Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Banning myself from Instagram!

So, unless you've been living under The Shard, or a massive rock this past week you will probably have heard that instagram moved into the realms of android, and then there was the colossal 1 billion dollars that was paid by Facebook for the app this week.

I saw plenty of tweets flying around and they were definitely food for thought as the news of the purchase spread across social media; Tweets about topics such as we are living in an era where Kodak filed for bankruptcy a few months ago and won't be manufacturing cameras any more, (the original item that made it a success), while an app has taken the mobile photo world by storm and just been paid a massive fortune for, sure made me stop and think.

This all got me thinking more about my photo taking habits and how they have changed since i got instagram. Recently i have become rather confused as to what I want to use for my photography. In the past few weeks I have actually been out on occasions with my Nikon D60, small Canon video camera and my iphone with instagram on it all at once.

First and foremost I am an artist and photographer and have an eye for a photo or a scene. My Nikon D60 is my trusty old friend that lets me take spectacular pictures with long shutter speeds and so forth but it is bulky compared to my small Canon which I use predominantly for my YouTube videos to film with, but even that small camera is a total Tardis in the photo department! It can do tilt shift and all sorts of magic, you name it, it's got it!

Then comes the iphone and instagram, I can sneakily take a pic here and there without people visibly thinking i am taking photos as i don't have my massive paparazzi lens pointing their way. My phone is always with me as well making it handy and it's easy to use. I also love the fact that my photos can get shared with people instantly, that is what I consider to be one of the greatest points of being an artist in this digital age, I can share my work and people will see it all around the world.

However, every time I take a photo with my phone for instagram I feel a guilt trip for my Nikon D60. It should be the one taking those photos, and certainly I can upload Nikon photos onto my iphone and publish them on instagram but I don't feel that is how I use instagram, I use it more as a story telling platform and as an in the moment diary.

I also am dubious about the quality of the pics on instagram i produce, they are not always technically what I want, but people seem to love the ones I think are ok, and don't show much interest in the ones I think are great haha.... People commented a lot on the mood of the one with the taxis and rain....

Another concern is that we will have all these photos locked away on instagram and for record purposes in the future will the quality be up to scratch, and what will happen if instagram disappears to a future rival? Will people have saved those pics, or is instagram simimlar to the platform it was based upon, a Polaroid snap that people may throw away with time? - A snippet of life, not always intended for longevity.

I feel like I want to ban myself from instagram for a week! Ban the use of my iphone camera, and go back to my Nikon D60. There is something about the digital SLR, I don't feel a cheat as a photographer, maybe I am looking at in the wrong way, there is undoubtedly a place for the digital SLR and an iphone camera hooked up to instagram, it doesn't have to be one or the other, but I know one will prevail and become the preferred method of mine for taking pics on the go. I won't be so simple to get my Nikon out on the bus without some stares to take a picture out of the back window like the one of the taxis.

So starting next Monday I am going to give this a go and go back in time so to speak, and I will be taking my Nikon everywhere and not taking pics on my phone. It will be interesting to see how my photo taking alters! I'll let you know!

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