To say that Instagram has transformed the way in which the Average Joe approaches photography and filters would be an understatement. Now, it’s difficult to imagine a “normal” photograph, filters are the norm and the fact that #nofilter yields such surprising and highly talked-about results just emphasizes this.

The funny thing is, filters have been around for years. A quick look at the work of a photographer like Anouk Govil proves this; these shots aren’t through Instagram, the filters have been carefully chosen to get the most out of each scene.

The use of “carefully” should be focused on now. It would be fair to say that Instagram has caused an unnecessarily high amount of filters to be used, which isn’t at all a bad thing – after all, most of us don’t proclaim to be pros when we use the platform, we just want to experiment.

There are certainly times and place to use various filters though. We’ll now take a look at some of the popular ones which are available, and highlight when they should be turned to.


In the technical sense, this is a filter which will provide your photos with high saturation, but a warm temperature. Ultimately, it’s one that can be exceptionally powerful but if you’re looking to take true advantage of it, food shots are the best reason. It can really bring out all of the right colors in food, and make it appear as fresh as if it had just been served up.


As soon as you see a photo manipulated with this effect the name will become clear. It’s something that will provide images with vignette edges, as well as a rustic tint. It also places a lot of emphasis on the center of the image – which is where the pros take full advantage.

If you’re looking to focus on something in the middle of the image, and bring some unique attention to it, the toaster filter will work a treat. Sure, it’s an “obvious” filter in the way that it looks almost forced, but it can add something different and the vignette edges certainly provide plenty of charm.


At times, saturation might be your best friend. At other times, you just want rid of it. It’s in situations like the latter when inkwell comes in.

In short, it provides zero saturation to your images. It means if you’re taking a shot which is blitzed with shadows and streams of light, you can manage them and still produce a stunning photograph.


Looking to add a touch of romance to your photos? The Nashville filter should come in handy. This is something which will add a lot of exposure to images, whilst lowering the contrast and adding something of a warm temperature.

The result is an effect which almost arrives in a shade of pink. It means that it can make a scene subtly romantic – which is all that’s required sometimes.