Instagram Filters

by Leandra Medine
September 25, 2012
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
PINTEREST
READ NEXT

And what yours say about you.

“If you could be an Instagram filter, which one would you be?” The original Semi-Repeller asked me this some time last week, but not before first eloquently expressing her interest in Lo-Fi, “It’s bright but also dark, like my insides.”

I could have answered right away (X-Pro, durrr), but I didn’t. I had to think about what was being asked me of me. I mean really being asked of me. If I could so accurately identify why I loved X-Pro in an analytical nod to my own personal tendencies, what would that mean? Have we really arrived at a destination that allows us to express things about ourselves more wholly by way of an Instagram filter? That’s nuts.

In my swamp of muddled thoughts, I remembered an uncomfortably accurate article that Hair Pin published over a year ago assessing what the popular ’90s American Girl Dolls said about their owners and that is when it clicked: the character traits outlined and established practically serve as free therapy.

Do I love X-Pro because it makes my shoes look shinier? Skin darker? The sky above me bluer? Perhaps. But figure the below filter-psychoanalyzation your new-age horoscope, tactfully carving your personality for you, readily appraising what you don’t yet know, perhaps just doing it more accurately with less an emphasis on helping you find (conventional) true love.

Amaro, Hudson, Walden: You, like God (and Henry David Thoreau), enjoy bringing the light–be it into a room, an idea, a conversation, an empty bulb. Your inclinations tend to leave you photographing in the dark, ambitiously awaiting the moments your self procured enlightenment will garner tangible results.

Evidently, you like SAT words too.

Rise, Sierra: Your tint sways more toward brown and yet you don’t accomplish a poignant vintage feel–not the way Earlybird, Brennan or Sutro may, at least. You’re neither here nor there, this nor that. Cryptic, blase and without much heartfelt intent. You are to every reporter trying to write a story on you, a bona-fide nightmare.

X-Pro, Hefe: X-Pro II and Hefe users work from the same camp, bat for the same team, and consistently (albeit unapologetically) indulge in the gateway drug to filtering. It’s a sunny day wherever you live and dammit, Instagram should know. Maybe this will be the day your photo makes it to the popular page, instigating an onslaught of comments that range from “I make $50 a day working from home and usually I don’t share my secrets but today I will,” to “follow for follow? Like for like?” On the rare occasion you may also get, “this scenic view is pussy ass shit.”

Lo-Fi: You’re dark around the surface, bright on your interior–a complex creature with an affinity for criminal TV (Special Victims Unit is already sociopathic child’s play,) but on a completely unrelated note, you also make footwear (and professional photos not taken with an iPhone but filtered anyway,) look great.

Earlybird, Sutro, Brennan: You drink so much coffee your body is becoming immune to the caffeine. A filtered photo isn’t worth your health though (most of the time,) so why don’t you step away from the pot, and focus your attention on the neat series of sharpened pencils sitting on your desk. They’ll look nice in your vintage filter–because that’s what you are, Earlybird, Sutro and Brennan–and speak quite accurately to whatever inklings of the pre-wi-fi life you are trying to preserve by filtering your photos back in time to 1952.

Inkwell: “Not all those who wander are lost.” “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” “Your love is a drug.” “Vaginas are the new penises.” You enjoy filtering a good quote, don’t you? After having spent the majority of your formulative years in the 90s, how could you not? Thank you for so accurately reminding me what some of my deceased AIM away messages looked like.

Valencia: Your subtlety is obvious, disposition admired. You don’t like to, nay, need to show off your photography skills but there is an air of arrogance about you. You stick your nose up at double filterers (screen shots changed everything,) and bask quite deeply in the self-indulgent glory of never having to prove yourself on Instagram.

Nashville: Borders just aren’t what they used to be and you, Nashville, without your highbrow border offer very little. Your effects are decent and amicable: a blue tint with hints of orange hurt no one and sometimes even create the illusion of tan skin but in the grand scheme of filters, no one wants to travel so far across the options when Walden can do your job three times faster and slightly better. You’re kind of like Vogue before Diana Vreeland stepped in.

Toaster, 1977: 1977 user, you face similar woes to those of an Earlybird enthusiast. Though I wasn’t alive in 1977, my mother was and the photos of her teenage-hood suggest more of a Toaster tint than a pale pink one that effectively does nothing conducive to any of my photos. As for you, toaster users, try putting your food pics in Lo-Fi, tell me how it feels.

Kelvin: Are you a Mets fan? Do you eat orange Lifesavers? Filter your photos in Kelvin? You’re a certifiable underdog rooter. Redeeming qualities of your filter of choice include an interesting border but that doesn’t matter considering what was just tackled in the Nashville discussion. Your effort at championing a vomit colored lens will likely see no victory. I did love the shot of your bulldog, Nancy though.

