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I'm sure this was used by an app, but I'd still like to know so I may recreate this 'ethereal' looking filter..enter image description here

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I'm not a fan of this "look" at all, and to me it looks more like a mistake or a result of a poor quality camera (or scan from a print) than an intentional artistic choice.

The defining characteristic is that the black level is too high. The fastest way to emulate this in Photoshop would be to go into Levels, and on the bottom (Output level) slider, not the main slider, drag the black level to the right a bit.

On top of this, the colours look a little oversaturated.

Here is a version of the image in which I've attempted to "correct" both of these problems (original is on left, my corrected version on right):

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    The very flat lighting may also be part of the "look" that the OP is talking about. – junkyardsparkle Aug 3 '16 at 20:25
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Could that flat lighting not be in response to the F-stop being used in the photo?

A lower F-Stop blurs the background away from the subject in focus, however if you go high and use an F-stop of about 16-22 you'll have everything in clarity (which gives you that flat effect because everything is in focus, when we clearly know i.e. looking at your finger in-front of you at eye level everything behind is blurred because your focal point is the tip of the finger and not the rest of the background.

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