"No Filter" means what?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BJMRamage, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    So, today at work we had a brief discussion...

    what exactly does "no filter" mean?

    This all came about because of the story how lots of people posting photos with the tag #nofilter are actually photos with a filter on them.

    Some said no filter means nothing at all done after the shutter/snapshot
    Some said no filter means you can edit exposure, white balance, sharpening
    Some said no filter means no use of "one-touch" filters
    Some said any post processing is a filter

    -some said post-processing to get the image to look like what you saw (camera didn't take it exactly as you see it)
    -some said filters are something that changes the "feel" of the image

    Anyway, what are your thoughts?
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Analog filter (something in front of the lens) or digital filter (manipulation of the digital data)?

    Personally I would not care either way The final image is either pleasing of it is not. I don't need to know how the Mona Lisa was painted to appreciate it as art.
  3. BJMRamage thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    I take it, the question is posed as a Digital Filter...something post-production.

    the back story is recently a 'study was taken on the amount of #NoFilter photos on Instagram (or other social sites) and most had a filter applied.
  4. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2014
    Hamburg, NY
    This makes my brain hurt. My simple explanation of a filter is something that is applied after to make it look different.
  5. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
    I also believe it stems by thy wide use of single click filtering on most image sharing services (or enthusiast image editing software)
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    The tag seems to have spread beyond Instagram, but it originally meant, simply, "No Instagram filters were used in the posting of this image." It had nothing to do with in-camera effects, Photoshop plug-ins, etc.

    "Filters? We don't need no steenkin' filters!"

    Any attempt to give it more meaning falls in to the category of "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

    It's definitely not the functional equivalent of the f/64 Group.
  7. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    To me it is referring to the one-click canned filters on most mainstream consumer sites. Facebook, Instagram, etc.

    Not post-production work preformed on raw files.

    Nobody wants to see a raw file, when you think about it even jpgs have standard adjustments made to it automatically by the camera.
  8. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Instagram is a whole different ball game as it's more about popularity than art.

    People are using the #nofilter because they realise that it's popular and has lots of photos shared with it. This sometimes becomes the deciding factor over whether it has a filter or not.
  9. pezdaddy macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2012
    Its an instagram thing. It means "I didn't do anything to to this picture other than snap and post". No effects applied.
  10. BJMRamage thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    Thanks everyone.

    good to read what others think.

    (I don't use Instagram or the like, so not in the loop on all that)
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you are confused about the term "no filter" then likely so are those posting images that claim "no filter" So even on the same web site the term means different things.

    Actually you can't take a photo without a "filter" because the filter is the photographer who sees maybe 100,000 things in a day and selects a tiny fraction of them to photograph. This is a very selective filtering and is what photography is all about.
  12. Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    As others have said, it's an Instagram thing, people use the hashtag "#nofilter", because they think it looks nice without the filter so they want other people to know "I made a nice pic and didn't even need a filter for it"

    Not trying to sound condescending there but that's normally the thought process.

    Now Instagram has a bunch of other options alongside the preset filters, you can adjust brightness/contrast, shadows/highlights, saturation etc., so if someone didn't use a filter but used the other options, does it still count as a "#nofilter"? With these options, is Instagram even Instagram anymore?


    Well, I like the changes, and don't care about the hashtag, I feel like it's a bit of a snobby hashtag to use. You can even lower the opacity of the filter so sometimes I remove it entirely just to keep the border/frame, I think most of the preset filters are ugly and getting dull/overused.

    Other people are mentioning lens filters, this isn't really what the hashtag is referring to, it's just referring to the post-processing preset filters. Instagram's a bit different to actual photography, it's more of a social network and you make what you want to make of it, it's not like Flickr where you'd expect good photos. Imagine it like YouTube vs. Vimeo; Instagram is YouTube, Flickr is Vimeo. Anyway I'm talking too much now.

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