How to Instagram

Guess what, Instagram is coming to Facebook. Well, it’s already here—those pictures aren’t filtering themselves—but after Facebooks $1 billion purchase of Instagram yesterday, it is going to be on Facebook even more. And it was recently made available to all Android users. Its ubiquity will soon be fully realized.

If everyone’s filtering pictures, then you best learn how to filter them right. Thankfully, the fine people at The Atlantic have thrown together a guide with some helpful tips on which filter to turn to to turn your pictures into “like” magnets.


Effect: Also known as “no filter” (or, more popularly, #nofilter), this is Instagram at its purest: filter-free
Use for: Anything, really

X-Pro II

Effect: Warm, saturated tones with an emphasis on aquas and greens
Use for: That photo of you on the beach with your new boyfriend, meant to make your old boyfriend jealous


Effect: Faded, blurred colors, with an emphasis on yellow and beige
Use for: That photo of you at brunch with your new boyfriend, meant to make your old boyfriend jealous


Effect: Dreamy, ever-so-slightly blurry, with saturated yellows and greens
Use for: Food pictures — those cookies you just baked, that steak you just grilled, etc.


Effect: Sepia-like, with an emphasis on purples and browns
Use for: Arting up photos of otherwise mundane objects: cups of coffee, coffee stirrers, coffee stains on napkins, etc.


Effect: High exposure, with corner vignetting
Use for: “Mad Men”-esque takes on your night out, your picnic with friends, your backyard BBQ, etc.


Effect: Low-key, with an emphasis on grays and greens
Use for: Pictures of your dog


Effect: True-to-life contrast, with slightly gray and brown overtones
Use for: Pictures of Kevin Rose’s dog


Effect: Black-and-white, high-contrast
Use for: Giving any old picture a classically old-school effect, and/or disguising bad lighting in your #nofilter photo


Effect: Washed-out color with bluish overtones
Use for: Pictures of last weekend’s pool party


Effect: Fuzziness, with an emphasis on yellow and golden tones
Use for: Making last weekend’s pool party look like it took place in Palm Springs, in 1960


Effect: Sharp images with a magenta-meets-purple tint, framed by a distinctive film-strip-esque border
Use for: Photos that call for ironic nostalgia


Effect: Gloria Gaynor-level ’70s flair
Use for: Photos that call for in-your-face nostalgic

Lord Kelvin

Effect: Super-saturated, supremely retro photos with a distinctive scratchy border
Use for: Photos that call for actual nostalgia


With this guide handy, you can seem like an Instragram veteran without all the trial and error.


The Atlantic

  • Blake J. Graham

    When in doubt, Brannan. 

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