[Which is the application used for this photo with glow around dark things? I saw many pictures like this on instagram, but nobody answers...]

enter image description here

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    You're asking what application was used for these shots so you can avoid it at all costs, right? – Matt Grum Jan 14 '15 at 8:58
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    We can only hope, Matt! – Ornello Jan 14 '15 at 15:00
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    Last summer's visit to the Mururoa Atoll. – Undistraction Nov 1 '15 at 23:58

Increasing local contrast while reducing overall contrast when working with an image that has very high contrast between adjacent areas will cause such a glow in the lighter areas that are nearest to the darkest areas. Many apps use such a method and can, if applied strongly enough, result in the halo effect.

enter image description here

The photo above was processed from a single RAW file using the HDR Tool in Canon's Digital Photo Professional. The same photo after RAW conversion without using the HDR tool is below. Notice that even after reducing contrast, pulling down the highlights, and boosting the shadows the bright sky has lost a lot of detail, yet the shadows are still quite murky. When local contrast is increased to recover detail in both the highlights and the shadows, the halo around the boundary between the dark and light parts of the image appears.

enter image description here

In the example posted in the question, the light is fairly harsh and on the other side of the subjects from the camera. One would expect the ladies to be little more than silhouettes when the photo is exposed for the brightest areas of the photo.

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    Probably worth adding that such halos are widely regarded as defects. – mattdm Jan 14 '15 at 2:13
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    Perhaps it would be worth mentioning if the question weren't specifically about how to produce the halo effect, rather than how to avoid it. – Michael C Jan 14 '15 at 2:36
  • Yea, that would do it: brightening to bring out the underexposed area also brightens the margin, which was produced thinking it was specific relative differences, but not any more. The effects of any kind of blending and any dithered colors will show artifacts if the "exposure" (generally the gamma) is changed later. – JDługosz Jan 14 '15 at 3:10
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    @MichaelClark I didn't mean it in a judgmental way — everyone has their own taste — but it helps explain why other sites didn't have answers. The halo isn't the intention — it's just a side-effect. – mattdm Jan 14 '15 at 4:56
  • Not taken in a judgmental way. I just felt if Carla wants the halo effect then mentioning that many consider it undesirable and discussing other ways to deal with such an image wouldn't really be applicable to this particular question. – Michael C Jan 15 '15 at 0:55

Any app that boosts tonal contrast can do that. Even instagram's own LUX effect can do this if pushed to extreme. On computer the Nik package can easily do this.


I just happened to have read about that a few days ago. Modern Photoshop Color Workflow by Dan Margules, figure 2.1B.

Relevant text:

The main problem with Figure 2.1B ... sharpening ... was misused. ...inserted a nasty halo around the long black jacket...

Although it is possible that someone who has seen it happen decided to use it for artistic effect, normally it is an error in "developing" probably made more prominent when brightness was adjusted later.

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    One man's defect is another man's effect. It does look quite good in the original photo – Jon Story Jan 14 '15 at 13:53

It's the app camera+, open the photo, 1st step is to hit clarity, then 2nd step is to go to filters and hit HDR

  • A similar halo effect could be created in many ways. Why are you sure that it's this particular one? – mattdm Nov 2 '15 at 0:11

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