By: Rosie Clayton

Hi friends! There are so many wonderful options in A Color Story that it can be hard to figure out which pack and filters are best suited for you. I’m excited to chat about one of my favorite ACS packs, Essentials. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

The Essentials pack is the cornerstone of A Color Story, the one that started it all. Each filter in this pack creates bright, fresh color, and clean edits. Your photos will really pop from enhanced contrast and vibrancy, giving your images that extra punch of personality!



Pushes saturation and adds a golden, luminous warmth.


My go-to filter simply brightens, increases exposure and contrast- just the perfect boost to your photo without altering it too much.

ice ice

Cools, adds contrast, brightens just a touch, and gives your image a frosted look.

lite bright

Cools and brightens, decreases vibrancy, and enhances black highlights. I love this filter and it’s always one of the first I use to brighten a dark, interior shot. A less warm and contrasty version of Sharp.


Brightens and adds a pop of red. Exactly as the name suggests!

on lock

I consider On Lock to be a sibling of Lite Bright and Ice Ice, kind of an in-between of those two filters. It’s subtle adjustment of blacks and saturation, more contrasy, and doesn’t alter the temperature of your photo.


Cools down and bumps up highlights and exposure for brightness and lightness with extra contrast.

oui fresh

Changes the hue of blues to be more green. Also adds warmth.

ruby haze

Creates a faded look to your photo. Mutes the colors, but keeps a subtle vibrancy.


Brightens significantly by increasing exposure, adds contrast, darkens blacks, and of course, sharpens your image.


Adds a bit of toasted warmth, brightness, and a good amount of contrast to make your photo pop.

hot toddy

A very warm filter that slightly brightens and softens shadows.

classic b&w

Removes color/saturation and brightens. 

I always go straight to Everday in the app, it’s my go-to filter and gives my photo that extra pop without drastically altering the mood or style of my edits. I use Everyday as the first layer of my filter stacking before I add filters from other packs.

For a dark image, say an interior space, the three filters I head for are Lite Bright, On Lock, and Pop-and sometimes I apply a little bit of Sharp afterward. Lite Bright tends to be the one that always saves my dark images and from there you can move on to different filters and packs to add some artistic flare. Here’s a before/after example with 34% Lite Bright followed by 30% Pop, 18% Everyday, and increased exposure and brightness at the end.

So you can see the effect of layers, the first edit shows just 34% Lite Bright, the second edit shows 34% Lite Bright and 30% Pop, and the last edit shows the final image with the 34% Lite Bright, 30% Pop, 18% Everyday and tools.

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