Instagram: To Filter or Not To Filter

I’m guilty for being a serial filterer on nearly all my Instagram photos. But I’m of the school of thought that believes filtering can enhance the intrinsic value of your shot. When used purposefully, it can be a great tool for story telling, setting mood, framing context, all of the above. However, there are a ton of people who hate filters and just harbor a ton of “hatorade” with the Instagram community. A lot of the whining I hear comes from the elitists that are annoyed that “the commoners” think they’re photographers because they snap shots, spruce them up with a filter, and upload them to their accounts. Who cares? Who cares if it’s food or unflattering selfies. Stop following them! Just don’t blame the tools created by the geniuses before us who did use them artistically.

My personal favorite filtered shot comes from a San Diego Zoo outing with my cousin. While we were around the lion exhibit, a lioness decided to hang out right up against the glass and people jumped at the opportunity to check it out up close. I’m not the kind of person that carries my camera 24/7 for the sake of practice because I can’t stand the idea of uploading shots, selecting favorites, and making edits. But I do know a good shot when I see it, and thank camera phones for that convenience. The way I filtered and edited the above shot should tell you immediately what was running through my mind.

It’s not every day that you see cool moments like the above unfold before you. The typical portfolio might have your share of newborn stuff, kids playing with bubbles in the park, kids laughing or running around. But you hardly see innocent, Narnia-inspired stuff like this. And I thank filters and Photoshop for providing me the ability to share with you this fantasy-inspired photo.


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