Photographer Casey McCallister reverse engineered Instagram’s filters, turning them into actions and presets for Photoshop, Aperture, and Lightroom that allow you to retro-fy your photos with one click. The download packs include all 17 Instagram filters and are “latte-priced” at $5.
Photoshop, Aperture, and Lightroom Presets [Casey Mac Photo]
Still shoot film? Use filters when you shoot? FilterCalc is a new Android app that’s designed to help non-TTL photographers figure out proper exposure when using filters.
This base ISO exposure calculator comes with preloaded database of almost 500 filters. By selecting the actual ISO value and filter type, the app computes base ISO to be used with the light meter resulting in proper exposure.
FilterCalc can compute ISO compensation in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 and full stop EV. You can select compensation values by stops, by filter factor, by preloaded filter brand/type, or add your own custom data.
The app is free and can be downloaded over on Google Play.
FilterCalc [Google Play]
UV lens filters are a popular way to protect the front element of lenses from damage, but you should make sure you invest in a high-quality one unless you want to make a huge sacrifice in image quality. Reddit user EvilDoesIt shot the photos above comparing a cheap filter with a pricier one:
The top one is a $20 Quantaray UV filter. Bottom is a ~$70 B+W MRC UV filter. This is a more extreme example, but it shows the difference between a nice filter and a crappy cheap one. Both these shots are unedited JPEGs from my Nikon D7k with a Nikkor 17-55 ƒ/2.8 @ 1.3s ISO100.
I do realize that the top pic can be easily fixed by adjusting levels, but in my opinion, it’s always better to get the best picture you can get out of your camera before editing. [#]
His last sentence is a gem: to achieve the best images, you want to make sure you’re squeezing out the best image quality you can from each step along the way.
Image credit: Photographs by EvilDoesIt and used with permission
You know society has gone a little filter-crazy when a concept for Instagram glasses shows up on the scene, but we have to admit that Instaglasses make for an interesting idea. The basic premise is that Instagram
fanatics aficionados would be able to use these to always see the world in filters. When they then glimpsed a scene that looked especially artsy with the Amaro or Inkwell filters applied, they could use a button on the side of the glasses to capture and upload that image to Instagram. Read more…
I am not anti-Instgram, nor am I anti-cellphone photography. But there is a tendency to believe that the art filters that are readily available with many cellphone photo apps somehow “improve” reality. Many of the frequently used filters either significantly boost color saturation, or try to give the appearance of an antiqued, polaroid-esque photo.
But this doesn’t mean it’s better than a more true-to-life image. To prove my point, here are a few iconic photos “re-taken” with art filters a la Instagram. Do you agree?
For those of you who’ve ever wondered what it takes to get your work into National Geographic, here’s a hint: not “creative” software filters. According to a set of guidelines laid out in a message from the magazine’s Director of Photography, certain minor post-processing is ok with the exception of filters. Minimal dodging and burning, black and white, hand tinted images (if you’re experienced), and cropping are ok when done well; fish eye lenses are discouraged; but filters are a definite no no.
How much of a no no? Well, the photo director’s exact words regarding filters boil down to: “No. Please stop.” So even though the current trend in photography, spearheaded by Instagram, is towards filters, don’t expect Nat Geo to jump on the bandwagon anytime soon.
A message from the Director of Photography of National Geographic (via Reddit)
What do you get if you apply every Instagram filter to a single photograph? Belgian blog Appelogen decided to find out, starting with a normal photo of a pathway and applying one filter at a time. The resulting image is pretty abstract, and prompted them to ask the question, “is it art?”
Instagram experiment: all filters on a photo [Appelogen]
Although everyone has an opinion on Facebook’s purchase of Instagram for $1b, I think we can all agree: Instagram is terrible for photographers (Gotcha). Why? Let’s count the ways.
Instant is a newly launched Mac application that brings an Instagram-esque, Polaroid-faking app to your desktop. It allows you to turn any digital photograph into a Polaroid picture look-alike, and offers 28 different filters for giving your images vintage looks (8 of which are designed to look like Polaroid films). You can even add classic Polaroid frames to images and jot notes onto them. The app costs $7 and is available from the Mac App Store.
Instant (via Photojojo)
Did you know that you can use Photoshop’s Match Color feature to turn old paintings into “filters” for your images? James Delaney of Unfocused Brain explains,
Adjusting your photographs to get the color ‘just right’ can be a chore. Think about this: The Old Masters of painting spent years of their lives learning about color. Why let all their effort go to waste on the walls of some museum when it could be used to give you a hand with color correction?
Simply load both your photo and the painting (or whatever image you’d like) into Photoshop. Make sure your photos is the active window, and then go to Image->Adjustments->Match Color. Select the painting as your source, and tweak the sliders to suit your taste. Whenever you find a painting you like, keep them in a directory to slowly build up a collection of “filters”. You can also mimic the look of different films by using film photos as the source!
Improve your photography with classical art [Unfocused Brain]