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Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge Week 6 – Colour Filter

Hi all! Really sorry for the late post this week! So I am happy to extend the deadline to the next Sunday rather than this Sunda if you need more time. Hope it helps!! Let me know if you prefer to continue with Week 7 next week or the week after. Thanks! 

One of the easiest things to do with a photo app is to apply a colour filter. Tap to apply and there you have it, a boring photo given a little extra zing. Minimal effort.

Above: Filtered App: Aviary. 

Above: unfiltered 

So why is it that some people prefer unfiltered?

Welcome back to Week 6 of the Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge hosted by weliveinaflat and firebonnet ;) This challenge asks you to (1) share a good photo that you took or edited last week, (2) run it through a photo app on your smartphone or mobile device and share with us the result. We’re back to the theme of Colour this week and we will look at Colour filters

Our awesome Snappy H’appy crew includes co-host Meghan (Firebonnet) and also Melinda (1stWorldDog)Christy (Sassmuffins)CompletelyDisappearGretchen (Zeke’s Adventures)Meg (Little Dogs Laughed)Blogagaini and Mary (RoxyTheTravelingDog).

If you didn’t join us in the last five weeks, well hurry up, because there is just 7 weeks left in the challenge! It’s not too late to join in the fun. Backdated posts for the previous weeks are optional. For more details about the challenge, check out the Photo Challenge page. Now then, let’s talk about Colour Filters.

Why indeed do some people prefer unfiltered?

1) The filters may cause you to lose detail and that may not be desirable in some cases.

Left, unfiltered. Right, filtered with EyeEm app.

Compare the photos above and it comes obvious that details in the shadowy parts under the roof is lost in the photo on the right. In this case, I do not mind the loss of detail because I prefer the focus on the flower detail decorating the roof. I also like that the loss of detail added to the depth of the photo. But depending on the photo, the loss in detail may not be desirable.

2) It makes the photo look unnatural

The filters are not custom to your photo and sometimes may give the photo an over-exposed or overly yellow, pink, green or blue tint (depending on the filter used).

Above, unfiltered.  

Above, filtered with Aviary app, with the Arizona filter to give the scene a romantic vibe. My gripe with it is that the sculpture on the right looked over-exposed so that the detail on it is largely faded out. 

Above, the Aviary filtered photo with the levels changed in Photoshop to decrease the exposure/brightness. Can easily be done within Snapseed or VSCOcam as well.   

Above, unfiltered.  

Above, applied Clyde filter in Aviary app to give it more of a warm, old world feel.  

Above, again tune down the brightness of the Clyde filtered photo. Again this can just as easily be done in Snapseed or VSCOcam.

For my two set of shopfront photos above, I do feel that the Aviary filters make my photos too over-exposed so normally I continue to adjust the photo in photoshop or Snapseed/VSCOcam on my note.

3) Counting on the filter to enhance your photos may make you a lazier photographer

Thing is, you and I are not professional photographers. And a lot of times, we take photos not because the light is perfect, the setting is just gonna give us an amazing photo, etc, etc but because we saw something that we want to take a memento of that we can share with others either immediately on a social network on the phone or later when we meet up with friends.

This means, our photos taken on the spur of the moment, usually with no luxury of time for careful consideration, will not be the greatest thing made since sliced cheese.

Above, unfiltered.  

So if adding a filter can give you a leg up, why not?

Above, Aviary app, Sentosa filter. This filter remains me of the colours used in some movies ;) 

A look at Statigr.am tells me that 76% of my Instagram photos are unfiltered. The truth is, a large number of them are processed, just not with Instagram filters. Like Instagram, the Aviary app (used for the photos above in this post) provides a selection of different cool and warm filters that can be applied to enhance your photos. However, use the same filter too often, and your photos will all turn out with the same colour tone. Consistent… but maybe a little boring after some time.

Looking for more natural colours?

So by and large unless I want to achieve a specific vibe using colour filters, I usually use Snapseed and VSCOcam to tune up my photos while keeping them closer to their natural colour.

Abouve: Unfiltered 

Abouve: Processed – App: Snapseed and VSCOcam. 

Developed by the Visual Supply Company, hence the app name, VSCOcam appears pretty popular among the photographer/designer crowd. It has editing capabilities like Snapseed and I find the two complementary to each other since they each have their own strengths.

VSCOcam offers some additional features that Snapseed does not have including fade and tinting options. You can choose to tint the photo overall or just the highlights or the shadows. You can check out the highlights tint and shadows tint tutorials on their website.

Get Inspired!

Go get it!
Photo apps for your mobile devices

iPhone users

Android Phone users

Host Challenge Post

Photo of the Week (unfiltered)
App Challenge Image (VSCOcam F2 preset) 


VSCOcam (C1 preset)

Now it’s your turn to share!

Create your challenge post from now until Sunday, 29 Mar end of your day. Post your Photo of the Week and your App-ed version of that photo on your blog. (You can follow my format above if you like).

Pic 1 – Your Photo of the Week can be taken with any equipment – a regular camera, a DSLR, a smartphone, hack even a pin-hole camera if you so choose!

