Did you know that Instagram has 40 filters? This means it can be pretty difficult to get a handle on which filter works best with what kind of image. But actually, the variety of these different Instagram filters, gives us well power for selection.
But before we get to the filters, you should note two things: First, the use of Instagram filters—like just about anything in the art of photography—is subjective. Second, there are no hard and fast rules. Sometimes a filter works with an image even when you wouldn’t expect it to. So don’t just limit yourself to these suggestions.
Photography social network Instagram has issued a new update, which brings five new filters, the ability to reorder the filters, and thumbnail previews. Instagram is releasing new filters for the first time in two years.
Using the right filter is an important method to get noticed on Instagram. The five new Instagram filters—Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden and Perpetua—are available on both the iOS and the Android app.
Capitol OTC notes that the new photo trend is moving towards cleaner and less dramatic textures and colours. Originally, Instagram caught on because the filters masked the shortcomings of smartphone cameras. Now, with phone cameras becoming good, the new filters are about respecting the original image while playing with the tones and colours.
How Are Instagram Filters Made?
Instagram founder Kevin Systrom has taken to Quora a few times to explain to users how they come up with their filters. In response to one question he said:
“It’s really a combination of a bunch of different methods. In some cases we draw on top of images, in others we do pixel math. It really depends on the effect we’re going for. For instance, Lomo-fi really isn’t much more than the image with boosted contrast. Whereas Toaster is one of the most complex (and slow, yet popular) filters we have with multiple passes and drawing.”
In another thread, Systrom said:
“Our filters are a combination of effects: curve profiles, blending modes, color hues, etc. In fact, I usually create them in Photoshop before creating the algorithms to do them on the phone.”
What Is New in Instagram?
Apart from the five filters, Instagram has a few other changes in place:
- You can now rearrange the filters to customize things to your liking. With the new additions, Instagram now has many filters—overwhelming if you are new and too many for regular users. At the end of the filters, you will see an icon to manage them, where you can reorder the filters or choose to switch off a few. Don’t worry, you can switch them back on when you want. This only works with photo filters, not video.
- Each filter now shows a thumbnail of your image instead of an icon, with a live preview of what your image would look like. It is hard to make out in the small size, but you get a fair idea, which is enough to make quick choices. This feature, however, works with video filters.
5 New Instagram Filters
So what are these new filters all about and how should you use them? Here there is a brief introduction about each of them.
- Aden makes photos look like pastels. Use Aden with portraits.
- Crema makes photos look creamy and smooth. Use Crema outdoors for warming and cooling effects.
- Ludwig enhances light while taking away most of the colours. Use Ludwig with portraits, architecture, and geometric shapes.
- Slumber de-saturates photos and makes them hazy. Use Slumber for a retro or dreamy look.
- Perpetua is characterized by “a bluish, green, earthy look like of nature.” There are no guidelines on where to use Perpetua, but after fiddling around with it, we’d say it works with anything shot in daylight.
Now let’s go through each of these 5 new Instagram filters with more details.
“Aden” One of Instagram Filters
What it does: Aden is a low-contrast filter which softens your images, desaturating them slightly, and giving them a pastel effect. It also warms the cooler colors.
Use it for: This filter works well with portraits as it also has a skin-smoothing effect. Aden also works beautifully with fall images and photos with lens flare.
What it does: Crema is another vintage filter that desaturates images and smooths out (but also washes out) skin tones.
Use it for: Crema appears to be popular with Instagram users for food shots, but in particular for their coffee shop shots. It also works really well with outdoor nature-scapes, whether with a green or blue hue, and city shots.
What it does: Ludwig is an intense filter. Warm colors are warmer, cool colors are darker, and shadows and highlights more pronounced.
Use it for: Ludwig is a good filter for cityscapes, buildings, and sunsets, and it can even add an interesting effect to black and white photos.
“Slumber” Is One of the Other Instagram Filters
What it does: This filter creates a yellow mask which desaturates most of the colors in your image.
Use it for: Slumber has a very fitting name as it really adds a dream-like quality to your photos. Use this filter if you want a combination of a vintage and romantic feel. This works particularly well with street photography and nature shots.
What it does: Perpetua will brighten an image, and enhances its green and yellow tones.
Use it for: Perpetua works well with outdoor shots, especially on the beach. You probably won’t want to use it with portrait shots as it gives skin a very unnatural tone.
The Bottom Line
All of these filters are only for photos, of course. The update did not add any major addition on the video front. Although The Verge is reporting that you can now upload slow-motion videos, we haven’t found that on our apps. Still, there are plenty of ways to create unforgettable videos on Instagram.
While you are at it, you might be interested in learning tricks to increase real followers on Instagram.