Digital Photo Editing Techniques For Instagram & Social Media

In Instagram, images that “pop-out” is the term for photographs that reach out and grab the attention of users for that 100 milli-seconds people spend deciding if they will look further into a post or just move onto the next.

The image (right) was created by Instagram image guru, Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect.

The left one is the beginning of the journey and on the right is an image that “pops”, grabbing attention, forcing you to look a little longer.

The finished image tone is warmer and more appealing. The girl’s eyes are sharper, and their colour more intense. The edges of her mouth are sharper as are her fingernails – all of these details subtly grab your attention.

Unmesh Dinda uses Adobe Photoshop to enhance the image, to resize it and make it perfect for posting on Instagram.

His is a six-step process:

  1. Convert the image colourspace to RGB at 8 bits per channel (easy to do)
  2. Change the canvas background to white (like the Instagram background) and then adjust the brightness and contrast
  3. Add punch to elements by adjusting colour, focus, sharpness and gamma
  4. Crop and resize, so it matches what the social media platform expects; say Instagram at 1080 by 1350 pixels.
  5. Sharpen the overall picture before saving
  6. Export at 75% quality in RGB colourspace as a JPEG.

To an experienced Photoshop operator, all of this is simple.

If you want to experiment, then Photoshop Elements is an inexpensive way to get to know how much you can improve almost any photograph with digital editing.

“A Sentence of Teapots” 2014 Photo: Richard Stringer

Images that “pop”: Adobe Photoshop was used to enhance the image, to resize it and make it perfect for posting on Instagram.