Am I using Instagram wrong?

May 7, 2019

Dave Kai-Piper

Dave Kai Piper is a photographer and writer based in the UK. His work invites a classic form of photography with subjects ranging from celebrity musicians, new faces, wild landscapes and simple fun images.

Am I using Instagram wrong?

May 7, 2019

Dave Kai-Piper

Dave Kai Piper is a photographer and writer based in the UK. His work invites a classic form of photography with subjects ranging from celebrity musicians, new faces, wild landscapes and simple fun images.

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Recently, I set up a new page for my travel/motorbike adventures, I was trying something different until someone told me I was using Instagram wrong.

It worked for a while!

For many years, I have been a portrait photographer and either the square or portrait crop worked ace for me. Then, I moved to Ireland and really got stuck in my landscape and travel photography. The crops that IG offered, just like my portrait stuff worked perfectly fine for most of the images I make, such as my abandoned houses project. All was good!

The problem

Panoramas are great. Like many people, I enjoy the super wide crops. They look amazing printed big and they really can bring a whole vista together. I shoot mine on a Fujifilm 50r or 50s and stitch them together using Photoshop. The color grading process is mostly handled by the powerful Infinite Colour Panel. Anyways, all was was fine until I wanted to share some panoramas of the Wild Atlantic Way that I had made on Instagram. The problem is, how to do you fit images like the ones below on to Instagram. They are so long that they really cannot be posted on IG in any meaningful way.

The solution that I decided to test out was splitting up the images into three sections. When making the panoramas, (some of them being made up of 6 or 7 images from a GFX50r) I had to be quite careful with working out what ratio I wanted the final images. I went with a 3:1 crop for most of them but some just didn’t fit (like the ones above). Images that could fit into a 3:1 crop I planned to share on social media.

For example, this image was cut into three 1:1 square section.

This is what it looks like on my Exploring Photography IG feed.

The feedback

So.. then, I asked some friends via Facebook what they thought of this and the feedback was less than good, to say the least. I totally get all the problems about the posting displaying incorrectly in the main feed and when you stop posting in three’s the feed looks super messed up. So.. my question is this, is splitting up an image and posting like this using Instagram wrong? I was even told that some people hate this process so much, they just instantly unfollow people if they do it. Are this just people being over reactive or is this a real problem?

Let me know. I am really interested to hear what people think and if there is a better way to display super wide format images on IG?

Maybe one day we will have a range of formats and crops we can use and the IG kinda just auto-fills it’s own feed with shapes and crops that fit like a jigsaw puzzle or something. Maybe even round crops, who knows. One route might be to just multiple images into one post, so you have to scroll across is, but then you only see the left-hand bit of any given image in a feed… is that a good workaround?

What do you think?

 

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Dave Kai-Piper

Dave Kai-Piper

Dave Kai Piper is a photographer and writer based in the UK. His work invites a classic form of photography with subjects ranging from celebrity musicians, new faces, wild landscapes and simple fun images.

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21 responses to “Am I using Instagram wrong?”

  1. heat_fan1 Avatar
    heat_fan1

    Cutting them is fine, but post them in a single post. Then people can scroll across.

    1. Dave Kai Piper Avatar
      Dave Kai Piper

      Will definitely try it !!!

      1. Derek Emmons Avatar
        Derek Emmons

        Yep that’s the way we all do it post in series on single post.

    2. Jsovey Avatar
      Jsovey

      I second this. It will look seamless and scrollable. Perfect way to show em off.

  2. bjarnewinkler Avatar
    bjarnewinkler

    Under the heading “Weird,
    is a side effect of being creative” – how can one do something “wrong”
    Good luck in your Dopamine Hunt

    1. Dave Kai Piper Avatar
      Dave Kai Piper

      Indeed! I was shocked when someone said it to me too !!

      The dopamine thing you mentioned is a very real thing for sure. The chemical simulation that drives our day-to-day motions is fascinating one and one that I wrote in great detail about just last month for the Fujilove magazine. It was an magazine article so I can not link to it unfortunately.

