Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Photographer's Stance on Instagram.

I'm sure you've noticed [dear reader], that I'm not particularly opinionated when it comes to expressing thoughts in my posts on here. My main goal in creating this site in the first place was to have an outlet to share my work, and in doing so, I enjoy including a little commentary time to time, just for the sake of documenting a project or giving a little insight into what I do.
I'm a pretty regular Facebook user [for other photographers and artists out there, I think we can all agree that it's close to 'necessity' as a way to get work out into the open], and people on my 'friend's list' fall into basically two categories: family and/or friends [i.e. : people I know in real life], and, fellow photographers. I really enjoy following the work of other visual artists; it's a way of constantly finding ways to challenge myself. I promise I'm getting to a point here.
Since its beginnings, I have seen very harsh differences in the stances people have on Instagram. [I'm pretty sure most of you know what I'm referencing, but Instagram is an iPhone/android application used for taking and sharing photos. It's trademark is its vintage filters, which can make an 'ordinary' photo look so hip.] I'm being general here, but here are basically the two sides I've seen:

Side A: "Instagram is killing photography!"/"Those aren't real photos!"
Side B: Unspoken, but consists of many inappropriately-vintage-toned photos of plates of food, pets, and alcohol consumption.

Like I said, those are broad generalizations, and you have to understand that that's me lopping together two pretty big groups of people. I'm not here to insult anyone, I just thought I'd provide a few thoughts, both as a photographer and as just an iPhone user.
First of all, I just got my new phone. I'm Googling things daily like, "How to - "...well, why not just show you:

Bottom line - I'm a beginner. But! One thing that I realized I could utilize with my phone, was using Instagram to provide real-time photo updates of shoots that I'm on. I enjoy building suspense, and showing the little details of what I'm working on. Total plus!
I'm also finding that I enjoy taking little photos just of things I notice - the photos I included at the top of this post are things just around the house that I thought would fit well into a square frame. It's been fun to look at things with a new perspective of what I could turn them into; sure, none of these are things I would consider 'serious' photographs that I would stick in a portfolio, but they're fun! And isn't that what gets people into photography [or any other craft] in the first place?
I realize that the 'tilt shift' option on Instagram isn't *real* tilt shift, and that it's just a blur you can move around [I've had fun trying to use it as a manual focus alternative], and I also get that the filter options are nothing close to the colors and tones that I can create in Lightroom. But I don't think the creators of Instagram had any intention of 'killing' photography; they just made sharing photos a little more jazzed up than a plain snapshot. And if they did have the intention of 'killing' photography, than they failed, because I see so many new images conjured up by photographers every day that continually inspire me make new work. I think there are some images "made" on Instagram that are completely ridiculous, and have unnecessary effects on them, but there are full photographs I see on a regular basis that I think the same thing about, too! It's all in the perspective/eye of the beholder/personal opinion, etc.

I never want this site to be anything more than a little log of my photography life; I have my thoughts on politics, people and religion, but this isn't the forum for it. I've just seen so many near-venomous one-liners about this topic, and I thought it would be nice to throw one out there that had a little more expansion. Feel free to share your thoughts! :)

-AW


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