Discover Instagram's Best Photographers with Instafocus
The Instafocus editors select the images from Instagram that they find to be the best.
There's a little bit of the artsy photographer in every Instagram user, but the best artists often get lost in the feed. This past weekend saw the launch of Instafocus, an iPhone and iPad app that showcases the work of 350 handpicked Instagram users out of the more than 50 million now registered on the site.
"It's not about the social network anymore, it's about everyday people who happen to be talented photographers," Instafocus says in its help section.
Instafocus is an alternative to Instagram's "Popular" page, which can have as many hot girls as more artistic shots.
The app takes the work out of finding photographers to follow, but you'll have to trust the app creators — Jeremy Anticouni, Rebecca Foote and Brandon Shelley. There's no shortcut to winning a spot in their showcase, and Instafocus includes a warning against making a request: "If you're invited or nominated, you'll know. If you ask, it's probably not going to happen."
While you're waiting to be discovered, you can improve your chances — or just create better Instagram photos — by following two tips from Instafocus. First, don't use borders. (Make sure the frame icon is turned off when you're adding filters in Instagram.) And second, go sparingly with HDR (high dynamic range), a technique that combines multiple pictures of the same scene, taken at different exposures, to reveal a greater contrast range. Apple added an HDR mode beginning with the iPhone 4 camera, and HDR apps that simulate the effect are available in the App Store.
To get started, download Instafocus for free from the App Store. If you're using an iPad, you're in luck, with an Instafocus version designed for the larger display. When you choose to follow showcased photographers, their posts will appear in your Instagram feed.