Shocking news. The photos I take are all adjusted.
All of them.
It isn't actually hard to figure that out, but in case you lived under a rock or recently left your Amish lifestyle, I wanted to clear things up.
Now with that said, I don't use filters. This could be semantics, but allow me to explain, or summarize.
A filter is commonly thought of with Snapchat, or Instagram or other things like that. It's a button you hit and a bunch of preset changes are made to your image, or maybe it adds bunny ears. But the filter does the same thing, the same way, every time.
When I used to take snapshots with my phone I would use the Instagram filters because it was easy. I would also layer them on top of each other to keep pushing the image into the abstract. It was fun and it was a way to kill time in airports when I traveled more.
I post pictures to Instagram because it is the de facto medium to post images. On that note, I don't like how they compress things and how it destroys colors. But it's free. So, suck it up.
I still post to Instagram, but I also post to my webpage so the quality is substantially better.
I take all of my pictures on a Nikon D500. I import them to my iPad and then use a program called afterlight to adjust them. I am currently shooting on the highest quality jpeg the camera can use which makes the image size around six meg. I plan on moving to the uncompressed tiff soon which makes the image around 60 meg each. In order to make this change I have to get off the iPad. Why you ask?, Because the transfer speed is too slow, the images are too large and the processing can't handle what I am doing. I will migrate to my laptop and photoshop when I do this.
Please note, I said adjust. This isn't the same as a filter. It's close, kind of.
I typically adjust the contrast, shadows, temperature and exposure. A by-product of this is it creates richer colors and darker blacks. It is very similar to adding saturation. But it's more than that.
Sometimes the pictures are over the top. I know this and I keep what I like.
Each picture is different in how I adjust it. A filter does the same thing to any picture you use. It's why the bunny ears look the same on everyone who adds them.
Below is an example of what I did to kind of illustrate my point.
I decided that I wanted the flower, or whatever it actually is, to glow.
I know how to do that, so I layer four or five effects and stack them in varying orders to get what my mind saw. If I don't do this in a certain order I get a different outcome. In this case, I knew what I wanted. I saw it before I took the original picture
Sometimes I like the final results, sometimes I don't. I delete four or five times the number of pictures than I post. Probably more now that I think about it.
This particular picture is actually blurry or not sharp enough for me. I may have made different choices if it had been more clear.
In order to get the white leaves to turn that neon blue color I have to use the temperature adjustment in between a few other effects and mix in a little saturation and enhance the mid tones a little.
In other words, there is no filter here and I can't necessarily replicate the steps I took. I conceptually know how to do this again, but no two pictures will ever be the same.