      Cheers for commenting !

      1. bjarnewinkler Avatar
        bjarnewinkler

        Thanks Dave – now my Dopamine Meter move up a click. And yes it is a thing that is so bad since it is not a reality, but clearly better than other addictions.

        1. Dave Kai Piper Avatar
          Dave Kai Piper

          haa haa.. :)

  3. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    I left Instagram like a year ago. But I do panoramas and I used to post them in various ways. I won’t go into details here but hopefully these head points would make it:
    1. As sliding images: Done by posting several images in one post. The viewers would need to just slide and not check other posts for the rest of the panorama. To add some spice, ask the viewers in the caption to slide slowly between images to have a smooth visual transition.
    2. Few times, I would post the panorama as an animation (video), in which the panorama would slide from right to left slowly.

    These two would require some work with PS.

    1. Dave Kai Piper Avatar
      Dave Kai Piper

      Good ideas !!

      1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
        Tj Ó Seamállaigh

        Forgot to mention that my panoramas are usually 360 degrees around, so doing a continuous animation/video with seamless transition was possible. Anyway, I think it can be done as usual with regular panoramas but maybe a stop or some sort of cue is needed to separate one play from the next and so on. it’s a matter of style really.

  4. Charles Maheu Avatar
    Charles Maheu

    I asked my tiny follower base and the response I got was positive, but not enough for me to try it.
    Although it looks cool for newcomers on your profile, it’s annoying to your present followers because of the feed.
    When well done, posting a panorama as multiple posts should look like good individual pictures that take an other form when viewed from your profile. This means maybe having a subject in every image even though its a panorama. I’ve seen it done before and it’s amazing, but you have to think of it and plan this before shooting.

    I’d recommend trying apps like PanoramaCrop to split shots for your profile or for a slideshow post as it’s far easier to do then using PS.

    Oh and the quality of videos is questionable, so creating a slowly panning panorama video is not worth the trouble IMO.

    I’d love to have feedback and opinions on slideshows I’ve posted, but I’m not sure if it’s ethical to shamelessly plug my IG here…

    1. Dave Kai Piper Avatar
      Dave Kai Piper

      Plug away !! I would love to see !

      1. Charles Maheu Avatar
        Charles Maheu

        Alright! I’m more of a portrait photographer though, but check out @charleypictures.
        The second post ever I made was a slideshow showcasing details directly.
        My last recent post are also slideshows but are different because the first shot is a zoomed out version and the rest is about details.

        If you want to see a great example of broken up grid posts that looks fairly good to me, there is a link to a profile I found in my “Creativity” highlighted story!

        1. Dave Kai Piper Avatar
          Dave Kai Piper

          Thank you !

  5. ruxandra a. Avatar
    ruxandra a.

    I just don’t understand why photographers insist on using Instagram. It cuts down the quality of the photo so badly, anything other than a square or a “short” portrait mode gets cropped, and honestly I feel like panoramas aren’t going to look good on a phone screen anyway. They’re made for a decent screen. There are loads of decent platforms that respect your photos. Yes, I use ig for random phone photographs. I keep my decent photos on another site for full screen viewing. But I guess it’s all about popularity rather than quality nowadays…

    1. Dave Kai Piper Avatar
      Dave Kai Piper

      Interesting thoughts for sure – which are you other go to portals ?

  6. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
    Jolyon Ralph

    O

  7. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
    Jolyon Ralph

    N

  8. Lance Phillips Avatar
    Lance Phillips

    Why do you care who follows or doesn’t follow you? All that matters is if you’re happy with the end product. Everyone is so caught up with how many followers they have they forget why they’re posting in the first place. I can tell you from experience, the less you care about who does/does not like your social feeds, the happier and more content you’ll be.

  9. Angelica Larson Avatar
    Angelica Larson

    Instagram platform is just awesome! On it you can do a very cool job and squeeze the most pleasant result. The main thing is to correctly start the advertising process in order to just further capture the audience https://zen-promotion.com