No photo, no filter, The Instagram Lurkers: We see you passively liking other peoples photos and yet when we click your username: nothing. You’re following about 300 people, have no more than 60 followers and the extreme heights of your judgmental nature are more apparent that Jon Hamm’s salami. Yes, you’re afraid to post a picture because people might think of you what you think of them. Tisk, tisk.

And if you’re one of the select few that leave your photos in “Normal,” see: hashtag no filter, I reckon it’s time you revert back to Facebook. You’re cannibalizing the art of cannibalized photography.

Above photo filtered in X-Pro: wearing Mark Henry, Jennifer Fisher, Elyse Lightner, Aurelie Bidermann

REPLIES
  • sketch42

    Ha leandra! This is genius! Im an x-pro/ lo-fi user, BUT I found this site that analyzes your instagram account and they told me my most liked photos are when I use the filter Hudson?!? Imagine!
    Sometimes I edit in Camera+ or aviary only because you cant straighten out photos in instagram and sometimes the filters are too intense. Also, Amaro, rise and hefe are really good in the right moment. I follow a photographer that posts entirely in Brennan, and I must say, his page does look good. Consistent. Pretty. Romantic. Masculine. Its all there.
    It says a lot about you, your instagram filter. You nailed it!

  • Kate

    This is great! I have absolutely thought about which filter to use and how it might reflect on myself! But I am an Xpro girl all the way!

    velvetcupcakes

  • http://www.facebook.com/abril.gza Abril Garza

    haha loved this, and actually made sense

  • http://dallianceswithsuitsandskirts.blogspot.com/ blue roses

    i think i would pay money to be a fly on a mystical and mythic wall as you, having successfully traveled back in time to the transcendentalist enlightenment, attempt to explain the concept of instagram to hd thoreau……

    if only such technologies had been around then! think of all the sepia-tinted shots of bean sprouts we would have to like and to ponder!

  • Naina

    This is the best form of horoscope ever invented.

    SIDEWALKCATWALKS.com

  • http://www.thepvdhjournal.com/ The PvdH Journal

    A previous Sierra lover, I think I have overdosed on filters and I’m currently going au natural (well, aside from a little lighting help of Camera +)

  • alisi.claire

    Instagram is one of the best apps!

    http://alisiclaire.blogspot.de/

  • http://styladelica.com/ Styladelica

    I love this. I’m mainly a X-Pro/Lo-Fi gal.

  • http://www.angeltoapple.com/ Kelly

    Hefe and X-Pro all the way! I need my happy high contrast photos lol.

  • Frances Kwon

    HAHAHA. Valencia’s description is so bang on, love this.

  • dany

    i love it! so creative. xxo, dany

    http://lovesprettythings.blogspot.com/

  • dragon fruit

    This is THE best post in awhile… genius and hilarious.

    http://dragonnfruit.com

  • http://twitter.com/SteffiJan rastaman vibration.

    ahaha! Funny as always! I’m a Lo-Fier and everything’s true. This horoscope’s really efficient. I think you should start write some in the free papers we can get in the subways in France. Maybe you’d get a bit of money with it.. You know, i’m just giving you some business plans. No big deal!

  • AtB

    “You’re cannibalising the art of cannibalised photography” – I like this.

  • Opposite Lipstick
  • http://twitter.com/ServeThisRoyalT Robin Nicole

    Lo-Fi fi lyfe

  • Isabel Nazaré
  • http://twitter.com/JennySueMakeup JennySueMakeup

    This is too much and flat out hilarious!! I realized I frequently use the xpro and hefe – bc YES I want it to be sunny all day everyday!!

  • My Scrambled Style

    Brilliant post :-D!
    I’m a fan of Amaro

  • johnnybell

    Lol at your descriptions.

    http://www.nytrendymoms.com/

  • http://twitter.com/PrsnlUnfrm Sophia Schwan

    I have so much fun reading your articles. Since I have always been faithful to Valencia, I’ll guess all have to except that I’m a subtle, arrogant, self-indulgent bitch.

  • monkeyshines

    beautiful details!

    Bises,
    monkeyshines
    http://monkeyshines-monkeyshines.blogspot.com/

  • liz

    lmao love it!!

    http://lavieenliz.com

  • Belén cavas
  • http://claudiapoirier.com/ Claudia

    I am embarrassed to admit that I am a hardcore Valencia person and that it’s pretty darned accurate… ;)

  • modelovers
  • Jasmine Alvarez

    I AM ADDICTED TO VALENCIA

  • ektasheoran

    I love the way you wrtie! You are amazing!
    Greetings from India
    http://unityinfashion.com

  • Eva

    What a cool post. I;m addicted to earlybird and rise!

    http://www.creativityandchocolate.blogspot.com

  • http://www.thekinas.com/ Bettina

    Haha, love this and the comparison to the American Girl dolls. I am an Amaro girl. I could use it for almost every photo, but don’t so that I venture out of some comfort zone.

