App Watch: New Instagram tools make pics pop

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 10, 2014 at 11:23 am •  Published: June 10, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — I started using Instagram in late 2011 and was instantly hooked. I have always loved taking pictures but have felt overwhelmed by all the adjustment options offered by apps such as Snapseed and Camera+.

Instagram made it easy. After snapping a picture, I could simply add a filter or hit the "lux" button. Voila! A slightly heightened version of reality — usually pictures of flowers or street scenes — went out to all my Instagram followers.

So when Instagram gave its app 10 new editing tools last week, I was apprehensive. Sure, these tools give me more controls, the types available with more sophisticated editing apps. But I don't want to see the simplicity of Instagram go away.

Fortunately, Instagram has made the new tools just as easy to use as its other features. I'm hooked on them now as well.

— BEFORE: Instagram has long offered basic editing tools such as cropping and rotating photos. It also offers 19 filters — such as the deeply hued "Lo-Fi" or the washed out "Hefe" — to enhance photos with one tap. In addition, the "lux" control lets you quickly adjust exposure and contrast, though one slider controls both.

— THE ADDITIONS: The new version lets you make a variety of adjustments, from brightness to saturation, with a 100-point slider. It's no longer all or nothing with the "lux" slider. You can control each aspect individually.

— IN USE: My first attempt to use the new tools came after I took a picture of a gorgeous rose bush climbing up a brownstone staircase on my Brooklyn street. Ordinarily. I would just take the picture, use the "Lux" button and add a filter.