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#PictureBelfast: Can You Tell the Difference between a Filter and a Vintage Camera?


#PictureBelfast: Can You Tell the Difference between a Filter and a Vintage Camera?

Let’s face it, smartphone cameras are getting better and better with every release. Mobile photo editing software is getting better too, and with the rise in popularity of Instagram over the last four years, sharing vintage-looking photographs have become quite the trend. Online content studio Rubber Republic produced the #PictureBelfast campaign for Tourism Ireland featuring fashion and lifestyle blogger Donna Ross going head to head with Belfast based photographer Andrew Rankin. Their challenge was to take photographs showing off the best of Belfast – half with a smartphone and half shot on film – where Internet users would try to guess which method for each image was utilized.

I thought this was a really well produced video and I’m sure the tourism department for Ireland is very happy with what Rubber Republic created as well. It’s a great marketing piece that pushes people to get engaged with the Ireland travel website. Also, anytime a song is by or references my favorite band of all time, Weezer, it gets a thumbs-up in my book. Aside from the catchy tune, the fast-paced tempo and sharp editing kept me engaged with the photography duo on their adventure. Ireland, and Belfast especially, is at the top of my next foreign destination list for sure, so it was great getting to see some of the top-rated places to check out when I eventually head over.

The results of the shoot-off were honestly pretty surprising… partly because the images presented are very small. I would have loved to have been able to see them at a higher resolution, but maybe that might have given away too much. I’m not sure. I got 7 out of 8 correct, but I’m pretty familiar with the look of the Instagram filters, so I think that helped a lot. They actually give you a couple of teaser answers within the video at the very end, but just enough to keep you interested in finding out more… and that’s what piqued my curiosity and ultimately helped me decide to share this.

You can take the challenge yourself and see how well you do at figuring out which photos are smartphone taken and app filtered, and which ones were taken with a quirky film camera.

Spoilers Ahead! Don’t Continue until You Watch the Video Above!

Here are the two photographs they give the answers to at the end of the video and their respective EXIF information.


Location: St George’s Market

The UK’s ‘Best Indoor Market’ offers something for anyone with either a camera or great taste buds (or both). It is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.


Camera: Holga 120

Film stock: Lomo 100 ASA negative

Development: Normal



Location: Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Belfast Doorstep

The views either side of this famous rope bridge will take your breath away, but at 30m up it might make your legs feel a bit funny too.


Camera: iPhone 5s

Filter: ‘Sutro’ + linear tilt shift

Development: Instagram

So? How did you do with those two images? Be sure to take the #PictureBelfast challenge and click around Ireland’s website for more engaging travel information as well!

Video of #PictureBelfast ~ Film vs App Challenge


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