  • Chelsie Moss

    This post is hilar!
    -C

    mossypants.com

  • farandwild

    this is so funny because every time i go to instagram and end up using the same filter i wonder if i’m in a rut or if it says something about my personality. clearly it’s the latter and i’m not alone!

    abigail
    http://www.farandwildjewelry.blogspot.com

  • Beckerman Girls

    Lately, we’ve really been AU NATURAL!!!! (almost feel naked–haha) and AMARO! Amaro is good for pommy wommies!! WOOOOF! Love you longtime

  • AlexsFashion

    always when I see people sharing photos from instagram on facebook I wonder how on earth they manage to get the colors in such an awesome way…. this explains alot!

  • Thorunn Ivarsdottir

    hahahah this is so funny.. I love Walden and Brennan

    xx
    Check out my new post!
    Double-Pizzazz Leather + Lace

  • Jennifer

    I use X-Pro… Apparently I am not cool haha

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

  • Daniela Macsim

    The print on the trouser is perfect!

  • Law Moda

    kelvin. and yes. i am a mets fan.

    lawmoda.blogspot.com

  • Elsi Ferris

    WELL DONE. i am laughing, nodding my head, and extremely embarrassed all at once.

  • Elsi Ferris

    …and sadly can think of at least one follower for each description at the top of my head..without checking their accounts.

  • Guest

    i always say this about iPhone cases. these are mine and my sisters. mine marc jacobs, hers kate spade. speaks pages about our personalities.

  • Leigh Ann Fisher

    It so fun when you are popular and you get one comment after another from some idiot promoting generic cialis. Get some balls…. Leandra this is a phenomenal piece and I’m sharing this bitch! Perfect and yep…. True True… Amaro, Hudson, and Walden are my friends.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EmmaLouiseeexo Emma Louise Westbrook

    I absolutely love this post. And it is probably very true. I have to say that I’m a Valencia girl!
    http://www.feathersandfringing.blogspot.com

  • http://www.pandaphilia.com Angie

    this is so funny and so true! i get frustrated that amaro doesn’t have a border. give an ocd kid instagram …
    http://www.pandaphilia.com

  • MCatt

    Oh you can turn a phrase!

  • http://thinskinlintmint.tumblr.com Claire

    i use valencia the most haha! and kelvin ugh so accurate, why is it even a filter? and i use #nofilter often though, when the lighting is just great

  • B.

    Such a funny article ! I actually use almost all of them depending on the picture

    http://www.tripsandtreasures.net
    fashion & lifestyle in Belgium

  • gabby

    I found your blog and initially liked what I was reading until I found out you´re 23 and married. all so F A K E.

    • Leandra Medine

      Why/how does my age contribute to this alleged “f a k e -ness?”

      • gabby

        age doesn´t. age+marriage does. I mean, it´s cool, lot´s of luck etc.etc, I have absolutely nothing against young and married, but it simply does not go with what you write and pretend to be.

        • Emmaleeds_87

          You obviously don’t understand the point of the blog. Sorry about that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashton.papazahariakis Ashton Papazahariakis

    I am also an X-Pro user. That saturation! A slide shooters dream.

  • http://agirlastyle.com/ A Girl, A Style

    Oh Leandra, I love this post so much! And you know what? You’re probably spot on about me and my Earlybird addiction (although it also partly boils down to the fact I’m OCD and want everything in my feed to look the same). Now if only there were to find a way to block those annoying “I work from home…!” commenters on your pictures!

    Briony xx

  • http://www.styleclouds.de/ Styleclouds

    Love this post! I had so much fun reading it! xo, Christina

    http://www.styleclouds.de

  • rachel
  • rachel
  • Veva

    I also love x-pro, and…How about pixlr o matic??
    what is the significance if you used it? :)

    Kisses My white idea

  • http://twitter.com/matchalattewdrb Raphaëlle Lavielle

    The entire blogging world seems to be pondering on the power of Instagram (and Twitter and everything that’s connected, so, well, pretty much everything). Sigh. Now I can’t look at the small instagram icon on my phone without having one of those quotes popping up.

    http://matchalattewardrobe.blogspot.com

  • Brittany Dahlin

    You are amazing. This is hilarious. Early Bird is my go to.

  • Sarah

    This just made my morning commute much more interesting, especially since I spend the day getting paid to analyze people (yep, I’m a psychotherapist/fashion blogger amalgam- figure that one out). My photographer husband judges the crap put of vintage Instagram filters, so this may be the one fashion blog post he’ll actually read. And that, MR, is worthy of a medal!
    http://sanfranista.wordpress.com

  • Luna

    You the shit!!

