I am trying to recreate the Slumber filter of Instagram, but I am stuck at a certain point. Below you can see the Instagram, the original and my edited file. It seems like I am missing one important last step, but I can't figure out what it is. Does anyone of you have a clue?

  1. Instagram Version


  1. Original

Original (already edited a bit, but the filter is used on that file)

  1. My Edited

Own edit attempt

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ This is exactly the type of "how do I create this effect" question that I wish we had more of. You actually named the filter you want to go after, provided an example using it, your original, and your attempt! Have an upvote from me, and welcome to the site! \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 23:13

2 Answers 2


It looks like this filter uses a high black level and adds a yellow cast. One way to see this is by starting with the instagram version and looking at what it takes to make it look "normal".

Here is my normalized version of the instagram version:

I used the darkest area as the black level, which was (.161, .125, 090) in the original. I then use a white area in the sign a the white reference. That turned out to be (.969, .969, .933), confirming the slight yellow cast. I also non-linearly brought up the dark areas since they were splotched out after making the darkest full black.


Your version has more contrast than the instagram filter. Try reducing overall contrast to get closer, then reduce the highlights and/or increase the shadows if necessary. Once you've done this you may need to reduce overall brightness to compensate for the increase in the shadows. You may also want to decrease overall saturation a tad.

The instagram result also looks like it has significantly less sharpening than your edited version.

Note that sharpening and contrast are also inter-related and you may need to adjust one to compensate for changes made to the other.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think the Instagram filter is adding a slight haze to the image, creating a softness to the look. Reminds be a bit of the glamor glow in Nik's Color Efex. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 15:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ The softness is exactly what I am searching for. Any tips on how I can recreate it? Tried it with a basic haze method, but that didn't work for me. I also adjusted the settings as Michael described them. I got closer, but this specific softness look is still missing. Thanks so far already! \$\endgroup\$
    – Josh
    Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Use the unsharpen mask and go in the opposite direction from what you normally do to increase sharpness. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 0:42

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