The Magic of Photo Filters

I have been taking hundreds of photos of my kids every month since our eldest son graced our lives in 2007.  We have always invested in having a great quality camera to make sure our precious moments are captured the best we can.  In recent years though, as we had 3 more children and purchased a business and went back to studies … as life generally got a lot busier and our bags became too filled with nappies and kiddy snacks to fit a large camera everywhere we went … we have started using our phone cameras a lot more.

There is a down-side to this of course.  Until just recently, phone cameras were not 100% reliable and didn’t take the best photos.  Nonetheless, the best phone camera available became a good excuse to ensure we also invested in good iPhones.

But there is also an upside.  Having photos readily available on our phones meant that we suddenly became much more reliable at posting pictures on social media for the enjoyment (and by demand) of overseas family and friends; and emailing and messaging pictures for my Mother and Husband during the day was also at my fingertips.  Another advantage of camera phones is the ease with which we can apply filters to make our photos look even better.

Personally, I’m not one to apply too many filters.  I worry too much about losing the integrity of the original photo.  But there are apps out there (I won’t presume to review them here – that’s a bit outside of my expertise) which allow you to modify a copy of your photo while retaining the original untouched version.  Instagram is one of them and has a pretty good array of different filters whilst also being very easy to use.

I’ve copied a few examples below of photo comparisons with & without filters.  Again, I am by no means any kind of expert …. all of these were done via Instagram, and took me all of 40 seconds to do each one.  But for the beginners out there like myself, it shows you what can be achieved very quickly and very easily.  For each one I previewed different filters and chose my favourite, then made small adjustments to brightness, contrast, and maybe sharpness.

Pictures on the left are the originals without filter, and on the right the filter and other adjustments have been applied.  Hopefully the blog doesn’t diminish their quality too much to see the real difference between them.

If you have photos on your computer (from a nicer camera, or sent to you by someone else) then there are easy programs you can get which can do the same thing.  Or you can always email the photo to yourself and save it to your phone to use the phone-based Apps if you prefer.

The printed versions of all these photos look absolutely amazing, and given that a couple of these have already featured in my recent blog posts, I’m sure you can tell that they have become my favourite shots of my family.


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