Photo Edits II: Layout from Instagram

Layout is an app from Instagram, unveiled back in May, which is designed to allow users to easily arrange multiple photographs into a single square picture frame. When Layout opens, users are shown their camera roll, and can immediately begin assembling their photographs into preset layouts, placing from two to four photos alongside each other in an array of preordained configurations. These presets can be modified in a variety of ways: selected photos can be dragged and rearranged, pinched and pulled to be resized, and flipped and rotated; and layouts can be manipulated to allocate to certain photos more of the picture space.

A nice feature with Layout is that the app stores these modifications in addition to the presets until the editing process has been completed. This means if you mess up a modification, you can simply go back and return to the original preset layout.

Beyond selecting photographs from the whole of the camera roll, Layout allows users to view only recently taken photos, or only those photos which show faces. And rather than choosing an already saved photograph, a ‘photo booth’ option allows users to capture something new and instantly begin editing.

It is easy to get started, but with endless possible modifications, Layout can produce some pretty subtle and artistic effects. Users can create mirror-images and interesting patterns of texture and colour, and it is easy to start agonising over the order of photos and their respective sizes and shapes. Above are eighteen edits which I have made via Layout, showing something of the diversity of the app, from photographs taken in York, Cloughton Wyke, Manchester, Amsterdam, and Cabo de Palos.