Travel Kit: Instagram, a Mobile Photog’s Dream

Madrid’s Barajas Airport last summer. Taken with Instagram.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve probably been subjected to the Instagram craze, a frenzy over the new photo social network that was recently acquired by Facebook. If you think Instagram is stupid, you probably are misinformed. There are pretty much two factions of Instagrammers: The serious, photo-sharing type, and the meme-sharing type. If you belong to the first type, you’re in the right place. Instagram has become one of the most valuable tools in the Racing Winds arsenal.


Instagram is a spectacular app when it comes to photo editing. In our opinion, the most redeeming feature is the Lux button, which is designed for “photos that are underexposed or lack contrast.” A quick tap of the Lux button brings instant brightness to a dark photo, or contrast to a light, dull photo. In addition, each of Instagram’s 16 filters enhance photos in a conservative, beautiful way. It’s not heavy editing like you might find in Photoshop, but rather it brings out the subtle colors in a photo.

A before-and-after using the Lux feature on Instagram.

And then you get to the sharing part. Your photos are displayed on your profile page as well as the homepage feed of anyone who follows you. Photos are public (visible to anyone who navigates to your grid) unless you mark your account as being private (visible only to people you choose, similar to Twitter’s follow requests on private accounts). The list of features with regards to the social media component goes on and on – they’re pretty self-explanatory once you download.

Another awesome feature is the seamless integration with multiple social networks. You can share photos to Twitter and Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr, and can even use your geotagged photo as a Foursquare checkin.

Why We Love It

Instagram is a perfect camera substitute. The quality of smartphone photos is ever improving, and the editing features on Instagram only enhance that. If you don’t feel like lugging your camera along on a quick weekend getaway, then Instagram is the way to go.

The Specifics

Instagram is a free app for both iPhone and Android.


All photos and Instagrams by Taylor Michie / Racing winds Media. All rights reserved.