Sunday, September 15, 2013

How to post photos to Instagram with a compact camera

Save Ferris
"Save Ferris" © Andy Marfia 2013 All Rights Reserved. Sony RX100, 1/60sec at f3.5, ISO800.

This weekend was Chicago's Riot Fest and to my surprise they had a ferris wheel.  I enjoy a good ferris wheel.  I've already posted this to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr, so it seems fitting that it makes an appearance on Blogger as well.  I don't want Blogger to feel left out-- she's pretty sensitive.  (Yes, blogger is a female.)

I took this photo with a Sony RX100.  It was an experiment, as I wanted to see how difficult it would be to post a photo from a compact camera or a DSLR to Instagram.  With Instagram, there's no desktop application-- you have to upload photos with either a phone or a tablet.  Unfortunately the camera in my phone is middling even in the best of circumstances, and for a night shot like this it's thoroughly over-matched.  I wanted to use better gear.

Here are the steps involved:
  1. First, obviously, take an excellent photo.  Duh! 
  2. Second, move the file from the camera to a desktop computer or a laptop. 
  3. Next, edit with Photoshop or your graphics program of choice and save as a 612px x 612px file (this is the standard large size for Instagram). 
  4. Finally, move the file to an Android tablet or phone that has the Instagram app.  I used a Google Nexus 7 tablet.  To my surprise, so long as I didn't select any filters, Instagram left the image unaltered.  Perfect.  Upload.  I crossed posted to Facebook and Twitter and later uploaded a slightly larger version to Flickr.

Please note: If you have a camera with WIFI, and don't care about editing on a computer, you can skip the second step and just move the photo from your camera to your phone.

I'm calling this process "sort-of-gram" because it's not terribly instant and, frankly, seems at odds with the point of Instagram.  Still, it's nice to know that it's an option.  I stopped using Instagram last year during the terms of use controversy but they haven't done anything evil since then (that I'm aware of), so I may post there every once in a while.  When in Insta-Rome...

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