I must confess, that as far as Instagram concerns I am only using it as a sharing tool. I don’t remember when the last time I used their filter or the limited editing tools. I’ve since long resorted to use other, more powerful third-party app to do the edits and to add filters or what ever effects I want to use. I suspect that many of you does the same thing.

Today though, this might change. Today Instagram has released a new version Instagram which includes the whole suite of photo editing tools and adding manual adjustment to the filters.

Photo Editing Suite

The new Instagram version brings us the following editing tools:

  1. Straighten and Rotate
  2. Brightness
  3. Contrast
  4. Warmth
  5. Saturation
  6. Highlights
  7. Shadows
  8. Vignette
  9. Tilt Shift
  10. Sharpen

The list is actually pretty extensive. Instagram didn’t shy to include just the basic tools like the Brightness, Contrast and Saturation; but also smartly opted to add more advance tools like Highlights/Shadow and Sharpen.

Admittedly there is nothing from these tools that one can’t already get from using third-party apps like Snapseed or VSCOCam. But since they are built-in to the app where we normally share our images, it would be much more convenient and a time-saver to use these instead of using other app.

Instagram New Editing Tools

Instagram New Editing Tools

Most of the tools are self-explanatory especially if you are a seasoned mobile photographer. I found the control is quite easy to manipulate, though do not expect Snapseed or SKRWT level of precision.

Let’s take a look on each of the tools.

Straighten and Rotate

I love the dial that Instagram is using here, it gives me more precise control for the adjustment.  It’s ashamed that Instagram didn’t use the same control for all other tools.


To rotate the image, tap on the Rotate icon, near the dial on the top right.



One thing I like about these new tools from Instagram is that, not only you can tune the effect up but you can also dial it down.  So for example with the Brightness tool, you can make your photo brighter as well as darker.  A lot of photo editing tool apps in the market only allow only tuning up only.






If you’ve read my post about how to brighten up dark photos, well now you can use the same technique here directly in Instagram.



Tilt Shift

It’s too bad that I still cannot adjust the strength of the Tilt Shift effect.  Instagram could’ve added it in this version.


Sharpen is starting to be one of the thing I do first when I edit a photo.  A little bit of Sharpen will often give an image a better look.


Fine Adjustment for Filter

Have you sometimes found that Lo-Fi is to harsh, or Sutro is too dark, or Earlybird is just … well … too Earlybird? Well, with the new Filter Adjustment tool, now you can ‘fine-tune‘ how much filter you want to apply to your photo. Double-tap on the filter icon, and you will be presented with a slider to adjust the filter strength.  By the way, if you are wondering where the Frames have gone, you can find it here too.  Just tap on the square icon next to the slider to add or to remove it.

This feature, while not revolutionary, is a nice to have. Perhaps by having more control on the filters we could be encouraged to use them more.

Choose X-Pro and Double Tap to access the adjustment slider

Choose X-Pro and Double Tap to access the adjustment slider


Slide Left to decrease the strength

Slide Left to decrease the strength


Tap on the square icon to add the Frame

Tap on the square icon to add the Frame

I think this latest improvements for Instagram is very good. The choice of tools that Instagram decided to add are more than enough for most Instagramers, and it would save a lot of time going back and forth between apps just to adjust some basic things.  I like it!



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