Jun 15, 2011

Instagram Effect


My twitter timeline is being flooded with instagram photos. Thanks for this heavy deluge of serious photo editing, guys.

Not sure why everyone is so deep into this instagram business. I mean c’mon, after a few shots you’ve kinda seen it and it becomes somewhat repetitive, right? But even I must admit it can be a fun effect when used sparingly.

But here’s the thing: I don’t have an iPhone. Or an iPad. Oh yes, we do still exist—the people without all the iStuff—and we’re stronger than ever. Okay, so I do have an iMac… but still.

On the bright side, I’ve got photoshop… and I’m not afraid to use it. For those of you Appleless people out there, and for those who want more control over the instagram effect, here’s a simple way to create a similar effect in Photoshop.


Here’s my SOOC.

Instagram Effect

Now we need to give the photo that washed out instagram effect and remove some of the blown out highlights.

In your layers palette you open a Levels adjustment layer.
Instagram Effect

Drag the levels to the right, 25 should do. Now drag the output levels somewhere between 40 and 60. Of course this depends on your photo and what look you’re going for.
Instagram Effect

The photo should have a washed out, somewhat dull, look now.
Instagram Effect

Open a Curves adjustment layer. This is where the magic happens.
Instagram Effect

We’re going to tweak the blue, green and red curves. I’m starting with blue.
Instagram Effect

First, I’m placing three dots in the curve line to use as a point of reference. I’ll also do this for the red and green curves later on.
Instagram Effect

You’ll want to get more green into your photo. Drag the dots while keeping an eye on your photo. Here were my settings.
Instagram Effect

My settings don’t necessarily have to work for your photo!

Which gave me this greenish hue that I was after. I liked it.
Instagram Effect

I gave the green curve a really mild tweak.
Instagram Effect

And played around with the red curve a bit.
Instagram Effect

Until I was happy with the result.
Instagram Effect

You can leave it like this, if you like, or you can bump up the yellow/green hues a bit more to get the full effect.

I decided to go all the way and from the layers palette I choose the Photo Filter.

Red is the default color. Change the color, drag it into the yellow but make sure you get a slight green hue to it.

Set the opacity to your liking.

And here’s the effect you ultimately get.

You can take it anywhere you like. Choose any hue you like. Increase or decrease the washed out effect. It might be fun to create this effect and make it work for your particular photo than having to stick to presets.

    © kayotic.com
    Click here to print recipes older than 2010
    e-mail this post to a friend


    1. 1

      It came out very pretty… And….. there’s always the picnik.com thingie online that people can use as well.  Where there is a will there is a way when it comes to playing with photos.  ;-))

      Di on Jun 15, 2011 @ 12:39 pm Reply
    2. 2

      Thanks for this!! I was just thinking the other day that I should try to get that effect in Photoshop, as I am not generally speaking any sort of apple fan. Mostly because I’m arbitrary, if I’m being completely honest. Everyone else loves it, so I don’t. It’s how I roll. :-) Great tutorial, and I can’t wait to play with it!

      naomig on Jun 15, 2011 @ 9:19 pm Reply
    3. 3

      LOVED this tutorial! I love things like this because it opens my eyes a bit more to the world of photoshop. Which is a mighty big world.  I thank you though. I love what I just did!
      Here is a link:
      So fun to play around with it all. And thanks for helping me learn :) Keep them up! :)

      BridgetSoup on Jun 16, 2011 @ 6:41 am Reply
      1. @BridgetSoup:

        Gorgeous! I think the whole instagram thing works really well with nature shots.

        Kay on Jun 16, 2011 @ 6:51 am Reply
    4. 4

      hey thanks a lot for this tutorial, I really benefited and those photos made me soooo happy :)

      zeynep on Jun 16, 2011 @ 7:18 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Thanks for this ‘howto’ tutorial.  I don’t have/don’t want an iPhone but have occasionally wondered about this photo app as just something to play with now and again. Now I can have a play but keep my photos in their original state.  :)

      You struck a chord with me about these photo apps. They are a bit of fun but I don’t really understand why *everything*, it seems, must have a faded/retro look. I like having my photos in a traditional state and then play afterwards if the fancy takes me.  I wonder how many people will regret, in years to come, that so much of what they took looked faded and degraded from the day it was taken.

      Jayne on Sep 7, 2011 @ 7:07 am Reply
    6. 6

      OK I’m a huge IG buff! lol! You did really great on that tutorial. If you really wanna know the “hook” to IG, it’s the community. You get to connect with people from all over the world. There’s meetups all over the world for IGers. It’s really an awesome community on there. For those that don’t have an “I” there is a photo sharing app that you can get online too called streamzoo. It is actually better than IG in a lot of ways. And you can upload from your computer.
       But I just found your blog yesterday and I’m in love! Thank you for the amazing recipes! I tried three out last night. They were wonderful and easy! And I posted my results on IG! lol

      Kori on Sep 20, 2011 @ 3:07 pm Reply
    7. 7

      I love this!! Ha ha…now I can post photos that has been instagram-ed!

      J.C. on Jan 27, 2013 @ 4:01 pm Reply

    RSS feed for comments on this post.

    Leave a comment