For a couple of months I’ve been really loving the photos posted by some of my relatives via the app Instagram. I was amazed by their artistic ability–and the energy, spirit, and whimsy of the photos. So besides spending time on Twitter for the last few weeks, I decided to try Instagram with my iPhone. I love it.
Here are my reasons for recommending that you try it:
1. It’s really easy to use. If you can take a picture with your smartphone, you’ll be fine. You can either take a picture within the Instagram APP or you can use your phone’s camera and import into Instagram.
2. Once you have your picture–the fun begins. You can use any of their filters. For a while I was pretty much hooked on the 1977 filter that made me feel like I should put on a Velour sweater and the BeeGees. Trust me, if you were alive in 1977, you’ll use it and say–hey, that is what the world looked like. I’ve now branched out to use other filters: Kelvin, Amaro, Earlybird, Sufro, Lomo II, etc. It gives your photo a much more professional look. I just feel freer to take pictures. I can play with the filters without having to take a course in Photoshop or devote more than a few moments to the process.
3. All of the above is fun–but here’s what I really love about Instagram. It really allows me to travel the country, the world, and even my own neighborhood via a worldwide group of photographers. Some are professional…and I enjoy seeing the shots that will probably be seen shortly in Travel & Leisure or Architectural Digest, but I equally enjoy looking at pictures taken by regular folks. You can use the search engine to find almost anything. I realized that I was fascinated by images of Ferris Wheels–there are literally thousands of pictures of them – in all kinds of light, in all parts of the world. (Much like twitter, you can hashtag your images to make them searchable to others.)
4. Every so often I take a little stroll somewhere (some of the best work seems to be from Japanese photographers) or look at something (flowers, insects from Brazil).
5. Global reach. Now I know we have other ways to reach out and feel part of the global community–but actually seeing what captures someone’s attention in a place I’ve been to or probably will never see with my own eyes–feels like a treat. I also don’t need to know the people or really interact (there is a space for comments–but it isn’t the focus of the site).
6. What are you capturing? My own pictures seem to be a mix of New York City, flowers, fashion, and toys. Not too surprising.
So if you haven’t tried it, take a look.