How to add Filters to your Instagram Images

How to add Filters to your Instagram Images

Now comes one of the most important aspects of Instagram which can completely make-or-break your photos, regardless of how good they were to begin with.

Filters essentially apply a collection of effects to your pictures, altering the contrast, warmth, saturation, sharpness, blur and more. Others might also apply effects like sepia or black and white.

The filters available at the time of writing are: lark, reyes, juno, slumber, crema, Ludwig, aden, perpetua, amaro, mayfair, rise, Hudson, velencia, x-pro II, sierra, willow, lo-fi, earlybird, branna, inkwell, hefe and Nashville. Each filter also tends to be particularly useful for evoking a particular theme or expressing an idea.

Some make your image look vintage or retro, others make your image look more elegant or artistic. You need to think what you want to achieve with your photo.

At the same time, you also now have the option to manually adjust the effects on your photos – something that wasn’t available until relatively recently.

Options to adjust include:

Adjust: For changing the angle and zooming in.
Brightness: For altering the brightness.
Contrast: For changing the difference between different tones.
Structure: This essentially adds detail to your images.
Warmth: This brings out or subdues the warmth in your images – so you can have more reds, oranges and other warm tones, or more blues, whites and ‘cool’ tones.
Saturation: This is the amount of color in the image. Turn it all the way down for black and white, or all the way up for overly vibrant, dream-like colors.
Color: This lets you choose a certain color to add more of in your image.
Fade: Fade lets you create the effect of your image having faded somewhat – this can make it feel older.
Highlights: Increase/decrease the whites and light colors in your image.
Shadows: Increase/decrease the blacks and dark colors.
Vignet: Add darker corners to your photo to highlight the.
Tilt Shift: Add a blur horizontally or surrounding the image in a circle.

This lets you create the sensation of movement or of focus. Using the linear blur in particular you can make a landscape look miniaturized which is a fun effect.

The secret to using filters and effects well? If you ‘overdo’ your use of filters then this can end up looking cheap – as though you can’t take good photos on your own.

This is actually the reason that Comic Sans is considered to be such a poor choice of font. Comic Sans came with the original version of Word when people were first getting access to Word Processing. As the defacto ‘fun’ choice of typeface, everyone started using Comic Sans in all of their work and all this did was offend legitimate graphic designers who could tell that the font had actually been poorly designed. You could also compare over-using filters to over-using transition effects in videos.

When done well, these sorts of embellishments shouldn’t draw attention to themselves but should rather blend quietly into the background.

That said, using one of the filters occasionally when you think your picture could benefit from looking a little retro, a little vintage or a little artsy is a great way to keep things fresh. You should can use blurs to make your camera look more impressive than it really is, or to highlight certain points of interest in your pictures.

Some make your image look vintage or retro, others make your image look more elegant or artistic. The secret to using filters and effects well? If you ‘overdo’ your use of filters then this can end up looking cheap – as though you can’t take good photos on your own. You could also compare over-using filters to over-using transition effects in videos.

That said, using one of the filters occasionally when you think your picture could benefit from looking a little retro, a little vintage or a little artsy is a great way to keep things fresh.


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