Instagram for iPhone updated with new features and effects

Instagram has just been updated and it introduced a pretty nifty new feature – tilt shift. For those of you familiar with photography, or tilt shift lenses, you’ll notice that there are a number of uses for the feature and hardware. When taking pictures of buildings from ground level, for example, you can prevent them from looking like they’re leaning toward the horizon. When taking photos from high ground, or aerial pictures, tilt-shift photography often produces the effect of miniaturization by blurring the foreground and background – far more dramatically than what you can sometimes achieve with wide-open apertures.

With the Instagram update, you’ll now be able to reproduce the blur effect on your images. You can pinch to adjust the areas you’d like to keep in focus, and adjust the intensity of the blur, too. You’ll also be able to rotate the plane that stays within focus, so there’s no limitation on the angles you want to take when trying to get creative.

Other features include enhancements to the news feed, and the ability to share photos via e-mail. In addition to the new sharing options, when you’re commenting on your friends’ photos within Instagram, you’ll be able to do an “@mention” simply by pressing and holding their usernames.

Additionally, geo-locations can now be added without you having to name your location – sort of like the way it works in Path.

There are a few bug fixes here and there, the services list has been cleaned up and Instagram says there are performance improvements with its filters. I did notice that it doesn’t take nearly as long to apply filters as it did before the update, so props to the Instagram developers for optimizing that process.

If you aren’t using Instagram, it’s free in the iTunes App Store. Otherwise, just crack open the App Store on your iPhone and check for your updates!

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