New Instagram Updates Allow You to Further Enhance Your Cruise Photos

Social media is the best way to share your favorite Holland America Line cruise memories with all of your friends and family. And if you’re more about photos and less about status updates, Instagram is the channel for you. Unlike Facebook, Instagram is used to post only one picture at a time (rather than a whole album) so there’s no better platform to highlight your favorite cruise memories.

If you’re a beginner and need to learn the basics of Instagram, check out our previous post “Instagram Tips and Tricks – Learn to Share Your Cruise Travel Photos.” However, if you want to improve your Instagram skills and learn about how to use the app’s latest updates for the most striking pictures, keep on reading!

The new updates are all about manipulating the shape, size, texture and especially color of your photos. Once you’ve selected your favorite picture and hit “next,” you will be met with this screen:


The far left icon that looks like a circle with three lines inside lets you scroll left and right to choose from a variety of filters. These filters have pre-determined edits that manipulate the coloring of your photo. For example, Inkwell or Willow make the picture black and white, XX-Pro II and Lo-Fi make the colors more vibrant, and Valencia and Brennan make them more dull. You also have the option to not use a filter at all by choosing Normal.

The middle icon that looks like a sun adjusts Lux, which edits the exposure and contrast of a photo. Use the little circle shown in the middle of the scale to adjust. Simply slide the toggle left to decrease exposure and right to increase it.

The far right icon that looks like a wrench edits 10 different aspects of the photo: Adjust, Brightness, Contrast, Warmth, Saturation, Shadows, Vignette, Tilt Shift and Sharpen.

• Adjust is all about creating angles. You can turn the picture clockwise or counter-clockwise and tilt the picture side to side or up and down.
• Brightness will add more or less light to the picture by using the toggle (just like you do in Lux). This tool is especially helpful when your picture looks dark from being taken in low lighting.
• Use Contrast to make the colors in your photo blend or pop. High contrast looks great on photos with many bright colors, like an Alaskan glacier or a Caribbean sunset!
• Warmth will add pink, orange and yellow hints to a picture when increased, and blues when decreased.
• Saturation makes colors darken and pop when increased, and fade and lighten when decreased.
• The Highlights feature will lighten the lighter colors of a picture.
• The Shadows feature will darken the darker colors of a picture.
• Vignette will create a dark circular shadow around the photo. This draws attention to the center.
• Another way to draw attention to a particular area of a photo is by using the Tilt Shift feature. The radial option will create a clear circle in the middle of the photo and blur the outside, while the linear option will create a clear rectangle in the center and blur above and below it. You can expand and compress the size of the clear shape by moving the tips of your fingers together or apart on the screen. You can also move the shape to different areas of the screen simply by dragging it.
• Last is the Sharpen feature, which will bold the lines within the picture. This tool often helps make a picture look more clear and defined.

If at any time you want to see how your edits compare to your original photo, simply tap the photo and hold down. When you lift your figure you’ll be able to see your edits again.

Using our own preferences, we edited one our favorite shots from a Caribbean cruise. To bring out the vibrant blues and oranges of the ocean and sky, we increased the Lux, Contrast and Sharpen to about 60, and then we decreased Shadows to about negative 60.

A photo snapped in the Caribbean before, left, and after Instagram's enhancements.

A photo snapped in the Caribbean before, left, and after Instagram’s enhancements.

It’s amazing how a few simple edits can transform your memories into eye-popping works of art. Give these new tools a try the next time you upload a favorite cruise memory, and be sure to tag @HALcruises so we can see your masterpiece!

Do you have a favorite Instagram filter? Tell us in the comments!


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