Instagram as a Community

How much do you really see on Instagram? If you’re following a few hundred or even a thousand people, you’d think you’d see a lot. For me that doesn’t seem to be the case.

The more people you follow, the more challenging it is to keep up with, no lie. But It’s a very cool community, overall. So I’m of the belief it is worth the effort to take an extra step to see what folks are up to.

Now you can obviously view photos on your Phone, this is the entire premise of the app, right? Snapping and sharing on the go?? :-) But there are many ways to view images, bigger, better on our computers (or iPads).

When you get home from work, do spend loads of time on Facebook, seeing what your friends are up to? Yep, you do, unless you’re one of those folks who haven’t jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, and that is OK.

So you’re thinking, hey Kate, get to the point already… I’m getting bored! haha.

So here’s the point, think on this…

If you’re actively engaged in the Instagram community, use a tool like Iconosquare or Ink361 to view images and engage with them on a larger screen. These platforms let you see images in a grid so you can see more content and quickly choose ones to like or comment on, etc… p.s. commenting on peoples work can often result in people commenting/liking yours…

Take it a step further and view entire feeds of an individual. For instance if you use Ink361 you can click on “Following” to bring up a list of all of your followers, their avatar + their 5 most recent uploads to IG. This lets you really see what folks are up to, I was doing this today and realised how many posts I’d missed from folks. So I went a bit “Like” crazy. ;-)

Iconosquare works a bit different, unfortunately you can’t click on Following to see a feed like this. However Iconosquare offers some nice statistics about your images, if you’re into all that.

What I like about Iconosquare:

– Nice grid for viewing current uploads, keep scrolling to reveal more images
– Creating Groups, like Lists in Twitter, this helps narrow the field of images by topic/brand/friends whatever…
– Statistics covering images with most likes/comments, times you get the most interaction, based on times you post and more.
– They also run contests

DP Review Connect just did this article on Iconosquare. It’s a nice review with screen shots and all that goodness.

What I like about Ink361:

– View multiple recent uploads from individuals I’m following or that are following me.
– Quickly interact with those images from the thumbnail or blow it up for more detail.
– Create Circles (groups) to categorise people you’re following.

One thing about Ink361, they offer a store front. This is something you can set up if you wish to. An avenue to sell prints or other things of your Intsagram photos. I personally do not have a store setup here, I have a Smugmug account for that. I mention it because I’d suggest you be cautious when checking out Ink361, in that I don’t want you to setup a store if you don’t want to or don’t agree with the terms.

In general always read the Terms of Service before you sign up for one of these accounts, you want to be comfortable with the use of your stuff. Cool?

I’m wrapping this up but wanted to also include a couple of App options for you….

If you’re on a Mac a new app was just released, called: Grids

If you’re using an iPad, I’ve used Flow & Padgram, but in writing this also came across Retro which looks nice, but I haven’t given it a try yet. I do prefer Flow over Padgram.

You can also connect Instagram to Flipboard, if you’re already using that app.

Ok, phew, wordy bit and no photos. Sorry!

Here’s a recent snap ;)

iPhone5s | Hipstamatic | Mextures
iPhone5s | Hipstamatic | Mextures

Have fun instagrammin’.

– kate

salem

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day driving about Massachusetts and made my way to Salem, MA. having recently relocated to the Boston area, Salem was a spot I thought would be cool to check out.

Surprisingly enough I didn’t discover too many witches, but I did find a wand shop ;).

Near downtown Salem, I found a park called Salem Willows Park. Beautiful views, a small beach front, a pier and more. I spent quite a bit of time here, especially as I’ve been missing Alki Beach in Seattle.

I snapped these images with the ever so lovely Fuji X100s.

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I actually took more photos in this area than the downtown area. Once downtown I switched to shooting more with my iPhone. Including the Old Burying Ground Cemetery and a beach. Lots to explore within a mile or so radius. I’m sure I’ll visit there again!

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fotograf

Hey my friend over at Skipology.com shared a link to this new app today, fotograf, so I decided to give it a quick look.

fotograf offers a simple user interface and your basic controls, to change things like contrast, colour temperature, clarity, shadows, highlights and more. This is available in loads of apps, the cool factor in fotograf is that it offers previews of your changes.

There’s also a number of free filters, you can buy additional filters within the app.

Fotograf is also supposed to take advantage of the new manual features in IOS8, I didn’t try this out as I haven’t updated my phone yet. ;)

Here’s a couple of screenshots of the app, plus a before and after of my edits.

Before

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Screen Shots

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After

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fotograf $1.99 in the app store.