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Picturing NOLA -- with Instagram, that is

NolaVie contributor Glen Abbott recently gave us this primer on using Instagram. We're so taken with the idea that we invite you to send us your New Orleans instagrams for publication at NolaVie. Send them, with any desired explanation/words/text/credit to [email protected]

I’ve recently discovered the joys of Instagram.

For those unfamiliar with the term, Instagram is an application for your “i-” or Android-based phone that lets you transform mediocre cellphone photos into miniature works of art and share them on your social networks.

Rusty rail car in New Orleans

After snapping the photos, you apply filters and effects that manipulate color, contrast, and focus. The photos are square, reminiscent of those '70s Polaroids many of us grew up with.

Although Instagram is actually old (it’s been around for a couple of years already), it’s new to me. You’ll have to forgive me, but I was born in the Dark Ages. That is, before computers, cellphones, and all the other electronic bric-a-brac that keep us connected, yet isolated from one another. Sometimes I’m a little slow to pick up on new technology.

From my roadtrip: Terlingua, TX

From my roadtrip: Terlingua, TX

However, a recent writing assignment changed that for me. One of the magazines I write for asked me to use Twitter and Instagram to send their followers real-time updates from my recent road trip (I write about motorcycle travel, so my stories always involve a road trip).

The trip went very well, and I seem to have attained a level of multi-tasking that I never imagined possible: taking photographs, shooting video, interviewing sources, and Tweeting and Instagramming, all while riding a motorcycle on a nearly 2,000-mile roadtrip (well, I’m not actually riding while doing those things, but you get the point).

On the Levee

On the Levee

Now that I’m back home in NOLA, I can’t stop. I've become obsessed with finding the best Instagram opportunities, prowling the city’s backstreets and railyards for photos – from the mundane (peeling paint on a brick wall) to the magnificent (sno-balls at Hansen’s) - all without trespassing on private property, I should add.

It’s really quite addictive. I’m sharing a few of my NOLA Instagrams here; feel free to share your own as well.

Check out Glen's New Orleans Instagram gallery:

Glen Abbott is a New Orleans-based freelance travel writer/photographer. You can follow him at www.TravelinGringo.com or @travelingringo on Twitter and www.instagram.com/travelingringo on Instagram.