by Courtney Han, Katherine Fischer
A social medium following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, Instagram was launched in October 2010 and is now a billion-dollar company with many millions of users, according to crunchbase.com. Two Hi’s Eye staffers weigh the pros and cons of this new photo app.
Instagram, the smartphone photographer’s "app of choice,” according to cosmediaconsulting.com, combines social networking and pictures while remaining true to the art of photography.
By allowing users to choose different filters on pictures, the Instagram app gives amateur photographers a taste of real photo editing.
Instead of carrying a bulky camera, Instagram is conveniently on your phone. Pictures can be downloaded onto Facebook and Twitter immediately instead of transferring pictures from a camera to a computer.
The convenience factor also encourages people to see art in everyday life. The proof is in the numbers: according toconsumermedia.com, there are over 40 million users worldwide, with over 5 million photos uploaded through Instagram everyday.
Instagram is a way to connect with people that have a common interest by allowing users to comment and like photos.
With 572 likes and 81 comments taking place per second, Instagram builds a sense of community, according tocosmediaconsulting.com. It can also be a way to document an individual’s life story.
While it does not offer the same image editing abilities of professional software like Adobe Photoshop, Instagram is a great tool for amateur photographers because the app is free.
Even though die-hard photographers might consider it an insult to art, Instagram is a fun device for those that want a convenient way to connect with others through pictures.
The concept behind Instagram is to take pictures with a mobile phone, add a filter to change mood and appearance, and then share it to multiple sites instantly from a mobile phone with the touch of a button. But there’s something wrong with this picture.
Photography is a time-consuming process, but it’s worth the time to take that one perfect shot. According toinstagram.com, the first part of their name “Instagram” comes from the word instant.
Although taking a photo today may only take an instant, all the work and set-up that preceded the shot can be seen in the quality of the photo. The Instagram process removes the cost, skill, time and vision required to take a good picture with a real camera. It simply takes the art out of photography.
Though programs like Adobe Photoshop are costly and complicated, they are used by professional photographers to enhance and improve their photos. Instagram teaches people that to make a good picture all you need to do is change the color scale of a photo and have an internet connection.
The presence of filters mocks an era when the range of colors in film was limited; the attempt to give a vintage-vibe in photos taken on an iPhone is cheating at worst and ironic at best.
Instagram undermines the difficulty of photography. It’s like the Easy-Bake Oven of the culinary arts, or Draw Something being featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Just because it’s easier doesn’t mean its better.