Same photo, two different Instagram filters:
I’d been goofing around with Hipstamatic, but a photographer friend alerted me to the grander possibilities of Instagram—a free iPhone app that lets you take a photograph with your regular iPhone camera, then run it through any of 15 filters, plus a fun little tilt-shift option. The main improvement over Hipstamatic is: there’s less guessing. You take a normal photo, then decide later what effects to add on, if any.
For film folks, this site explains the vintage camera and film combinations that produce the formulas for Instagram’s filters. If, like me, you don’t have the gear or the chops to make images like these the bad@$$ way—with an old Holga on Ectachrome film, say—Instagram is a fun way to play around with colors and effects.
Instagram is no big secret, and as it gains popularity, these photos will most likely start to look pretty common and canned. But for a brief window, I’ll enjoy the vintage-y wonder of these filters that someone dreamed up (thanks, smart people!), until the next innovation comes around.