Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's the best app for photo filters to replace Instagram?

I used to use Picnik for quick crops or to lighten a photo for Women's Magazine, but Picnik got eaten by sharks and is now dead.

Everyone's all stressed about Instagram's new terms of service, and, as a journalist, I don't know if I should upload work-related photos to Instagram anymore. Who do those photos belong to? Me? My company? Instagram? Google? God? Who cares?

I've been experimenting with other easy, free/cheap photo filters to replace Instagram.

The key: It must be a one-button instrument and quick enough to be realistic in a psycho-busy day. The problem is, I really love Instagram's filters and no one has yet found a way to replace "walden" in my heart.

Side note: I know there are questions about the ethics and professionalism of using photo filters in newspapers to begin with. I am not talking about turning a city council photo into retro with distressed edged. I'm talking about photos for blogs and social media. And how, when done right, a consistent style of photos can enhance the mood and energy of a website.

Like Boulder blogger, Oh Sweet Joy.

Case in point.
This is what I want to do. How do I do that? 

I've been playing with a photo of me and Colorado Daily editor Christy Fantz, who just so happened to be wearing the same uniform as me to work today.
The original 

The verdict: Too forced or something. I didn't like any of the filters. No app - online only. A messy website.

Using the Vintique app

The verdict: Maybe. Better for b&w filters. Good potential.

With Instagram 
The verdict: Why does Instagram force me to crop my uploaded photos? No, dude. 

The verdict: Only five filters to choose from? A little bare.
The verdict: Well, first of all, no way to rotate a photo. Pros: You don't have to create a profile. Cons: Boring filters, other than this Sin City filter, which would maybe be cool if it were not sideways.

The bottom line: I still haven't found my favorite app to replace Instagram.
Have you? Please share!


  1. Unfortunately, I've yet to find a good replacement for Instagram. Heck, I'm an Adobe Photoshop user, and I continue to try and duplicate Instagram filters in there (and fail). I think Instagram changed their policy due to the uproar, didn't they?

  2. Who do those photos belong to? Me? free instagram followers My company? Instagram? Google? God? Who cares?

    1. Depends on who you are...
      When I take pics with my work account, they are copyright of the newspaper. But it depends on the terms of service of the app. When in doubt, I'd say God.