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digital rant: why I hate instagram

I’m about to step on a lot of toes and for that I am sorry, but these are my opinions. This is quite possibly the most controversial post I will ever write about, but I have to share because it eats me up alive every time someone posts a picture. Also, to my friends who use instagram, this is not directed at you but in general so I apologize if I offend you.

I hate instagram. Yes, I will confess it. Every time I see one of my friends/companies I follow on twitter post pictures of their beautiful children/dogs/beers/whatever using instagram I feel so… disgusted.

Yes, its great that now in the digital age, everyone can have cool photo effects, and when I shoot on my phone I sometimes use filters and programs to tweak the pictures, but with the total widespread use of instagram I feel like the actual art behind the IDEA of instagram has been totally and utterly lost and blasphemed. Almost all of the pictures I’ve seen people post are totally misusing the filters, and yes I know “art” is highly subjective, but what bugs me is that actual learned TECHNIQUES are being mistreated and repurposed for a quick fix and half the time it looks awful. Most if not all of the tilt-shift pictures I’ve seen aren’t even being used properly. Tilt-shift isn’t for selective focus on normal “flat” pictures, its so the plane of view looks TILTED, and you shift the lens, hence the name TILT SHIFT. If you wanted a selctively focused shot you can use a macro setting on your camera.

The thing that bothers me is the users of instagram aren’t and have probably never been photographers, the reason they are misusing these settings is because they have no idea what half the crap means!!! UGH…I know this is one god awful rant, but I KNOW other real photographers out there who actually know how to do these techniques BY HAND are as frustrated as I am with this. This is one step beyond digital convenience, this is total decimation of artistic technique.

The tilt shift thing is just one example. It bothers me deeply that the things I know how to do BY HAND in the lab or by adjusting my lens, using different lenses, whatever analogue style, is being mass produced by instagram and people are using it without even knowing how to really use it which results in really shitty “photography”. Whats even worse is that I’ve seen actual flickr sets dedicated to “digital photography” with people using instagram for their filters. HOW LAZY. SERIOUSLY HOW LAZY CAN YOU BE?!

The real thing, I think you were going for this? A great example of amazing work by Andrionni Ribo via flickr

Really I’m only writing this to get it off my chest, but if I can purpose this post into anything, it will be that hopefully you instagram users out there will actually take the time to read up on the filters and techniques that the program allows you to reproduce and LEARN about them and how to really use them well to take full advantage of it. Please, that is my only request of you instagramers out there.