Getting Familiar with Video Filters: Dogpatch, Helena and Ginza

Learn more about film colorist Denver Riddle at and follow him on Instagram: @colorgrading.

When working on video, Instagram turned to film colorist Denver Riddle to create 13 custom, cinema quality filters. Each filter has its own personality and is designed to evoke a certain feeling by highlighting or subduing different colors and tones.

Denver provided some background on three Instagram filters: Dogpatch, Helena and Ginza.


  • What it does: Heightens contrast, mutes colors
  • What it’s good for: Dramatic or post-apocalyptic feel

"Some of the more organic video filters I created emulate the traditional photochemical techniques that are achieved in the lab. One of the most popular techniques is the bleach bypass look, like Instagram’s Dogpatch filter, where the bleaching step is skipped in the processing."

"The result is a sort of grungy, high-contrast muted look live you’ve seen in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, as well as in many post-apocalyptic thrillers.”


  • What it does: Emulates “golden hour” feeling with orange/teal look
  • What it’s good for: Contrasting between skin tones and background

"The orange/teal look you see in the Helena filter has become popular in Hollywood because it creates contrast between the background and skin tones, immediately focusing the audience’s eye on the talent," says Riddle.

"This look utilizes a concept of color theory, namely warm/cool contrast as well as contrast of complementary colors. Skin tones get pushed towards orange, and shadows and undertones get pushed towards teal."


  • What it does: Hightens contrast, brightens colors
  • What it’s good for: Fashion magazine look

"Creating stylized looks is the part I enjoy most about being a colorist. The measure I believe in for a good colorist is their ability to leverage color contrast in a tasteful and meaningful way. That is my goal when I set out to create stylized looks—to create nice color contrasts and color harmonies while still preserving the integrity of the skin tones."

"This is what I’ve provided in the more stylized Instagram video filters. With looks like Ginza, you get a look like you’d see in a fashion magazine."