Pic 2 – Pic 2 is optional. The theme this week is Colour Filters, but if that is not your cup of tea, you are free to choose other app effects for your app-ed photo. In all cases, it would be helpful if you can name the app effect used so we can understand what you are doing ; )

Add the challenge badge and link your post to the host and co-host sites. Be nice and visit with some of the other challengers for this week! :) And do remember to leave me your blog post link in the comments below, in case I do not receive the pingback/trackback from your link.

For more information, you can read in detail more about the challenge and the instructions at the About page here. You can also grab the badges here.

Questions? Feel free to pose any questions in the comments below or email me at weliveinaflat@gmail.com. Next up, what happens after you have linked up? Why you start getting your challenger photo grid filled up!

Challenger Photo Grids

Every week, challenger grids get updated with the new photos! At the end, you get to grab your grid off this blog for your own pleasure. :D Meanwhile, you can view one another’s photos on the blogs by clicking on the linked numbered weeks above each challenger’s photo grid. I will try to keep it up to date as quick as I can ;)

Host| weliveinaflat.com
[ photos tagged “snappy happy” ]
weliveinaflat's Snappy H'appy Photo Grid

Host| firebonnet.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
firebonnet snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Little Dogs Laughed
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Little Dogs Laughed snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Roxy The Traveling Dog
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Roxy the Traveling Dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| sassmuffins.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
sassmuffin snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| completelydisappear.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
completelydisappear snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Zeke’s Adventures
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Zeke's Adventures snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Blogagaini
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Blogagaini snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| 1stworlddog.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
1st world dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Claim your photo grid, join the challenge today!

Next week, we’ll get Snappy H’appy with Colour Filters! Thanks for checking out this Photo Challenge and making it all the way to the end of the post! ;) 


Show me your life


Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge Week 7 – Turn your photo into a Sketch


  1. I’m so sorry you haven’t been well. I hope you are doing much better now. I’m ok with either taking an extra week or keeping on schedule. This is a challenge subject I’m familiar with. So I’ll go with what everyone else wants.
    I love the perfect pop you gave Donna on the playground… excellent job.
    I think my favorite of your color treatments is the stump with the rocks in the middle. It added a mood that was missing in the first one.
    I’m off to experiment!

  2. As you said, filters are tools which are not inherently “bad” or “good” or anything. They can be incredibly helpful tools when used thoughtfully, however they can quickly become a crutch. I know I went filter happy the first time I had access, so I completely understand why people binge. Everyone finds their own sweet spot eventually.

  3. Good job of grounding about usage of apps.

  4. This is a really good demonstration of filter use! In many cases, it seems like they turn something that’s more like a ‘record’ or just the objective(-ish) capture of a moment, and turn it into art. Something that better reflects the person behind the lens. Because you’re right – often we’re just trying to capture a moment, not compose a photograph. Nothing wrong with either, but they’re different things. Well put.

    Love the post-processed photo of Donna – her coat looks shinier and her eyes stand out more.

  5. I can truly say that you are one of the best and most creative photographers that I know Mrs. P. Filtered or unfiltered, your photo’s are stunning. I love filters as well but don’t use apps on my phone. Maybe one day when I have an iPod or something like that where the text and images will be bigger. LOL! Thanks for sharing these beautiful shots. The one of Donna is gorgeous as usual. I love seeing her. She is so photogenic and that shot of the stump and rocks are stunning! :D *hugs*

  6. No idea how I missed this intriguing challenge you’re doing.except sometimes life gets in the way. Ive hardly done any posts lately either! I fully intend to visit all the snappy happy posts over the weekend to catch up.
    Thanks for sharing all the great info here, I use apps all the time & edit everything in one way or another. I downloaded a couple of your suggestions to try. See you soon Mrs P :D

  7. Oh I had so much fun with this one because I discovered ANOTHER new app! Like I needed more lol :) Let the adventure continue…next week is fine with me but strictly up to you! Really hope you are feeling better, and love all the wonderful examples you have once again shared for our learning enjoyment. You really know your photo app stuff!!

  8. I sometimes use filters, but not often. I really need to play around with them.

  9. I hope everything is ok, I’ve been wondering why you haven’t posted as much. I’m fine with doing week 7 this week or next-whatever works for you.
    Here is my week 6 entry:

  10. I love a good filter! It’s definitely a situational thing, though. I love all of the examples you have given here, too. Such an interesting post!
    Hugs, Carrie (Myfie, Ellie and Millie) x

  11. savedbydogs

    We recently spent some time having fun with filters and realize – this is something we should spend more time messing about with :-)

    • I like them because them help enhance my photos when it comes to colour correction with less effort and time spent on my part ;)

  12. I love the photo of the Japanese houses. The filter really enhances the look and gives the photo atmosphere.
    It took me ages to find the right photo for my entry to this challenge but yay! I did it here: http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/snappy-happy-photo-challenge-week-6-colour-filter/
    Week 12 to go…

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