We tried TikTok’s ‘home made’ iPhone digital camera filter hack

iPhone Camera Filter Hack

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Why should you worry about all of those wild, nerve-wracking Instagram settings when you can create your own iPhone camera filter?

That’s the promise of a TikTok viral hack that says you can create a simple, colorful iPhone filter using two common household items.

These ingredients? Expo markers and a clear tape. It might sound like an art project in elementary school – but apparently it works.

Even so, the editors / amateur photographers here at In The Know had some doubts (we got burned by TikTok hacks earlier).

We put the iPhone camera filter hack to the test with a good old-fashioned photo contest – pitting the TikTok method against a state-of-the-art filter. Here is what happened.

How do I make a homemade iPhone camera filter?

In one corner we have our regular, real filter: it’s this graduated color filter kit from Apexel.

Shop: Apexel 2020 Phone Camera Graduated Color Filter Accessory Kit – $ 25 on Amazon

Photo credit: AmazonPhoto credit: Amazon

This kit contains seven different filters that are suitable for all types of instagraming needs. That’s why we decided to test the TikTok hack with a handful of different filter colors that go with our Amazon gadget.

You need the following for the TikTok version:

To make the homemade filter, first tear off a small piece of tape and stick it over your phone’s camera. Be sure to cover the entire lens and also avoid leaving too many fingerprints on the tape.

Then color the tape with the desired marking color! It’s really that easy for single-color filters.

For multi-color filters (like in the video above), add a second layer of tape and paint over part of the camera, but not all. This gives your photos an abstract, slightly trippy look.

The story goes on

Does TikTok’s iPhone Camera Filter Really Work?

Technically yes. It is clear, however, that the hack has some limitations – especially when compared to the Apexel filter kit.

In order to decide which filter kit won our photo competition, we sent a series of similar photos to the ITK team and let them choose which “portfolio” they like best. Here is an example of the comparison (the TikTok filter is on the right).

Photo credit: ITKPhoto credit: ITK

Ultimately, the photos taken with the Apexel filters prevailed. As you can see from this comparison, the TikTok hack makes images appear a bit blurry – and it’s also more difficult to “stack” filters to bring different colors into the frame.

Final verdict?

The TikTok iPhone camera filter works, but in our case it seemed a bit limited. If you want to take your Instagram game seriously (this editor doesn’t do it, but no judgment!), An actual store-bought filter is probably the way to go.

For more information on our Photo Challenge, see the video at the top of this article.

If you enjoyed this story, check out this article on how to make “homemade” PB&B sandwiches with non-encrustable materials.

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