Instagram – another interesting technique or polishing a turd?

Yes, Instagram: It really does seem to be a bit of an emotive subject. On the one hand, people seem to think that it will make any random snap they take look like ‘art’ in some strange, magical, pre-set-filtered way. So much so that I have currently blocked Instagram from my personal Facebook wall. But there is no doubting its influence, with style magazines copying that faded-photo look, war-zones being depicted by soldiers on active duty, and most recently, as the cover for Time magazine after Hurricane Sandy hit the US. And an article on my favourite photo-feed, PetaPixel, also highlighted the fact that there are some serious photographers out there using Instagram as another tool for producing eye-catching images.

So, although this is a controversial method of producing images, perhaps I should actually give it a go rather than just dismiss it? After all, I am not normally snobbish about either gear or techniques, having some great fun with Samsung Galaxy S2 and various other photo-apps such as Photaf for panoramas,  HDR Camera and Lapse It Pro, which is able to take and render HD time-lapse all on the phone itself, as here. And I have played around with solargraphy using home-made pinhole cameras. I even have Instagram installed on my ‘droid, so it is simply a matter of creating an account and starting to shoot.

Maybe I am suffering from some paranoia that I will then want to post any image I take, under the delusion that it has become ‘art’?! Or maybe, and more likely, I am always a bit wary of things just because they are currently fashionable. I prefer things to become a bit more tried, tested, and proved worthwhile: I only started to seriously try b&w landscape photography after a return from Yellowstone National Park this spring, and Ansel Adams was working seriously at this in the 1930s!

So, given that the best camera is the one you have with you, and the Galaxy S2 is certainly that, maybe I should sign-up and start shooting, tagging and following?

Update: According to an article on the BBC website (18 December 2012):

“Facebook’s photo-sharing site Instagram has updated its privacy policy giving it the right to sell users’ photos to advertisers without notification. Unless users delete their Instagram accounts by a deadline of 16 January, they cannot opt out. The changes also mean Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as other affiliates and advertisers.” (bold text is mine)

… so, that about wraps it up for Instagram. It’s bad enough when photo-competitions include the we can do pretty much what we want with ‘your’ image line in their T&Cs, but this takes it to a whole new level. I do hope lost of people close their accounts before the deadline.

About Chris Senior

Photographer, wit, travel-junkie, MSc student and practising eccentric! Prog rock nut and baker of tasty cakes.
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