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Thursday, 23 November 2017

In Pictures : Some random travel photos that went through Instagram filters

Travel photography enhanced with Instagram filters

We recently (finally) began using the Instagram app and its filters for our travel pictures. Beginning this new Photography section in our blog, here are some random travel photos from our travels that went through Instagram filters and came out nicer.

You might have come across some of these pictures in our travel stories, and others are not seen before ones. Most of them were cropped to almost a square profile, like a typical Instagram pic. I have to say that some look better than the ones before, which we had slightly enhanced using Photoshop. Okay, we agree that we're no Photoshop experts, but we do a quite good job with it, no? ;o)

Jokes apart, in this blog, we always try to keep the picture more realistic, that is, we try to keep the object or scenery just as it appeared to our own eyes, as far as possible. One can enhance a picture too much, or add many filters and tweak it to look more appealing to the eye. But that won't give you the real picture, will it? Ever felt that some place was a bit underwhelming than the grand travel pics of the same place that you saw earlier somewhere else? You get the picture now, I believe ;o) (No pun intended!)

Anyways, we'll be using this new Photography section in our blog for the eye appealing travel pictures, and all things about photography (Yes, more great pics to come, and we'll give tips as we improve ourselves in photography. And no, it won't be only about Instagram pics). So, it's a win-win! Well, anyways, have a look at these Instagram filtered and enhanced pictures below. Some don't look much different than the original ones which were one slightly enhanced, but some look better than before. You can compare these with the ones in our travel stories. Oh, and as a bonus, at the end of the post, find some travel pictures from our Instagram profile which aren't published on the blog yet.


This picture of a plant in the Ramasamudra Lake of Karkala looks more colourful and bright after going through the Instagram filters. Even though it looks rather grainy in the darker edges, and appears not-so-sharp (well, the original wasn't that sharp an image, to begin with), the overall image looked cheerful enough on the phone app and I went ahead and published it. Can anyone name this plant? Read More about Ramasamudra Lake » and Karkala »


Nataraj captured this sombre beauty in a monsoon evening at Tannirbavi Beach in Mangaluru. This is what came out when the original went through some Instagram filters. Looks better now, right? Compare it with the earlier one which was slightly enhanced in Photoshop. Read More about Tannirbavi »


Recognise this boat? You should, if you're an ardent fan of James Bond 007 movies. Shreenath says that when he saw this boat while taking a ride in the beautiful Lake Pichola of Udaipur, he instantly recalled this boat from the Roger Moore starrer James Bond movie “Octopussy”. That movie was extensively shot in Udaipur, and features many sights and scenes from that place. Read more about Udaipur »

If you see the originally enhanced picture on it's post on Udaipur, you'll see that there's some change in this filtered one, especially for the boat, as it looks brighter. The Shadows, and Highlights options are handy tools in Instagram to brighten/darken specific portions, rather than doing the same for the entire image. This helps when the sky is too bright compared to the object in the image, and helps brightening the object only while avoiding simultaneously over-brightening the sky.


This one's from our most memorable trip so far, to the charming Coorg, or Kodagu district in Karnataka. It's been seven years since we went on this one, and it's still the one where we had most fun. This picture was taken somewhere around Bhagamandala on a very rainy and foggy day during the monsoon. In fact, this was when the monsoon rains had just begun in Coorg that year, in June. Read more about Coorg »


We never keep track of what filters and enhancements we use in Instagram. In fact, we never keep track of what exactly we do to enhance a picture anyways. However, if you're interested, we can give some suggestions.

On Instagram, we typically use some filter, and then some Lux (the light icon you see on the top, in that app), and then do some edits in the Edit section of the app. Typical edits are of the Warmth, Saturation, sometimes a Colour edit (either for shadows or highlights, or for both), and then some Shadow or Highlight adjustments and a little Vignette if it looks good with it.

There isn't any rule. It's just what makes the picture more appealing to the eye, that's all. In one word, I'd say that we do it rather spontaneously. The key is to keep trying everything in the app, and to experiment with different filters and tools for the same picture. It can be easily done in the spare time, by saving the image as a Draft with the changes made so far, so that one can come back to it later, before going for the final publish.


The grandiose Vitthala Temple of Hampi. This is one of our best trips till date. Even though most parts of this great city of Vijayanagara lies in ruins today, this great World Heritage site of Hampi doesn't cease to mesmerise. This picture captures the spectacularly carved granite columns, shaped into leaping and rearing Yalis with riders on them. A Yali is a mythical beast which is part lion, part elephant and part horse.

The original picture with minimal Photoshop enhancements (which you can see in Hampi: Ruins of Vijayanagara - Part 5) went through Instagram filters, and you can see the result above. I used some reddish colour for shadows in the "Color" option of the Edit tab in the app. Tell us which one you liked better. As for this picture, I liked this angle with the famous Stone Chariot of Hampi seen in the background, and just clicked it. What makes it even better is the person standing before the chariot, which puts the size of the chariot in perspective. Read more about Hampi »


A beautiful view of the tea plantations in Wayanad, with towering cloud-kissing mountains as a backdrop. Since this one was enhanced recently, I recall the enhancement tools used for it. This one is enhanced using the Instagram app, but inbuilt preset filters were not used for this picture. The tools used here were the Lux tool, and the Edit tools such as Shadows, Highlights, Color, Warmth, Saturation and Vignette. This picture is certainly more enhanced and lively than the barely enhanced original one in the post on Wayanad.

The above picture is from our trip to Wayanad, a serene hill station district nestled high amongst the Western Ghats in Kerala. The month was September, six years ago. It's one of our memorable trips. Read more about Wayanad »


Ok, you might've already met Nataraj's cute little buddy from Minnesota. If you haven't, meet him here. I remember Nataraj sharing this picture with us, and I said, "Hey, you should blog that cute thing!" Because anything this cute is blogworthy, right? Read more about the Eastern Grey Squirrels of Minnesota »


This isn't all, folks, for there's more! We'll be back soon with more, along with more about photography, especially travel photography.

Below are some pictures from our Instagram feed, which we haven't blogged about yet. Follow us on Instagram for more from our travels, and keep visiting trayaan.com for travel stories, tips, and much more! Leave your thoughts below.


OK, this one came out somewhat grainy. But that's the best that phone camera could do in low light.

A beautiful shot, of a beautiful peacock, by Nataraj, from a not yet blogged Bandipur safari.


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