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5 Filters For Muted Color Tones

By Patricia McNamara | Inspiration

Spring is officially here! Now if only Mother Nature got the memo, but I digress. What better way to usher in the extra sunshine and blooming bulbs than by switching up your photos with one of the top trends going on in the photo world.

It’s no question that colors in a photo can change the overall feeling and emotion of an image. Muted colors not only scream springtime for the soft and calming tones, but they also give off a natural feeling that plays well with portraits, landscapes and still life.

Whether you’re daydreaming about those cupcakes you noshed on over the weekend or the faraway destination you just visited for spring break, using filters to mute your color tones can add a new perspective to any of your pics—whether you’re a photo pro or not. Here are a few of my favorites to obtain a muted color look.

Vintage 4

Vintage Filter Muted Tones

It was pretty much impossible to avoid the grey skies of Ireland when taking this picture on my latest trek abroad. The Vintage 4 filter not only warms up photos (like those taken in an overcast), but it also creates a sense of nostalgia. This filtered image is something I’d expect to see in my grandmother’s scrapbook from way back when.

Old Photo 7


I love the deep purple icing on these cupcakes, but the original photo immediately drew the eye to the brightness of the vanilla cake and shininess of the plastic tray. The Old Photo 7 filter softens a picture while giving more definition to the little details often overshadowed by brighter hues. With my filtered cupcake image, the creamy frosting is now the focal point, making it even more drool-worthy.

Sepia + Contrast


The tried ‘n’ true Sepia filter adds a brown tint to neons, making it perfect for those bright beach attire photos where you want to the effect that you’re looking through a pair of shades. For an extra muted look, try playing around with the contrast feature and lessening it to your desire.

Instant 2


If you’re looking for a subtle softness to your photos (think: foodie pics showcased on a porcelain plate), Instant 2 is the way to go. The brightness of the white takes a back seat to the subdued yellow tones in this filtered floral cake pic.

B&W Creamy - Saturation + Exposure

Wedding Vintage Muted Colors

All of the black and white filters can really mute down the colors of your photos, adding a romantic vibe that's perfect for those wedding portraits or candids. For extra effect, try playing around by decreasing contrast and saturation, or  increasing exposure, which is what I did with this charming spring pic.

 Which filters do you like using for a muted color effect? Share in the comments below.

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