Instagramatically Speaking

Instagram - been around for a while now but only quite recently it's become very popular. Originally designed for snaps taken with a smartphone, given a quick filter or look and then uploaded for all to see: exotic or unusual meals, pets, girlfriends, boyfriends, and selfies of course, it's now being frequented by serious photographers. Although many of these began by exploring what they could achieve with their phones, they now more often post pictures taken on a regular camera. Like the famous young YouTubers who've earned wealth and fame, a number of Instagramers have either sold work or got jobs through people seeing their pictures on the service. Others have gained popularity by amassing a huge number of followers. Not saying any of this would happen in ickledot's case but he is is now following the trend and thinking more seriously about using Instagram. First posts were mainly highlights from 2015: rugby, music and various other subjects. More recent shots have been purely rugby, as you can see above.

Instagram still looks like and thinks of itself as a phone based service so the method of posting can be quite long winded, using a range of apps. One method is to take an image stored on desktop or laptop and email it to yourself. That gets it onto the phone. From there it's a fairly simple job to save and upload to Instagram. ickledot's preferred method uses Flickr. As regular readers will know, ickledot uses Flickr quite extensively. Flickr also has a phone or tablet app with a number of sharing choices which include the option to save on the phone itself.

Before uploading to Instagram, many will use one of its filters to give the image a style or look. However, there are many other image editing apps and ickledot's favourite is Snapseed, an app that's been around for a while and is now owned by Google. It crops, adjusts exposure, highlights, shadows, contrast, sharpens and much more, in addition to having its own range of filters. More photo apps are being developed all the time though and one of the latest is desktop big hitter, Adobe Photoshop's phone and tablet app, Photoshop Fix. This one should not be underestimated; unbelievably it can do some things easily that are more difficult or onerous in the full desktop version. A touchscreen healing brush deals with blemishes on skin or gets rid of unwanted objects really well.

Another new and useful app from Adobe is Adobe Post. It allows you to add words or phrases to an image using a variety of stylish templates which can be easily modified. Here again, other apps which do a similar job are available.

As you might have seen, many images included in these pages are also on Instagram. They're often altered a little or a lot though so it would be well worth following ickledot there too! In addition to ickledot on:

Just a slave to social networking, that's ickledot.

A little addendum here regarding Instagram. Much of the above information and impetus has come from ickledot's virtual guru Scott Kelby and his instructional/educational company, KelbyOne. Since originally writing this post, he's released a short series of videos entitled How To Build An Audience in Instagram. Not only does this 'Do What It Says On The Tin' as they say, it also highlights just how amazing the growth of Instagram has been. For example, did you know there are 70 million posts a day on Instagram? Or 1000 comments per second? I didn't before watching the course. It's worth a look for these and other stunning statistics alone, but you'll also learn much more.

Well, it's the middle of the week - Wednesday - a time when memories of the previous weekend are fading and being replaced by thoughts of the one to come. Not that we only live only for the weekend or anything. Indeed, ickledot's really looking forward to photographing at Bradford's finest gallery tomorrow: the magnificent Cartwright Hall.

And the big highlight of the weekend? On Sunday a return to Doncaster for the big local derby: Doncaster Knights v Rotherham Titans! Cannot wait for this. A big deal! As you'll know from ickledot's previous post, he took photos of Knights' last match against Jersey. Not only have some of ickledot's pictures been used in Knights' own social networking and in the upcoming match programme BUT ALSO he's been invited back to take photos once more of arguably their biggest game of the season. A huge honour.

There was a reasonable crowd last weekend but on Sunday the place should be heaving! And TV will be there! No pressure. Watch this space to find how ickledot gets on.