When it comes to Instagram, why do some photos not seem as sharp as others? It looks good on your phone and in Lightroom. So why not on Instagram? It is simply because Instagram compresses photos and uses a fixed aspect ratio. I’m here to show you how to keep your images sharp when exporting from Lightroom and sharing them on Instagram.
STEP 1: 4X5 CROP ASPECT RATIO
When photos are transferred through different applications, they technically take a hit on their quality. Not so much that you notice, but if the platform you’re using has its own compression, then you may notice this. Instagram has its own compression for photos. Instagram uses a 4×5 aspect ratio. So why not start with that so Instagram won’t have to.
Module. The square in the upper right is Crop Overlay. Click on that or press R to activate it. You’ll have a grid appear on your image like above. You want to use a 4×5/8×10 aspect ratio. Click on As Shot next to Aspect Ratio and choose 4×5/8×10 like the image above. Now you can move your image around until you’re satisfied with your crop. Click done or press Enter.
STEP 2: EXPORT SETTINGS
Now, click on File in the upper left corner and choose Export.
You’ll see settings. Don’t fret; not all of them need attention. Let’s start at the top with Export Location. This is where you choose where you want your exported photo saved. I suggest choosing a place that’s easy to find. Below that, you can name your file. I suggest naming it something you can remember.
We’re almost done! Next is File Settings. Where it says Image Format, you want to choose JPEG. You want your quality to be 100. Others argue differently for quality, but I see no difference.
Your Color Space should be sRGB. This ensures your colors stay the same no matter what screen they’re viewed on. We don’t want that.
Leave Limit File Size To unchecked. This will come in handy when uploading photos to websites to ensure they’re not too big and slow your site down. That will be another post!
Imaging Sizing is up next. Choose Edge. Make sure Don’t Enlarge is checked. You want to make sure 1080 is set for your pixels. Resolution may be set to 72 by default. Leave it as is.
Your last setting before exporting is Output Sharpening. Check the box Sharpen For and choose Screen. Your Amount should be set to High. Now export!
STEP 3: TRANSFERING TO YOUR PHONE
You’re pretty much done now and should be proud of yourself. That only took a couple of minutes! There is one more thing I would recommend, though. You could email your photos to yourself, but to reserve all the quality, using something like Dropbox or Google Drive would be best in my opinion. Downloading from there then uploading to Instagram. If you have an iPhone and Mac, then you could simply Airdrop to yourself.
PIN IT TO PINTEREST