I have a problem and its name is Instagram. It’s fun, inspiring and addictive, kind of like crack (or so I’m told). I am an analogue girl at heart, but the instant feedback of this little app is very satisfying. Before I go into a full-blown ode to my newest favorite app, I should probably start the story at the beginning, when I downloaded it.
I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me by clicking on the instacanv.as/ipdegirl link here 🙂
I’m already a member of some very cool mobile phone photography sites, namely Eye’em and iPhone Art. They’re wonderful sites that feature groups, critiques, event listings and all other kinds of fun things. They both have apps for the iPhone, but to use the features fully you need to be on the web. Much like Flickr , these sites are much better when viewed and surfed on a computer.
I resisted for a while, but finally downloaded it in early 2011. For the longest time, these were the only two photos that graced my Instagallery.
The second photo is truly underwhelming, but I uploaded it anyways. Then, something happened around March. I uploaded pictures from some St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans, then, I uploaded pictures of my Mud Run in April. By the time I went to Florida in May, I was in full-blown Instagram-uploading mode. I couldn’t tell you what the catalyst for all of this activity was (maybe other photog’s uploads, the ability easily post to FB?) but my Instagram portfolio took off.
Enter the e-book “Instagram Uncovered” by Guy Yang and Audrey Taylor of The Beginner’s Lens. Yang and Taylor break Instagram down in this guide. From the absolute basics, like how to upload and ‘like’ photos, to tips on tagging your photos and getting enough ‘likes’ to make it to the popular gallery, this guide is a must-read for any Instagram user. For example, I had zero likes on my pictures until I started tagging my photos. As soon as I started tagging, I started getting noticed. I’m not on the popular page or anything, but it is cool to know that other photographers are seeing my work.
For me, the truly addictive part of Instagram is the immediacy with which I get feedback, along with the fact that it was specifically designed for use on the mobile phone. As soon as someone likes or comments on one of my photos, I receive a silent notification. Now THAT’S instant gratification. Even more fun, and possibly more addictive, is how easy it is to search for and view works by other artists. I liken it to looking up a word in the dictionary. If you’re a nerd, like me, you’d flip through the book looking for your word but, inevitably, get distracted by some other crazy, exotic sounding word that you just HAD to find out the meaning of. Ten minutes later, you’d forgotten the word you were looking up, but had learned the definition of at least seven new words along the way. That’s Instagram. It’s even inspired me to want to try some crazy stuff that I’d never consider before, like layering lots of filters and effects to make a photo that looks like some crazy sci-fi fantasy.
The shots in this post are all macro shots of flowers and an agave plant, taken with my magnifying loupe and processed through Filtermania 2 (which I’ll review next week). If you want to catch more of my iPhoneography, in real-time, hit me up on Instagram under the user name ipdegirl and while you’re at it, help me get an Instacanvas shop by clicking here. An Instacanvas gallery allows you to purchase any of my Instagram photos on a canvas for a very reasonable price. While you’re at it, let me know if you are on Instagram in the comment section below.