Melting Pot

Instagram: Photos From a Camera, not a Phone

I am procrastinating just a tiny bit right now as there’s a fantastic mess for me to clean up today. In 100% honesty I don’t mind it. There are far worse tasks I could have to deal with. I can handle the mess just fine and I’ll be happy when it’s done that I was able to do something helpful and constructive. But even so, that doesn’t mean a small degree of procrastination is not going to happen. For the moment the weather is quite perfect and I’m enjoying sitting here, NOT sweating like crazy, and sipping a coffee drink I mastered the recipe for thanks to J. being so kind to buy me the necessary ingredients. I’ll share the recipe just as soon as one of the people who are supposed to be testing it out for me do that and let me know if it’s ACTUALLY good or if my taste buds are just insane. LOL

I finally figured out how to put decent pictures on Instagram. You know, for those of us who have cell phones with crummy cameras, I mean. Or for those who would just prefer to use photos taken with an actual camera, regardless of the quality of photos their smartphone is capable of taking.  In my opinion no cell phone camera can ever truly compare to a real camera, but there are some phones that do a suitable enough job to make for a pretty IG feed. My phone is NOT one of them. The phone camera doesn’t have autofocus. So, you’re forced to sit there and move the phone closer and closer to whatever you’re trying to take a picture of, or moving it further away, till you get the subject somewhat in focus. Good luck with that. (This means the phone will not scan QR codes and such. So some fun apps I had hoped to use when I got this phone… not happening. But that’s beside the point.) This leads to a rather sad looking IG feed if that’s the only way to upload pictures. IG is completely phone based. Which is cool. I get it. You can view people’s public profiles on a computer, and if you have an account you can even comment on the computer. But to get an account, or to upload pictures of your own… you NEED a smartphone with the IG app.

Please note that the following is just based on my experience with an Android phone – there are likely other methods as well and you’ll probably find them all on Google/Bing/your search engine of choice. I don’t have experience with iphones so I don’t know how you’d work around this if you have an iphone but there is surely a way to do it. Also, if you don’t know me… you need to know I am techie challenged. I do not know a thing about the inner workings of apps and various gadgets and stuff. I just do my best to make stuff work the way I need it to. Often that involves a lot of frustration, and asking other people who actually know what they are doing (or at least know more than I do) for help. So, take all this for what it’s worth: it is nothing more than a non-techie woman’s probably way over-due “lightbulb over the head” moment of realization of how her smartphone (which is apparently way smarter than she is) works when it comes to pictures and synced accounts.

There is a way to upload photos taken with a camera, not your phone. It’s a completely irritating, roundabout way of doing things, and a Google account is required (with a G+ profile enabled, or a blogger blog active. Either can be completely private, they do not need to be public but you will need one or the other.) But you know… it works. Whenever I upload pictures on the computer to my Blogger or G+, the respective albums (which were loaded to my phone automatically when I set it up to sync with my Google account for email purposes) on my phone are automatically synced, thus giving me access to those photos from my phone. Which in turn means… I can upload them to Instagram.

The first step is cropping the image as IG only allows perfectly square photos. So in your editing program of choice, select the cropping tool and set the aspect ratio to 1:1 and this will give you the perfect square shape required.  Once you do that you’re good to go if you want. Me? It requires a little more work. I first scale the images to a smaller size. They probably look like complete crap if you were to view my IG feed on a computer but IG is meant to be used on the phone anyway, so a smaller size is cool. Plus, by using a smaller resolution you are: taking up less space on your devices, and basically making your images pretty useless to anyone who might want to steal them. I mean, no matter how fabulous an image is, if it’s only about 200 x 200 pixels (roughly what most of mine are scaled to, though some are a bit bigger) there’s not really going to be much a person could do with that.

I also watermark my photos which also helps discourage would-be photo thieves. Not all of them of course, but many of them.  My watermarks are BIG too. I try to keep them from being too “intrusive” in the image but I’m not the kind to do a tiny watermark in a corner that could be easily cropped out or clone-stamped away like some people. Depending on the image, I will use just one watermark or sometimes I add a second, more transparent watermark as well. (I’ve had my photos stolen more than once and it MIGHT have me a bit paranoid and over-protective of my work. Leave me alone.)  This is another bonus to doing the IG thing in a roundabout way – yeah there are photo editing apps for your phone that you could use to add a text based watermark before uploading to IG, but if you’re using IG’s camera tool you don’t have that option. Plus I think custom watermarks, while more work to create initially, are better. But that’s me.  Anyway, once I watermark the image, I make sure I flatten the layers and then save it, and if given the option to set the compression/quality of the saved image, I set it to around 80-85. Again, to me it’s all about making them  as unappealing to photo thieves as possible, while still being good enough to make them pleasing to the nice folks who just want to look at them.

It should not need to be mentioned, but make sure you do all this with a copy of your original photo. Cause it would suck to ruin a great photo and only have a low-res, highly watermarked, social media sharing version of it.

Once all that is said and done I upload them to a private album on G+ (or a private blog on Blogger). Once that’s finished, I can open my photo gallery on my phone, click “refresh”, and it will pull the latest additions to that album. I can select the photo I want, choose the upload to IG option, and away we go, like any other IG upload.

Like I said, it’s a bit of a PITA way to do it… but it works.

My IG is private, and I will not accept follow requests from just anyone. But here are a couple pictures that are “IG ready”, if you need a visual example of exactly what I do to my photos before I will even consider uploading them to my IG:

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One thought on “Instagram: Photos From a Camera, not a Phone

  1. Your photos are awesome, sweetness. I’ve always enjoyed seeing life through your camera lens. ♥

    Sending you lots of love, hugs, and good energies, sweetness. Love ya! 🙂

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