Instagram is RUINING My Photographs (Possibly)

I have noticed in the last couple of weeks that something odd is happening with Instagram.

Photo’s that I upload to the photo-sharing platform are the same ones I directly export from Lightroom or Capture One and are the same images uploaded to this blog.

The photos that are displayed on Instagram are flat and desaturated.

Instagram is fundamentally alerting the look of my photographs without my consent.

I would not expect any app or program to fundamentally alter my photos.

I have checked on my mobile with the app vs Chrome and on my PC Chrome vs Instagram in Chrome and Mac and it’s all the same.

Here are some comparisons of the photos side by side. Both are screen grabs of the same image using the same device. The left from Instagram and the right from the web (this site). You can see a difference in all three photos.

Instagram vs My Photo
Instagram vs My Photo
Instagram vs My Photo

I understand that Instagram compresses images to make them more transferable and mobile friendly but so does WordPress and Chrome. Why on earth are Instagram changing people’s work so much and why are they allowed to get away with it?

One of the fundamental problems we have with social media, Facebook and free software are that you are beholden to their decisions as you don’t pay for the service. Sadly these services also know this and understand the audience they deliver to you so you are trapped using them as to move would mean less traffic and potentially less business (in my case, sales of my photobooks). But why should this give them any right to amend the creative vision of an individual?

I have had a couple of people respond to my posts on social media about this and some have mentioned that they have noticed a difference between their uploaded photo and the final published image. This is across Android and Apple devices.

Have you noticed any difference? I highly recommend checking your images when you upload them to Instagram.

What are your thoughts? Does Instagram have to right to dabble with peoples work? Does it bother you? Let me know in the comments.

I have tried to contact Instagram about this matter but it’s not very easy to get hold of anyone and the support email address has been closed.


Thanks to the support of the photography community online, and pointing to a video on the topic by Nigel Danson, I think I have found the issue.

Lightroom on my Phone is set to export images at sRGB but Lightroom CC on my PC was set to ProPhoto RGB. I have no idea why this would have changed as I have no reason to amend this setting.

I have reset Lightroom CC and recreated the images I am yet to share (I plan my posts in advance). I shall monitor this closest to see if the RGB export was indeed the culprit.

Thanks ᔕtuie and Nick!

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