I remember reading an article complaining about how instagram’s filters were killing creativity with photography.
I believe the author’s opinions were unfounded since her own images were pretty bad, as in… worse than an average picture found on instagram. The irony is that the only photoshopping she did to her images was applying filters and changing saturation… (I’m not going to bother linking to her post).
Instragram is a fantastic application which has raised the bar when it comes to quality of images. The filters are actually very impressive on an algorithmic level, as in they fix things such as dynamic range without the user ever having to bother with layer masks in photoshop.
By removing the step of photoshop, which takes time and effort to learn, it allows the photographer to:
- Take more images, which is practice in itself
- Focus more on their composition (I love the square crop!)
- Eventually get used to the filters and how they work, to a point where they can actually view a scene and know exactly how to manipulate the shot so it works with a particular filter. This is a very powerful mindset to have since a lot of seasoned photographers think in this sort of manner. They take pictures with the post processing in mind even before clicking the shutter.
I feel that for those of us who take pride in our pictures and want to remain relevant, we need to step up our game to shine in this deluge of new images. We have the ability to be more innovative than a couple a algorithms. Embrace instagram, try it out, and then use it as a springboard to take your photos to the next level.
There’s an article by Ming Thein about how he uses iPhones for his photos… absolutely brilliant pictures:
Stunning photos from the 12′ Olympics taken with an iPhone: