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Cool app alert: Color Thief lets you use your own photos as filters

(Social Media) Color Thief is a creative app that turns any photo in your album into a filter. Love that barn scene and want the same feel on the shot of your house? BOOM, done!

color thief

color thief

Color Thief is one hell of an app

Social media, specifically Instagram, has made sharing photos a popular pastime. When looking to get likes or comments on a photo, the user seeks to post a photo that is unique and eye catching. Applying filters to photos helps the process as they tend to add a little emphasis on the image.

For anyone looking to make a splash in the world of photo sharing, Color Thief is a must-need app. Creator Aaron Barsky explains that Color Thief takes colors from one photo and then transfers them to another. While the app may sound more artistic than practical, it is described by Barsky as having a painter remake your photograph only using a specific color palette.

How Color Thief works

Color Thief operates by looking at the two photos that you want to match and counting how often a color is used in both photos. The app will then transfer the most used color from photo number one to the most used color in photo number two.

This process continues as the frequency of the use of colors dwindles. Barsky says that the biggest challenge is grouping the colors together. The reason being is that the computer can read what we would simply call red as hundreds of different colors. The app’s system uses mathemagic to make sure that the transfer of colors happens smoothly.

How to get the most out of the app

Being that this is a sophisticated app, it works best in cahoots with newer smartphones offering newer cameras. Color Thief is said to work best with pictures having a sharp in-focus foreground with a blurry background.

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Color Thief is available in the iTunes Store for $1.99 but is not currently available for Android users. The app is described on iTunes as the transferring of color from one photo to the next. It has features allowing the application of tone from old photos to new photos and vice versa. Additionally, you can use your own photos as filters.

This app is an interesting concept, however it may be primarily beneficial for those who are more artistic and are looking to showcase a commonality in their photos.

Overall, it seems to be a more in-depth, creative, and duplicative version of Instagram without a social media profile.


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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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