There once was a time where you took a photo and that was that – no editing software, no gimmicks, just a quick snapshot to capture an image for posterity. Then, as computers and technology became more sophisticated, we started to be introduced to different ways to alter the photographs we took.

However, while Photoshop and similar packages offer extensive editing opportunities, for those who are a little less tech-savvy, they can be inaccessible and a little overwhelming to try and navigate through. The terminology alone can be hard to understand if you’re a casual/hobbyist user – and with many of these software packages coming at quite a cost, the average canvas print customer would balk at spending out on them.

For most people, the standard ‘Paint’ software that comes pre-loaded on most PCs and laptops would be the extent of their editing capabilities, but its use is limited. Cropping, rotating and resizing is really about as good as it gets; useful for basic edits, but it won’t allow you to make a real statement with the image you want to print.

Using Instagram images for canvas prints

As far as editing images went, the world had kind of stood still for a while – but in 2010, a new service was launched to help smartphone users play around with their pictures. This innovative and easy-to-use product was called Instagram, and last year it announced that it had over 150 million active users, a figure that continues to grow with every day.

Instagram is a really simple app – take a picture on your phone, select it in the app and it will walk you through your options so that you can edit your image to create a variety of different colour tones and effects. You can crop your image, try various different styles, fade and focus different elements and then save and even share to your social media networks – and the best thing is, you can even use your Instagram pictures to make customised and creative canvas prints!

This funky piece of software is ideal for novice photo editors – the app does all the work for you, so you can enjoy all the editing fun without any of the stress of learning a new piece of complicated software. Of course, the main thing to be aware of is quality; scaling up an image to fit a larger canvas print can mean that the end result is blurred or pixelated, so you might need to resize it online before you add the image to your canvas order.

Luckily, there are plenty of online tools for this – or you may even be able to get your canvas print company to help you. Try Resize Your Image, Shrink Pictures or Web Resizer and remember to set the quality too. Then you can save your image to the right resolution and upload it during the canvas ordering process as you would with any other image, and away you go – awesome images without the time or expense of using hardcore editing packages!

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