An important detail Instagram missed

This has bothered me for a while. I could never quite put my finger on it, but once you see it, the illusion is ruined – and it involves filters, of course.

Depth of field, which Instagram attempts to simulate with a blur, occurs before the light hits the film, which Instagram calls a filter.

As such, any blur I apply in Instagram should not affect the grade of the filter. More accurately, any grain created by the filter and/or camera sensor should not be affected by the bokeh created by the blur and/or lens.

Here is a photo:

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Here it is with Instagram’s ‘Willow’ filter applied:

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And now with Instagram’s blur to simulate a depth of field:

_3.png

And this is where Instagram falls short. All the beautiful detail created by the sensor is lost in a gaussian blur.

My suggestion to Instagram would be to apply their own grain over the areas of blur to compensate for the lost noise.

_4.png

In fact, the guys over at Adobe realized this a while back and included it as part of their Lens Blur filter in Photoshop.

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I’ll leave you with this. Magic is no different to software design, it’s success is determined by the plausibility of the end abstraction. Pay attention to your sm0ke and m1rr0rs.

 
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