Photos on Instagram

I always hated how hard is to show bigger photos on Instagram. The limitations there on aspect and size are quite big, and a lot of my photos just don’t fit. It’s just hard to show them off in the best way. So recently I started cropping my photos into multiple versions and sharing those on Instagram, so today I will show you how I do that in Photoshoop. It is possible directly on a phone, but I feel like the results are not as good.

Cropping photos for Instagram

The maximum size of a photo on Instagram is 1080x1350px. I like to have the photos as big as possible, so I use this resolution for them. It also works quite well on modern smartphones.

I create three versions:
Cover photo – a crop from the full photos, showcasing the most interesting part, as a single image in 1080x1350px resolution
Full photo – a crop where I add white space around the photo, so full photo can be showcased
Split version – a crop into multiple photos, that shows the full photo and visitors can slide between the parts to see it.

Cropping photos for Instagram

Like this I think I get the best options of sharing the photo. Those who only scroll by will see the cover photo mostly, those who are interested can swipe through the other and see more.

Cover photo

This one is simple. Choose the crop tool, put 1080×1350 into the ratio box in the top left (or 4 to 5, as it’s the same ratio). Then just move and resize the crop box as you need for your photo and hit enter. Now you just need to resize the result to 1080×1350 and maybe apply some sharpening. I like to do this with TK actions, but any way is fine.

Cropping photos for Instagram

Full photo

Go back to the original photo. Before cropping, change the background color selection to white. This is so after we crop, Photoshop fill the background with white. Just hid the D key to reset the colors. Choose crop with the same ratio as before. Now hold down ALT key and drag on one of the corners of the crop box to make it bigger. Do so until the sides of the crop box snap onto the sides of the photo. Hit enter to confirm. Now resize to 1080×1350, sharpen and save.

Cropping photos for Instagram

Split version

This one is a bit more complicated. First you have to decide into how many parts you want to split the photo. It really depends on the photo. A normal non-panorama shot works best when split into 2 parts. For a panorama you would need more. But it’s easy to just try out different option.

Return to original image. Choose the crop tool, and for the ratio calculate your width based on the number of slices. So if you want 2 slices it would be 2160×1350 (or 8×5), for 3 slices 3240×1350 (or 12×5) and so on. Just look at the crop box and choose one that best fits your image. Confirm with enter when you chosen.

Cropping photos for Instagram

Now we will add guides to the photo, to see where we need to slice it. Go under View/New guide layout and in the window that opens choose Columns and then write in the number of slices you want. The guide lines will show up. If you don’t see them, go into the menu under View/Extras or hit Ctrl+H to toggle visibility.

There are multiple option how to save the slices now, and I will show you two. First one is using the crop tool. Choose it, set the ration back to 1080×1350 (or 4×5) and move the crop box until it aligns wit the first slice. It will snap to the guide lines automatically. Now crop, resize and sharpen and once you save, undo it all with the history window, until you are back to the guide lines. Then just repeat for every slice.

Cropping photos for Instagram

The second option is the slice tool. If you hold down the left mouse button on the crop tool selection, it will give you the option to choose slice tool. Then just create slices by using the guide lines. Each time you create one, there will be a little number in the top left corner of it. One you you have all, resize the photo so it’s 1350px in height and sharpen it afterwards. Choose File/Export/Save for web and once confirmed, it will save every slice as a separate photo.

Cropping photos for Instagram

Now you can post everything to Instagram. Check my profile to see how I do it here. While this is a bit of work, one can do it quite quickly. And if one makes big photos (as I do) this makes them look much better on Instagram :)

Removing lens flares

I did an article a long time ago, about removing lens flares. There I suggest two options. Removing them using Photoshop tools, or by creating a second photo where you shade the sun and then blend them together. But sometimes one forgets, or you just don’t notice the flare until you load the shots into your computer. So what to do then? Today I will show you something I do in those cases from time to time.

Removing lens flares using multiple photos

So this was my situation. I did not notice the flare in this photo. The sun was a bit to the left here, and with no clouds in the sky, it was so bright, I could see nothing on the camera screen. But as you can see there few are big flares and on spots that are not easy to correct in Photoshop. So what to do?

Removing lens flares using multiple photos

What I did was use a photo, that I took from the same location, but with different settings, that did not have flares on the same spots. As long as you did not move too much between the two photos, you can align them, even if you zoomed out or in. All you need is that the same area is in both photos. You can try to align manually, but Photoshop align layers function can work very well here.

