How can I achieve these results? http://instagram.com/chantal_li

Notice how they all have that bright, white look without being overexposed or washed out. (Blacks are still very black)

Is it something done during shooting or in post-processing?

I'm almost sure a filter is being used, even for the iPhone photos that still have that white/bright look. If it is something like vscocam, what filter would it be? Help!

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is an interesting question. Maybe you could try getting in touch with "Chantal Li" and ask her directly? Why do you assume it's vsco cam, did she mention it? My first guess would be a bracketed exposure of three photos with different settings during shooting, and manipulation afterwards. She could also just be toying with the neutral values in selective color on some parts of the image, gamma settings... could be many things, hard to say. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 8:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why are you sure a filter is used? I don't see any indication of that. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 1:05

1 Answer 1


To me, the whites are indeed blown out and overexposed in many, if not all of them. My guess is that she simply changed the levels or used curves in post-processing to get this effect. As a test, I grabbed one of the images and looked at the image and histogram. As I suspected, the highlights are blown out. In the attached image, my editor shows the overexposed highlights as red, and the histogram is on the right.


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