Instagram PRO secrets: No need for Photoshop

Instagram went through a major change this year. It got a complete brand makeover that left many people hating the new look. Previously, it had a vintage Polaroid camera inspired logo, and now it has changed to a vivid minimal logo. In my opinion, this change was necessary for its ever-changing prospects in digital imaging. Instagram is not just about creating nostalgic filmcamera-esque images anymore. It’s evolved into a sophisticated photo editing and sharing tool that’s not only simple, but easy to use.



Now, aside from the ever-popular filters, you can also edit your image precisely on your phone like you would in Photoshop or Lightroom. It truly makes the perfect combo for the lazy photographer: instant access to editing tools with the opportunity to showcase work instantly.

I’m going to share with you some pro Instagram editing secrets to help you get the most out of your smartphone camera clicks! No need to upload your images and edit them on Photoshop anymore.

Instagram has the editing tools option right beside the filter option:

Get most out of Instagram by pressing "Edit"
Get most out of Instagram by pressing Edit.

Editing tools in Instagram


  • Adjust allows you change the rotation and angle of the image.
  • Brightness makes broad highlights brighter or darker.
  • Contrast makes image soft or intense.
  • Structure is like contrast but more intense and realistic; it basically adjusts the highlights, shadows, sharpness and overall brightness of the image in one dial.

    Structure on the highest dial still provides contrast and intensity but maintains the resolution of the image. While, Contrast on the fullest dial gives darker and unrealistic  results.

  • Warmth allows for adjusting the colour temperature of the image to make it warm, cool or neutral.
  • Saturation makes image black and white or bright and colourful.
  • Colour allows you to change the colour of the shadows and highlights to make your own Instagram filter. It’s also great for black and white photography because it lets you individually adjust the brightness and shadows of certain colours as you would with colour filters on Photoshop.

    With the Color option, you can choose different or similar colours for shadow and highlighted parts of your photo. Currently, there are only eight colours available for both options.

    Make your black and white images cool and unique using the colour adjustment filter.
    B/W GIF of a Blue Tissot Watch

    Instagram black and white photo
    Do you notice the change in the levels of certain colours? Purple and red make the foreground darker, and whilst green is set, it reduces contrast of the foreground.

  • Fade reduces the opacity of the image to let it “fade” in the foreground.
  • Highlights lighten or darken the highlights(bright points) of the image while keeping true to the image resolution.

A great thing about the Highlights option over the Brightness one is that it maintains the image quality when it’s adjusted to the maximum.

  • Shadows  lighten or darken the shadows (dark parts) of the image.

Shadows dial is similar to the Highlights one, but it has a softer result overall for brightness and an intense result overall for the shadows.

  • Vignette darkens the edges to emphasize the center.
  • Tilt Shift is blurring option available in radial and linear form.
  • Sharpen increases the sharpness, but at maximum settings causes pixelation.

Follow me on Instagram: @LuxuryofThoughts ->  Instagram

How to upload the perfect photo on Instagram!


A Test shot from my photo lens review of Neweer’s 3-in-one macro lens for smartphones. Click here to check it out.


Here are the solutions to common problems on Instagram:

  • Check the colour temperature, is it too orange or green looking? Neutralize it using the “Warmth” dial.
  • Is your image angled the right away? Check the rotation and adjust the angle if need be.
  • Instagram now allows users to upload full-size images, but they still have some cropping adjustments in place. Check to see if there are any random stuff that’s cut off that makes the photo look weird, like fingers etc.,
  • Is your image too “dull” looking? Increase the sharpness, structure, and contrast to fix that.
  • Is your image of low quality? Use the tilt shift function to blur the pixelated parts of the image.


For me, Instagram has made editing and sharing my photos much more fun, easier and a lot quicker. I rarely use the preset filters anymore, they are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Instagram offers for full image editing. Hope you enjoyed my pro editing tips for Instagram!

For more information on smartphone photography, check out my other informative articles:

Do you have any pro editing tips for Instagram?
What’s your favourite Instagram filter?
Do you like to edit images on Instagram?


P.S. Leave your Instagram name below and I will follow you!




16 thoughts on “Instagram PRO secrets: No need for Photoshop

  1. These Instagram photo editing tips are actually really neat. They aren’t that time consuming like you said in your article, and can also bring out the colors or certain details in the picture. These editing tools can get you a sky that is more blue, or leaves that are more green and even a better shade quality under a tree. This blog is really interesting and I enjoy reading your posts because it gets me thinking about other subjects at the same time. I’m looking forward to your future articles. Instagram: basedperez_

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely article packed with great info. I like the changes instagram made, gives you many more advanced options for editing your pics. Amazing example photos btw!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for this. I completely wing my Instagram photos. I use the brightness feature a lot and have never really played with highlights much, but I’m going to give it a shot. This was a super helpful and informative post! Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s