Removing lens flares using multiple photos

Here I used a much wider shot, and while this one also has flares, they are on different spots. I loaded both photos into Photoshop. The one I wanted to fix placed on bottom. Then I locked the layer (choose layer and click the lock icon above the layer list). Now I could align them without distorting the one I want to fix. I just chosen both layers (holding down CTRL and clicking on each layer) and aligned them using Edit/Auto-Align Layers and choosing the Auto projection.

Removing lens flares using multiple photos

This was the result. I cropped the layer now, to get rid of the extra part I did not need (CTRL+click on the bottom layer thumbnail, and then Image/Crop to crop based on selection). Now by using a mask, I just hid the top layer with all black mask. Using the brush I painted with white in it, where the lens flares were. There is one more thing to fix, and that is to match the brightness and the color of the corrected areas. Her I used brightness/contrast to brighten the area and color balance to make it a bit warmer. You have to use the adjustment layers as clipping masks, so they affect only the layer under them (Alt+Ctrl+G with the layer selected, or Layer/Create Clipping mask).

Removing lens flares using multiple photos

And with the lens flares fixed, one can continue with further edits.

Top photography spots – Nur-Sultan (Astana)

I visited Astana in Kazakhstan last year, and thanks to a local guide I had the chance to visit many cool photo spots there. And with the tradition of my other Top Photography spots lists, here is a lit of the ones I liked, with a bit of description and their GPS locations. So here goes :)

Btw. in all this spots it’s fine to use a tripod.

Don’t forget to check out other available lists:

Baiterek Tower

Let’s start right at the center. The Baiterek tower looks great, even if it’s a bit harder to take photos of, as it’s really bright. There is a big park around it, so you can just walk around until you find the view you like the best. You can even go up the tower, but I skipped that. No outside platform means no really good viewpoint from the top. But you my enjoy it :)


Fountains in the center

Not far from the Baiterek tower, you can get to a nice city park with big fountains and flower beds. The tower is well visible from here, so you can use it as a background subject while taking photos here. hey turn off the lights late at night, so be there earlier if you want them to be colorful.

If you walk further away from the Baiterek tower, you will get to the Presidential Palace. But while it looks great, that’s the only spot in the city where I was stopped by a guard and asked not to take photos.


EXPO 2017 Sphere building

This is just such a unique building that you should just not miss. Looks good from all sides, especially in the evening. Since there are light on top and also inside that change and animate all the time, you can get a different photo just by waiting for few minutes. The overall area is quite interesting, and there is also this crazy sculpture right behind it.





Walkway next to Ishim River

There are quite few photo oportunities here. There are two bridge, with the new pedestrian one just looking great for some minimalist architecture photos (I don’t have a photo here, during my visit it was right before competition, and so it was not accessible yet). The other bridge, makes for a really nice curve and looks quite unique too. It also light’s up in the evening. There is also and amphitheater on the path that makes for a perfect reflection photo.

The GPS location is the one right in front of the amphitheater.


Road bridge in the center

Don’t skip this spot. As the road crosses through the city center there a bridge there. And the view towards both sides is just great. Many fountains and interesting architecture to behold. The bridge is short, so it does not shake that much and there is also a statue right in the middle of one of the walkways.


Horses at the Opera

Let’s finish this list with something a bit different. At the opera house you will find these golden horses statues. It really is something different compared to all the other photo spots I shared here. And they just look great :)

There are of course even more spots one should visit there, so I plan to go back too :)

Don’t forget to check out other available lists:

More Surface Pro wallpapers

For today I have for you an update for for the Wallpapers page with few new wallpapers specially formatted for the Surface pro. Seems these are quite popular :)

New wallpapers

Download them all from the wallpapers page here.




My favorites

It’s hard to believe, but it has been almost 9 years since I started this blog in early 2010. I never though that I would keep it going for so long. Still, I’m very glad I started it. It’s almost like keeping a diary. From time to time I like to just look through random part of it, remembering all the places I had the pleasure to visit.

2018 is slowly ending, so it’s time to look back a bit. It was a good year. I traveled a lot, took many photos, seen many place. Maybe not the best, since I was plagued a bit by health issues, that I just could not shake quickly. But at least my goal to loose some extra weight worked out, and that’s off my to-do list :) No big plans for 2019 yet, I will just go with the flow.

As every year, I would like to share with you my favorite updates from 2018. You may notice that again a lot of them are panoramas. Same as last year, I like them more and more each day :)

Also here you can see my favorites from past years: 2017,2016,2015, 2014, 2013, 20122011 and 2010 :)

My favorites from 2018

My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
My favorites from 2018
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