An Instagram Update

Those of you who pay attention will recall I recently wrote about my first foray into Instagram. I said it was more about the filters and effects than the content of the photos and I now think I was wrong.

It’s true many people shoot and edit their images in Instagram, but the beauty of Instagram is that it is primarily a way of sharing images. The pictures themselves don’t have to be shot in Instagram, or even on an iPhone to be shared this way.

I’ve uploaded images from my professional portfolio as well as more fun pictures from my personal life. A more recent fascination for me has been the introduction of the Panorama mode with the new iPhone operating system. Not only can I now shoot panoramas using this function, I’ve also been experimenting with it to see what weird effects can be achieved by panning in a way the phone and software don’t expect and seeing how they deal with it. As an example, see my “torn” ukulele photo below my more standard panorama.

panoramic photo of heathland near Bournemouth, Dorset

A fairly standard panorama, though I’m impressed with the iPhone’s quality here.

photo taken using the iPhone's panorama function to create an abstract photo of a ukulele

Torn Ukulele effect using the panorama mode on the iPhone4s


Other Instagrammers build up massive followings and the most successful of them do it by shooting in a very consistent style – whether on their iPhone or by uploading images from their SLR cameras isn’t always clear, but consistency seems to be the key issue. I personally prefer to share a mixture of portfolio, experimental and personal-moment (drunk in the pub) snaps. I might take a photo of some recently published work and share it on Instagram so people get a better idea of the kind of work I do. I simultaneously share my Instagram posts on Twitter and sometimes Facebook too, which means I can reach an even wider audience.

If you’re on Instagram look me up @takeagander and let me see what you do. One account I’ve been especially impressed with recently is @tonytanktop who creates larger images from tiles of individual ones. A brilliant way of using the technology and the sharing platform in an unexpected way. I suggest you look him up too and prepare to be dazzled.

I think it’s fair to say, I’m starting to understand Instagram a lot better. It’s becoming a business tool as well as a way to have fun. My initial cynicism (and I’m a natural cynic about these things) has given way to greater curiosity to explore more boundaries.

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One comment

  • laumerritt October 9, 2012   Reply →

    This post reminds me of one I wrote back in 2007 about my first year on Flickr. I should really write an update as many things have happened in the meantime and the photo sharing environment/social media has changed so much! Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, G+, Pinterest, Instagramm, smartphones, you name it!

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