Friday, February 3, 2012


iPhone 4, Shakeitphoto

Wired ran a great article in December on Instagram and its effect on photography. One of Instagram's founders believes that Instagram helps the masses develop better photographic eyes because we can now create instantly the effects that old school film photographers (like my grandmother) achieved with different combinations of film and processing techniques:

In old analog cameras, many such filter “effects” were a chemical byproduct of the film, so photographers became expert at understanding the unique powers of each. Fujifilm’s Velvia film, with its high saturation and strong contrast, attracts photographers looking to capture the vibrancy of nature, Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom notes.
But casual photographers rarely developed this type of eye, because they just wanted to point and shoot. What Instagram is doing—along with the myriad other photo apps that have recently emerged—is giving newbies a way to develop deeper visual literacy.I will always have deep respect for artists whose medium is photography, and there is an undeniable difference in the quality of images that come out of high end film and digital cameras compared to a point and shoot or phone camera image. However, I am really enjoying the ability to make images that I think are interesting (in composition, or lighting, or color) with my phone's camera. Clive Thompson:
Critics sniff that filters are mere retro-chic nostalgia. That’s partly true, but it misses the creative urge here—and how filters affect what gets photographed. Scroll randomly through Instagram feeds and you’ll see the expected cat pictures and look-at-me headshots. But there are also tons of still lifes and landscapes, filtered into poetry: A vacant pair of blood-red subway seats that seem weirdly alarming, the corroded metal clock on an old oven as a meditation on time. When I was a kid in the ’70s, you only got that sort of composition in National Geographic. Now it’s omnipresent.
In the future I hope to be able to afford a DSLR to improve the resolution and focus of my photographs, but I like to think that I'm making the greatest leaps in photographic skill now with my trusty iPhone and filter apps like Instagram.

{Hat tip to Jake's Mag for linking to the article today}

iPhone 4, Instagram
iPhone 4, Shakeitphoto
iPhone 4, Instagram

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