Instagram is something that I’ve only known about from friends and family on Facebook, and those with iPhones. Until recently, I didn’t really think much about it one way or the other. That is until I started using it!
Instagram – What Is It?
Instagram is a free photo-sharing program and social network that has been around since October, 2010. The service allows you to take a photo using your iPhone (and now your Android phone), apply a filter, and share it on the Instagram network. The application (app) will also allow you to share your photo on Twitter and Facebook.
What’s Not To Like?
For one thing, it seems that some “serious” photographers have a real problem with Instagram. One of their complaints is that it doesn’t take any skill to use. Some say that it takes away from the art of photography. Others say that it’s a fad and trendy, and people will lose interest over time. And then some are just not happy that every image must be cropped square, saying that it ruins the composition.
Personally, I like Instagram! The more I use it, the more fun it has become. Knowing the limitations and trying to work within them is a challenge, but one that can get the creative juices flowing. And since I carry my new smartphone with me everywhere I go, I always have a camera for those spur of the moment photo opportunities.
What Do I Use?
I mentioned in the beginning of this post that my family and friends were using iPhones for Instagram. This was a limitation (at least for me) until a couple of changes happened. The 1st was Instagram adding an app for Andriod phones. The 2nd change was me upgrading to a Motorola Atrix HD (Android OS). This phone has an 8 megapixel rear facing camera, a front facing camera, and can shoot 1080p video.
What Do Photo’s Look Like?
Here are some of the photos that I’ve recently uploaded to Instagram:
Works of art? Probably not. But I did enjoy making them. Starting with the original shot, cropping square for Instagram, and adding a funky filter. The whole process was just fun!
For those that use Twitter and are familiar with hashtags, you can add those to your photos. You can also search through all of the images posted by the millions of Instagram users and even make a few friends. There are also some interesting and useful websites that work with your Instagram account.
A very nice site that helps you manage your Instagram account.
This is a site I recently discovered, and claims to “Enhance your Instagram Experience”.
From Instagram itself, you can see what’s going on and get tips and news.
You can find the free Instagram app at the iTunes store for iPhone or iPad users, or Google Play for Android users.
In closing, I’d like to say that I still consider myself a serious amateur photographer. I’ve spent time learning the craft of photography and over time, have achieved some very nice results. My gear is adequate and allows me to produce quality images. Having said that, I think there’s also room for my new Instagram habit! There’s a certain freedom and spontaneity that comes with this fun app and service. There should be room for both in the world of serious photography and Instagram. Give it a chance, and try it out for yourself, you may be surprised at what you can do!
Have a different opinion? Don’t be bashful, leave a comment! Until next time, Happy Shooting!