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]
Holga is selling an iPhone Lens Filter Kit that packs 9 separate “retro” filters into a single accessory using a rotary dial. While the design itself is pretty clever, the resulting photographs are a bit… strange. They sell for $25 over in the Holga store.
Holga iPhone Lens Filter Kit (via Boing Boing via Gizmodo)
The Fader has published an interview with Instagram founder Kevin Systrom that reveals how Systrom first got into photography, and how the service’s now-ubiquitous filters came about:
[…] my teacher handed me this plastic Holga camera and said, “You’re going to use this and learn to deal with imperfection.” I remember developing the first roll and the feeling I got from the vignetting and the light leaks that came from the blurry plastic lens. That transformed the way I looked at photography—from trying to replicate reality into taking a scene and creating some kind of interpretation of its mood.
Instagram started as a mobile check-in app, but after creating his first filter (XProII), Systrom realized they could do more with the concept. He then began creating new looks and spending a couple hours at a time trying to mimic the look of different photos.
Oversaturated: Is Instagram’s Popularity Changing Photography? (via A Photo Editor)
Image credit: 2011.02.10 Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom by Gerard’s World
Using a filter is a great way to protect your lens from damage, but if you accidentally drop your camera and smash the filter, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to remove the filter from your lens’ threads. Here’s a quick video that shows how you can remove a stuck filter — all you need is a strong pair of pliers.
(via ISO 1200)
The success of Instagram has shown that photo filters are very much in demand with the general population. Facebook is rumored to be working on its own retro filters, but Google has beaten it to the punch: today the company introduced a wide range of creative filters to Google+’s Creative Kit. The filters (called “Effects”) include looks that mimic daguerreotypes, Reala 400 film, Polaroid pictures, Lomo, Holga, and even cross processed film.
Product developer and part-time wedding photographer Joel Malone has come up with a product called “Lens Filter Coasters“: 4 colored or UV filters and an indestructible steel coaster holder. The coasters are actual 86mm filters made of optic polycarbonate resin (similar to plexiglass). Malone is currently raising funds for the project through Kickstarter: $40 will preorder you a UV set, and $50 will land you a colored one.
Lens Filter Coasters [Kickstarter]
Instagram released a new update today in response to user complaints regarding the filter differences in Version 2.0. Version 2.0.1 features rewritten Earlybird and Branna filters that act much more like their Version 1 counterparts (they were “accidentally altered” in V2). The company also acknowledges that other filters were intentionally changed, but that they’re working hard to bridge the gap between the new and old versions. Other improvements in the update include a smoother tilt-shift and upgraded geotagging.
The company announced a few days ago that it’s now receiving 25 photos per second from its exploding user base — a faster rate than a 24fps motion picture.
What’s New in V2.0.1 (via Shiny Shiny)
If you’re a longtime Instagram user that recently upgraded to Version 2, you might have noticed that the filters don’t quite feel the same. Don’t worry, it’s not just you: each of the filters was indeed tweaked in the app’s overhaul. Despite the new live view and faster response times, many users aren’t too happy about the changes that were done to their beloved filters. Owen Billcliffe over at My Glass Eye did a side-by-side comparison between old and new filters to show the differences. The filter shown above, “Lord Kelvin”, has a significantly different look in the new version.
Instagram’s filters are meant to mimic the look of vintage and toy cameras, but have you ever wondered which cameras and films you’d need to make analog photos with the same look? The folks over at 1000memories decided to tackle this question and, after a good amount of research, came up with a neat infographic showing the different camera and film combinations you can use to recreate popular Instagram filters.