Normalize, The “Anti-Instagram” Photo App

Are you sick of using the same photo filters as everybody else on Instagram? Are you tired of looking like a hipster? Normalize, the anti-Instagram photo app, is here to help.

Normalize takes your photos and automatically improves them. Says the app's developer Joe Macirowski, “The smart algorithm that powers Normalize automatically improves your photo without you ever having to make tedious manual corrections.”

Not only does it improve your photos, it restores them back to an unfiltered state. According to their description on iTunes: “Normalize is the no-button solution to bad photos. No ‘Exposure' of ‘Contrast' sliders. No graphs. No color wheels. No confusing controls whatsoever. This isn't like other ‘auto-enhance' apps. Whether filtered by another app or shot and turned out yellow or too dark, Normalize turns a photo to what it's supposed to look like.”

On the notion of being anti-Instagram Macirowski wrote to Mashable, “Instagram certainly isn’t new, and it’s actually an app I enjoy, but every now and again, I encounter a picture in the ‘real world' (AKA, any site outside of Instragram) where someone decides it’s a good idea to use it when trying to take a picture of something they’re legitimately trying to show.” He continued, “Something had to be done.”

While Macirowski claims that it will return a photo back to a “normalized” state, when it comes to its functionality, it seems like the app is still working out a few kinks.

For example, you need to import photos from your library, according to Mashables's report — meaning you can't take photos from other apps, such as Instagram or Hipstamatic. Therefore, you would need to screenshot, save, and crop any photos from your friends' feeds in order to use them with Normalize.

It seems like Normalize's best quality is enhancing original photos, without making them “hipster.”

Here are some examples from Mashable's experiment — it seems that some photos worked well, while others turned too blue. The top photos are the original filtered photos, the bottom or the normalized ones:

FYI, it's also ninety nine cents. (Instagram is free.)

What do you think about an app to “normalize” your photos? Have we become too obsessed with the “hipster-ness” photo quality of Instagram?

[Source: Mashable]

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12 Responses

  1. Iris

    This is really great for people with apple products but, useless for those without. I’m curious to try it out if it ever makes it to the Google Play market.

  2. Kate

    This particular app is pretty hit or miss, depends what you are trying to fix. Even Instagram can’t help a bad photographer! But I do love what it is trying to do. Every image we see from Instagram to editorials are so filtered and photoshop it’s refreshing to return to clean, ‘un-edited’ photography styles.

  3. Kristian


    I’m genuinely confused. You don’t HAVE to use filters on Instagram, right? There’s just the “normal” photo, and you can post that too. If you don’t want filters, why not that? Or is this a thing where Instagram’s culture is too hipster-ish and an unfiltered photo wouldn’t get loved there?

    I really don’t see what niche this app is trying to fill, but hopefully some people do and then take amazing photos using it.

  4. moiminnie

    I think the idea behind Normalize was for it to be more hipster than Instagram itself. Because Instagram became so mainstream but was intended to stay “underground”, it was only matter of time when someone’s going to go and make an antidote of it – by pointing out how mainstream Instagram is now.
    Like someone said in the comments, there is a “normal” option on Instagram and you’re not forced to use filters. So, sorry, but I’m not going to clutter my phone’s space with this useless app.

  5. Gray Lavender

    You can easily use Photoshop to remove the instagram filters from photos, so i think i’ll pass on this app.

  6. Jonell

    I enjoy Instagram just the way it is. It’s even a social media platform as well…Normalize honestly looks like one of the IG filters anyway. So I vote #TeamIG

  7. Mod'elle pop

    i think that this app is a good idea because people are getting sick tired of insta!

  8. Steve

    I am so sick and tired of these pseudo old-time photos that Instagram uses insist on imposing upon the rest of us. We’ve finally gotten to the point technologically that cell phones can take photos that look almost as good as an actual digital camera, and now the masses have decided the intentionally damage them with Instagram. Hey Instagram users:
    1) If people could magically erase the faded look of their old photos and restore them to new people would do it. In other words, people don’t really like bad looking photos

    2) Is making digital photos look like their were taken in 1972 the limit of what Instagram is capable of?

    3) It’s bad enough Instagram users adore making their photos ugly (in exactly the same way as every other Instagram photo), but why do they feel the need to take pictures of most mundane items they can find? It’s one thing to see a grainy, faded, phony Polariod of little Johnny at football practice, but something entirely worse to see a grainy, faded photo of a candy wrapper lying in the grass at practice.

    Instagram. Just stop it! Stop it STOP IT STOP IT! No one wants to see your Instagram photos so just stop it!