Instagram. It’s become a household name, and a must-have app for both iOS and Android. I’ll admit, I’ve used Instagram a lot in the past. I’ve browsed other’s photos, liked photos, and even posted photos. It’s nice when some random person ‘likes’ your photo or comments on it.
Fast forward almost 3 years later. Instagram isn’t what it used to be. Instead of showcasing images taken by phones, it seems now that it’s turned into users posting screen shots, taking photos of their DSLR LCD screens, and even using photos that weren’t taken with a phone. Maybe it’s just me, but that goes against everything I enjoyed about Instagram. To me, Instagram was about finding amazing photos taken by a camera phone, realizing that you can take great photos without a full size DSLR.
While I used to enjoy all the filters Instagram had to offer, it seems filtering photos is now the latest craze in the photography world. If your photo doesn’t look washed out, if it isn’t extremely over-processed, if it doesn’t look like it was taken in the 70s, if your photo doesn’t have a person’s eyes glowing like they just ate a stick of plutonium, then it’s not popular. I admit, I’ve fallen for the “I-need-to-over-process-this-image-so-it-looks-amazing” fad, but I’ve gotten tired of it. Sure, no photo is perfect straight out of the camera and it will need some touch up work. But what are we trying to achieve when taking photos? Are we trying to create something that’s fake? If you finish processing a photo, and you have a halo around your subject, you’ve probably gone too far in my opinion.
As a photographer or landscapes and ghost towns, I find it very easy to fall into the temptation of over-processing photos. When I photograph people (which is RARE), I try to be extremely careful by not over-processing the photo to make the people look fake, or not how they look in person. I can imagine me making someone’s blue eyes look like a sparkling ocean, yet when someone sees them in person they think “His/her eyes do NOT look like that. How fake.” Over-processing can bring out different moods to photographs, there’s no doubt about that, but, in my photos I want to stay as original as possible. I try to capture a specific scene as seen from my eye, from my angles, from my perspectives, and I want that to look as natural as possible. Maybe that’s why I haven’t had any huge gallery offers for my photographs, but at least I’m happy with them. lol
Now that I’ve totally gotten off the subject, I hope you can see where I’m coming from and why I quit Instagram. It’s not a big deal, and I’m sure my presence will not be missed, but I just wanted to throw this out there.
I’ll leave you with this: 2013 Sony World Photography Awards. Not a lot of over-processing going on there.
Note: I’m not trying to bash photographers that use Instagram or over-process photos. This is just one man’s opinion.