If you’re into photography, then you know that the world of Instagram has changed the way photographs are shared around the world. This introduction also changed the way photographers want to differentiate themselves and create their “look”, the concept of how the photographs are interpreted, each with its own character.
We’re talking about Instagram filters.
The problem with these filters, however, is that are usually indiscriminately heavy handed. Some people use these filters as a crutch to cover up their poor composition by making the colors more interesting. Or the trendy look that crank up the contrast or just desaturated to the point where half of your Instagram feeds look the same.
In the article (linked above) bring up a great point about Instagram:
“They’re diluting their own work and style by focusing on what will grow their account instead of focusing on developing themselves artistically.”
These “hipster filters” as I call them are typically too trendy for my liking; overall muting the natural beauty that the camera and lens has to offer. For example, if you shoot a Leica M camera, using one of these filters will kill the signature micro-contrast look that Leica optics are known for, sometimes flattening the image (there is nothing wrong if you want your photo too look flat, just not my cup of tea).
That doesn’t mean that I don’t like to edit my image to edit them to my liking. On the contrary, I very rarely not edit my images as part of my post-processing workflow. There are a few exceptions to this, especially if you’re a Leica shooter. I’ve noticed with my Leica cameras, that they have the most accurate and organic rendering of tones, especially paired with a Leica lens. I don’t want to take anything away from that beautiful rendering, especially when you pay a premium for that image quality and the shooting experience.
However, there are a set of presets that I want to talk about here.
These presets are by Rebecca Lily
These presets are impressive to say the least as they don’t too much from the original rendering. I liked them so much, I’ve purchased three of her set of presets in the past two years because I loved the way they supplemented your images without taking too much away from the original. Her colors are used by world-renowned travel, wedding and lifestyle photographers, all swear by her presets as part of their post-processing workflow. Impressive resume references don’t you think?
Let me show you two examples.
The difference is not drastic, but it’s a noticeable in a pleasing way.
Don’t get me wrong, the stock photo actually looks pretty damn good, especially with the rendering you get out of the Carl-Zeiss Biogon lens. However, I felt the need to warm it a little bit based on the context of the photo with the cherry blossom and the mother’s “warmth” holding her baby.
I recommend checking her out if you prefer your images to look less “film like” and a more subtle, modern take on the aesthetics of your images.