Instagram Update Adds Control

I’m not going to lie: I like Instagram. I know, we "real" photographers are supposed to think it’s silly that the masses point their cell phones at something, apply a one-click filter, and suddenly they’re photographers. But in actuality, the emphasis on visual communication—specifically photography—is a good thing. The fact that our society is getting more image savvy, and frankly just more interested in photographs of all types, is a net positive. (Sure, there’s the argument about the commoditization of photography, but in the end I think more photography, and increased popularity, is better than less.) Anyway, back to the point—which is that I really think Instagram is great. The one knock I’ve always had on it is a lack of control. The filters are nice, and they’re certainly easy to use, but if you think the blue is too blue in one, or the focus is too soft in another, you’re simply out of luck. But now, with the newest update to version 6, Instagram allows basic editing of its effects, with adjustments possible to the overall filter strength, as well as the individual elements that go into them, like contrast, brightness, vignetting, saturation, highlights, shadows and warmth. I, for one, am pretty excited about having the option to exercise a little more control over my Instagrams. Anything that gets me, and the rest of us, thinking more photographically has got to be a good thing, right?

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