Refine your picture tones for Instagram — Create a consistent feel

Choosing colors

One of the things that top Instagram accounts have in common has to do with colors, specifically how they select a palette of tones and commit to it.

Presenting a portfolio of quality work that is inherently connected in some way (e.g: similar tones) can be more easily appreciated by the viewer. In the case of Instagram it’s about presenting a profile in which each post is in visual harmony with the rest.

In the example photo, there’s a clear dominance of yellow and blue tones.

Encants market — Barcelona, Spain

Lightroom makes it easy to shift the colors of the image to our best liking by using the treatment color section. For the prior image, this is how it looks like:

Lightroom’s color tabs

Note that the reds are pushed into orange and the greens into yellow, bringing everything into the yellow/orange palette. In the same way, the aqua colored greens are brought to blue, again to vanish the greens. The saturation section helps defining the intensity of the tones, keep in mind that it’s not just about bring up the colors you want but its also very useful to “kill” undesired colors, in this example, reds and greens.

The luminance section helps in defining minor light corrections for specific colors, I see it as a soft extension to the Tone Curve. Here I used it to set the right brightness to the blue sky.

Obviously all other post-production tools help can help you refine which tones you want to preserve. Photoshop is especially great for this as it has color selection tools and unlimited masking possibilities. But Lightroom doesn’t get behind, a good use of its graduated & radial filters can enable you plenty of masking possibilities, and don’t forget the brush for when you want to be subtle.

It’s a matter of knowing the available tools to use them when is convenient, it enhances your creative capabilities

Selecting tones is not the only way to produce a solid feed, some other approaches can be:

  • The amount of light you choose: bright or dark images
  • Your subjects: people, objects, nature
  • How you frame your posts: certain style or composition

These are just some approaches into making a feed (and work) that feels pleasant to look at. If you’ve read this far I deeply thank you and wish you can share your thoughts as well!

Happy edits & keep posting!