How to Easily Add “Instagram Style” Effects to your Photos

Web Design | November 7th 2013

Instagram enables us wannabe photographers to take great photos by applying awesome filters. But since Instagram effects are available on the app only, what do you do if you want to recreate them from your computer?

Here’s a list of easy and intuitive online tools you can use to add spark to your photos and get that special Instagram look.

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

1. Wix’ Built-In Photo Editor

A super cool feature that comes with Wix’ free website builder is its (also free) photo editor. It is an extremely user-friendly tool that comes with fantastic editing options: adding filters/text/stickers, cropping/orienting and rotating images, removing blemishes/redeye and many more. If you’re not a registered Wix user, you will need to open an account, but sign-up is quick and painless (takes about a minute).

  • To use the image editor, simply upload the desired image/s.
  • Click on the photo and choose “Image Editor”.
  • Then click on the tab called “Effects” to view all the filters you can immediately apply.

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

If you want more control over the editing process, you can also use the other tabs on the image editor for fine-tuning of hue, saturation, warmth or brightness.

Play around with the image editor and get the Instagram style photos directly on your website!

 

2. Free Online Tools

There are several online services, with a simple upload and editing interface, that let you apply cool filters. All of these services are available for free. Each of these tools offers slightly different editing options. Some include more advanced features than others, but you definitely don’t need to be an expert to work with them:

Rollip

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

PicMonkey

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

Pixlr-o-Matic Chrome Extension

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

Tilt Shift Maker

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

Photo Gramio

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

 

3. Photoshop

You don’t need to be a Photoshop expert to make your photo look spectacular. Applying these simple tips you can give your photos that special Instagrammy feel.

For a Retro-Chic effect:

  • Open the image and add a Levels Adjustment layer (the circle black and white icon at the bottom of the layers window)
  • Set the channel to blue instead of the RGB default
  • Move the output sliders until you are happy with the result (don’t overdo it, we still have a few steps to go)
  • Set the output levels to around 50

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

  • Add a Color Fill layer
  • Chose a beige color and set the layer to multiply

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

  • Now for our final layer, add Curves Adjustment Layer
  • Simply create the letter “S” in the curve by moving the existing points and adding 2 new ones in the middle of the graph
  • Move them around until it’s just right

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

  • That’s it! You can always re-adjust and change any of the layers to get a different result.

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

Create Specific Instagram effects on Photoshop using Actions:

In Photoshop, an Action is a series of tasks that you play back on a single file or a batch of files. Using Actions will save you a lot of time and hard work. Today we will be using ready-made Photoshop Actions to mimic the most popular Instagram filters with a simple click.

Blogger and designer Daniel Box has graciously created a folder that will help us here. Go to Dbox to download (at the bottom of the post), extract the files, and let’s get going:

  • In Photoshop, open the pic you would like to experiment with
  • Go to the “Actions” window
  • Open the folder called “Instagram Actions” (the file you downloaded from DBox will appear on the “Actions” window)
  • Choose the filter you want and click the play button at the bottom of the window

That’s it! It doesn’t get any easier than that!

 

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools

Here are a some examples of Instagram effects created with these Actions on Photoshop:

How to Create Instagram Style Effects with Simple Online Tools