certain elements of nature. In this instance, the greens in the original image looked too blue, so boosting the warmth added yellow tones to balance the green and make it pop more. With nature shots in particular, use the warmth tool to bring out the mood or season you're trying to capture,” Swantak says. 

And he has some great tips for food, pointing out that one of the best filters for food is Clarendon, but also making recommendations for how to edit within the filter. 

Read on here to get in-depth tips and suggestions for each tool in Instagram’s editing section as well as real life tips for photos. 


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