  • mSneakPimp
  • Joey

    I had a Molly doll but not because I had glasses and was bad at math (I was/had neither). Maybe because my dad is obsessed with WWII? Idk. But I loved her anyway. But yeah, Samantha was the glamorous one.

  • Barcelona Brunettes

    hahahahaha, this post is soooo funny, now I’m gonna think about what you just wrote everytime I take a pic on Istagram!

    x0x0,Barcelona Brunettes.
    http://www.barcelonabrunettes.com

  • Natashia

    Hahahaha brilliant. I must admit, I’m always drawn to X-Pro II cos the colours are more intense and makes me shitty photo of my meal, desk or stalked-person looked “cooler”.

  • Deborah & Gabriel

    Really interesting article. What filters can reveal about us.:)

    Watch our new outfit-posts inspired by the colors blue and nude:
    http://acouplesgallery.blogspot.de/

    xx

    D & G

  • AiraMae

    I always use Amaro and Valencia! and from time to time Brennan

  • Sharon

    Very fascinating!! Apparently I drink so much coffee that my body is immune to caffeine and I’m also addicted to blue tinted photos with borders

    http://primpedandprimed.blogspot.com.au/

  • nujie

    Love this post! I’m lo-fi all the way!

    http://www.abreathofgemini.blogspot.com

  • http://twitter.com/cisforcouth C is for COU†H.

    v a l e n c i a here…

  • Greer and Catherine

    Whatever your filter I think we can all agree they sound best when said by P’trique contemplating his next post.

    http://girl-hunting.blogspot.com.au

  • Lizzy

    Thankyou for this. Really genuinely funny and so bizarrely relevant. ManRepeller it’s like you tell me my thoughts before I even finish thinking them.

  • kjhii

    Today I had an indecisive moment over the validity of kokology- a form of Japanese psychology administered through a game of a Q&A’s… after an unknown time pondering what I would say to the camel, at first sight of land, who was carrying me though a desert I suddenly realized amongst me was a busy “sunday crowd” at the thrift…

    I couldn’t determine the unknown facets of my soul and character in such a situation, obviously!

    So ultimately deciding against the purchases of said book-of-questions-game I placed the book in an unassuming position on the nearest shelf of books. Left with the overall feeling that I continually filtered my initially transpired answers anyway (I second-guessed the point at which my thoughts reverted to my initial thought)… blah blah…

    point is I find myself reading your blog whose topic dissects each Instagram filter for each personality and thus I aptly find my character and soul!!

    tending towards one of the following: early bird, valencia, sutro, rise, sierra, and the occasional no filter.

    @kjhii

  • NinaPapaioannou

    I’m happy to use the filters… Just today, I was thinking that I must be careful not to post almost the same thing on my blog, Instagram, facebook, twitter and tublr.
    xxx
    Nina
    http://trendsurvivor.com/

  • Fashion415

    I think you just uncovered the meaning of life (aka insta being that life). Too smart.
    Fashion415.com

  • Fair Vanity

    Awesome. Especially about the lurkers- so true!

  • Jamie

    I’m still mourning the loss of Gotham…dark and beautiful. My all time favorite.

  • krisbliss

    Haha this was great!

  • beksteen

    Awesome post. Out of curiosity…which filter is your favorite?

  • Ilaf Esuf

    Loved this article! Inspired my post on my high school journalism website. Everyone loved it! http://whitneyupdate.com/?p=2735

  • Herman Swan

    That pre-wi-fi life idea is so funny! This horoscope’s really efficient. Now I will remember u everytime I open Instagram! xo
    ~ Herman Swan
    Architectural Stone

  • Get Instagram Followers

    I would personally like to thank you for your post. It really help me a lot.

  • Stephen Wright

    Instagram has many power users with very few tools.
    InstaPower User has more than one tool.
    Follow/Unfollow tool: see how many followers have liked or commented as well as if you follow them back or not.
    Comment response tool: manage your posts, see how many comments and how many replies you have made (included @username in comment)
    Ghost Identification: find the followers who do not comment or like your posts. You can then decide to unfollow or remove one by one or all ghost users.
    Problems Solved.
    Like twitter bots, no need for webstagram, instafrmanger, instafollower
    Why You need it?
    One tool does it all – for real instagram users
    Why fund it?
    I need your help to make it better and to make it succeed.
    How funding will help?
    I am asking for your help to beta test, improve my application, improve the user interface, eliminate bugs and help me create the perfect icon. Any extra funds will help speed up the development time of the iPad and iPhone version. I am really looking to get as many people involved in this project as possible. The success of these apps are solely dependent upon the support of the users.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ibeninja/instapower-user-instagram-power-user-tool?ref=card

  • Nadja

    What about the filter Willow??????

SHOW MORE COMMENTS