July 15, 2013

Instagram Filter DIY

Well, Mr. JM, light of my life, has generously provided his Nikon camera for me to practice with this month, but I keep forgetting to grab the memory card to upload the photos! On that memory card are babies and beaches and ball games that I'm eager to share with you, but for now it's out of reach.

I've been trying to snap at least one Instagram a day, and just this afternoon a project idea for them came into my mind. You know how Instagram has all those lovely filters to choose from? The kind that make every poor man's latte look like some artisan gourmet thing from France? The kind that inject 500 Days of Summer-y vibes into your photos of that unassumingly grungy skyscraper? The kind that turn shoegazing into some kind of modern art? Oh yeah, you know.

Well, I've always been curious to know exactly how Instagram's filters work -- what exactly they're coded to lighten and darken, fade and flare? How do I reproduce these effects in the rest of my photography? I decided I would take these recent shots, apply a desirable Insta-filter to them, then see how close I could get to recreating that filter on iPhoto's humble editing software. Not a bad way to learn the art of photo enhancement, eh? Eh? Humor me.

So, to make up for 1 week of no posting, here are 7 photos, 7 filters, and 7 breakdowns by me:

1) Two Macaroons (Elephant Delicatessen - Portland, OR)
Original
Instagram
Self-Edit
Goal: Amp color to effectively capture deliciousness; minimize cookie's undershadow; soften overall, yet maintain sharpness of sprinkle texture and paper bag.

Instagram Filter Solution: Amaro

Recreation Recipe: Square crop, increase exposure to 1.23, bring contrast down -4, take saturation to 39%, increase highlights 15%, de-noise 14%, bring the temperature -4 colder, tint 3 toward green, Edge Blur Effect +3.


2) Looking Up (9th & Pike St. - Seattle, WA)
Original
Instagram
Self-Edit
Goal: Amp color and crop to feature contrast between brick and bright blue of sky; make streetlight disappear.

Instagram Filter Solution: Hefe

Recreation Recipe: Amp contrast about 85%, saturate 57%, Color Boost +2.


3) Le Maison d'Oiaseaux (Anthropologie Window - Portland, OR)
Original
Instagram
Self-Edit
 Goal: Pop colorful birdhouses from background; fade reflection while enhancing sun rays across glass.

Instagram Filter Solution: Lo-Fi

Recreation Recipe: Increase exposure 0.68, boost contrast to 100%, saturate 57%, increase sharpness to 9, Color Boost +1, Color Fade +1.


4) Skyway (somewhere on Wall St. - Seattle, WA)
Origianl
Instagram
Self-Edit
Goal: Draw focus to skyline using geometry/lines of composition; center "Hotel" sign, for focus; capture look & feel of vintage New York City photos.

Instagram Filter Solution: Inkwell

Recreation Recipe: Turn on Black & White, Increase exposure to 0.78, boost contrast to 100%, bring upper level control to 94% and mid level control down about a quarter.


5) Say Cheese (University District - Seattle, WA)
Original
Instagram
Self-Edit
Goal: Decrease ruddiness in face and circles under eyes; make Cheeto pop from face; make face pop from background.

Instagram Filter Solution: Valencia

Recreation Recipe: Increase saturation 69%, Decrease shadows to 36, bring temperature toward blue -20, bring tint toward red -25, bring lower level control up to 9%, Antique Effect +1.


6) Diamond in the Sky (Paramount Theater - Seattle, WA)
Original

Instagram
Self-Edit
Goal: Showcase the chandelier; give the effect of ghostly/haunted background -- something like Titanic under the sea; SHADOWS!

Instagram Filter Solution: Sutro

Recreation Recipe: Increase exposure to 0.9, increase contrast to 30, increase highlights to 19 and shadows to 8, bring temp toward blue -48, bring tint toward red -42, bring lower level control up to 5%, Antique Effect +1.


 7) Roseshadow (My Bedside Table)
Original
Instagram
Self-Edit
Goal: Lighten flower petals for translucence; accentuate monochrome against rose colors; 

Instagram Filter Solution: Sierra

Recreation Recipe: Increase exposure to 0.36, decrease saturation to 33, increase definition to 12, increase highlights to 5 and shadows to 15, edge temp toward yellow +1, bring tint toward red -4, bring mid level control a fifth of the way down.


Whew! I'm really pleased with how most of these turned out, but it's clear where Instagram has the upper hand on my cruddy editing program: COLOR. Compare the Insta Cheeto to the latter one. Also the chandelier pic that I couldn't quite get purple enough, no matter how much I messed around with tint and temperature. It may be that I just lack basic color-creation knowledge, but considering I've been obsessed with palettes for the past 5 years, I would find that surprising.

How do you colorize your photos? Do you have any tips or tricks for me? Please leave them below!

More soon,

-R

1 comment:

  1. Everything is very beautiful. Clearance at the highest level. Photos can be done in different social networks. Recently did a photo album and use return here this website macphun.com/filters-for-photos . It was awesome. I think to make some photos for your instagrama through your application.

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