Back when MySpace Tom was still a known person being we discovered that playing around with contrast and camera angles could remove pores, noses and any other unsightly facial features that made us look like normal humans. Then Instagram came along and retro-chic became the new high contrast, though this time the entire world was "enhanced": Skies were consistently a halcyon shade of blue, inner-city roads were somehow rife with beat-up Kombis and any annoying details, scenic or human, were happily obliterated.
But if you ever find yourself frustrated that you find it hard to recognise your friends in real life because sometimes they have pimples and regular-sized eyes, the Normalize app might be of some assistance. Normalize was created by app developer Joe Macirowski after he became fed up of seeing already beautiful sights being distorted by the Valencia haze. The app, which costs $0.99, takes the Instagram picture and runs it through a series of complex algorithms to try to remove the effects and return the image to its original state.
A shared picture manipulated with any of the effects on Instagram becomes stripped of its original information, making it otherwise impossible to view them normally without making tedious manual corrections. With Normalize you can upload a photo and use a simple sliding scale to clean up the colours, borders and brightness to see the image as it would have appeared to the naked eye. Apparently the app doesn’t always work perfectly, but it’s comforting to know that sunsets are sometimes pretty IRL too.
September 6, 2012 by Hannah Ongley