A guide to Instagram photographic filters

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Photographic filters are transparent or translucent optical elements that alter the properties of light entering the camera lens for the purpose of improving the image. Since, the smartphone (phone) cameras have the limitation using an external camera filter, Instagram came up with the digital filters that you can apply onto an image and save it. One of the distinctive feature that confines Instagram photos is its square shape and the other is the range of photographic filters it offer.

There are number of filters that you can apply to the photos you click via Instagram. Each filter has a unique and distinctive feel to it. These filters are easy to choose and apply. Just snap a picture, select a filter and you are good to go.

Here are all the photographic filters that Instagram offers.


  • Normal: No filter applied
  • Amaro: Adds light to an image, with the focus on the center.
  • Mayfair: Applies a warm pink tone, subtle vignetting to brighten the photograph center and a thin black border
  • Rise: Adds a 'glow' to the image, with softer lighting of the subject.
  • Hudson: Creates an 'icy' illusion with heightened shadows, cool tint and dodged center.
  • Valencia: Fades the image by increasing exposure and warming the colors, to give it an antique feel
  • X-Pro II: Increases color vibrancy with a golden tint, high contrast and slight vignette added to the edges.
  • Sierra: Gives a faded, softer look.
  • Willow: A monochromatic filter with subtle purple tones and a translucent white border.
  • Lo-fi: Enriches color and adds strong shadows through the use of saturation and 'warming' the temperature.
  • Earlybird: Gives photographs an older look with a sepia tint and warm temperature.
  • Sutro: Burns photo edges, increases highlights and shadows dramatically with a focus on purple and brown colors.
  • Toaster: Ages the image by 'burning' the center and adds a dramatic vignette.
  • Brannan: Increases contrast and exposure and adds a metallic tint.
  • Inkwell: Direct shift to black and white - no extra editing.
  • Walden: Increases exposure and adds a yellow tint.
  • Hefe: Hight contrast and saturation, with a similar effect to Lo-Fi but not quite as dramatic.
  • Nashville: Warms the temperature, lowers contrast and increases exposure to give a light 'pink' tint - making it feel 'nostalgic'.
  • 1977: The increased exposure with a red tint gives the photograph a rosy, brighter, faded look.
  • Kelvin: Increases saturation and temperature to give it a radiant 'glow'.

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