Instagram is massive. Its community has grown to more than 400m globally. Of course, Instagrammers not only hail from all over the world—they travel it, too. That means there’s a bigger audience than ever to show off your insta-game.
With 27 filters and endless options, it's difficult to know how best to edit your pictures for the broadest appeal. But with this many potential eyeballs on your photos, it’s time to step it up. Knowing which filter to use, and what effect it will create, will go a long way to improving your travel 'grams. In fact, according to Georgia Tech researchers, filtered photos are 21% more likely to be seen and 45% more likely to receive comments.
So, here are a few of our tips, showing what filters are best used in a selection of typical travel scenarios—from the streets of Europe to the African savannah. We’ve also provided a few sample images plucked from the G Adventures Instagram feed to show you exactly what effect these filters have—and the best places to use them.
1. For a European City
Here at G Adventures, we feel Hudson's the perfect filter for city streets, particularly effective when taking photos of limestone buildings and monuments. The slight tint will 'cool' off the image and give a bit of a 'colder' look with a 'dodged' centre. As useful in London and Paris as it is in Lisbon and Barcelona.
2. For a Safari
Sierra's the perfect Instagram filter for fading back the Serengeti and making the African landscape appear softer—allowing for your 'subjects' to really pop (be it lion, elephant or any of Africa's 'Big 5'). Used on a landscape by itself, it'll make shots appear calm and soothing, giving them a faded, softer look.
3. For Portraits
Inspired by outdoor adventures, the Juno filter tints cool tones green while making warm tones pop and whites glow for vibrant photos of people.
4. For the Rainforest
Instagram's Sutro will 'smoke' your image—with particularly emphasis on purple and brown highlights to achieve its effect. This filter burns photo edges and will make your rainforest shots a little more 'dramatic', providing provide a break from all the 'greens'.
5. For Landscapes
Lark—one of Instagram’s newer filters—desaturates reds while punching up blues and greens to bring your landscapes to life. Use this filter to transform a typical landscape shot into a more intense image that draws in the viewer.
6. For Sunsets and Beaches
Toaster will burn out the centre of your image, 'aging' it a bit. It's all-round perfect for 'warm' shots, sunsets, beaches, et al.
7. For Cruising
On a boat? Brannan's your buddy! This filter will give you a 'greyish' tint that darkens images—perfect for making your 'surf' a little more 'metallic' (read dramatic). It's ideal to reduce the glare of breaking surf—and when your image has strong shadows.
8. For Classic Moments
There’s no denying the that the ‘vintage’ look easily hides imperfections and imparts a classic feel. One of three filters introduced in 2015, Reyes brings a dusty, vintage look to your moments.
9. For Mountains
Hefe will make hills, valleys and peaks much more bold and colourful because it ups the contrast and intensifies colours (perfect when flora and fauna is as prominent as rock and stone). This filter's all about hight contrast and saturation, with a similar effect to Instagram's 'Lo-Fi' but not quite as dramatic.
10. For the End of the Earth
Inkwell's cool at the end of the world! Because there’s no complex shades to distract one’s eye, this filter increases contrast naturally. Its monotones work together to create a subtle dramatic look perfect for the polar regions—like Antarctica.
The best way to understand filters is to break each one down to its parts—and spend some time with them. Soon, you'll have mastered Inkwell, high-fived Hudson and kicked Sutro's butt—and will no doubt be standing out among the ever-growing community of travelling Instagrammers. And remember—wherever they go, G Adventures travellers have captured vivid travel experiences—and are sharing them on Instagram with the #gadv tag!
Want to up your insta-game while on the road? G Adventures runs a number of departures encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater for different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours—check out our small group trips here.