[Batch 13 : 2 - 15 January 2013] More likely than not, you already have an Instagram account. Good for you. Well, I don't have one. A lot of people have asked me why not sign up for Instagram so that more people can get to see my 365 in Lo-Fi photos. I can only shrug anytime they ask me. What is it with Instagram that keeps me away from it?
Hmmmmm, let me see...
1.) The 1:1 ratio crop. Squares look fun and Polaroid-ish, but it takes away the creative option of presenting photos. It throws the concept of portrait and landscape orientations out the window. There's a reason cameras use the 3:2, 4:3, or 16:9 ratios. I like that reason better than Instagram restricting all photos to a square crop. Crucial deal-breaker for me.
Yeah, I know IG and some apps remedy this by using borders to make the photo squares. But imagine if I wanted to post this pano taken with the iPhone, just think how small the image would look like on screens or in thumbnail. Yeah, the important part of the photo take up only 25% of the frame. Doesn't make sense to me.
2. Filtered out. Yup, IG offered a lot of cool filters, especially the vintage makeovers. Since then though, a TON of other apps and photo-sharing sites have come up with their own filters. Just as good, if not better. One major come-on by Instagram used to be that it offered filters for your photos, you just had to choose which one you liked best. Well, the playing field has leveled. IG no longer has that distinct advantage. As for me, Snapseed, Picfx and Vintique work just the same and offer even more tools.
3. Altered sharing concept. Instagram was conceived as a photo-sharing site for mobile phone photos. It used to be that way. You take a photo with your phone, you log on, edit, and instantly share it on Instagram (that's why it's named INSTAgram). USED TO BE. Now a lot of IG users share all sorts of photos, not just mobile shots. They take the route of cropping and putting filters to share their old photos on the site. Nothing wrong with that, really, I just find it veering away from the original concept of Instagram.
4. Uh, those quotes. As I said, all sort of pictures are being posted on Instagram. As long as it's square-cropped, it can be shared. So have you noticed all those quotes and other text-dominated pictures on IG? Yeah. I know your pain. Again, nothing criminal about it, but do you really think that's a "photo"? Google the definition of "photograph".
5. Another account. Another reason I haven't signed up for Instagram is that it's another account to maintain. I have Facebook, Twitter, a Tumblr archive of old blogs, my own website, aside from my email. If ever I'm joining a photo-sharing site, I'd like it to be Flickr (a legit, excellent site), not Instagram (where vintage is the norm). But you know what, one day I may go crazy and join IG. If I'm bored.
6. Terms of Service. Ever heard about that TOS issue that would allow Instagram selling rights of its users' photos to third parties without compensation or notification? Need I say further?
7. The crazy hashtags. #I #just #hate #the #rampant #overuse #of #hashtags #as #if #photos #would #get #better #and #gain #more #attention #with #more #more #more #and #more #silly #hashtags. #It #is #plain #and #simple #stupid.
So there. The next time people ask me if I'm on IG or why I'm not on IG, I'd just link them this post. I hope I've made myself clear. I'm not shutting the door on Instagram, like I said, someday I might sign up if I can bear maintaining another account.
Not now. Not yet. I have my own daily iPhone photography project and love posting it on my own site. On my own terms.
Batch 13 for Days 204 to 217 is here. As a salute for what's good in Instagram, I square-cropped these photos. INSTAGRAMMED THIS S(H)ET!
(Click on thumbnails to view photos in full.)
On to the next set.
365 in Lo-Fi
For a whole year (365 days), I took a photo with my mobile phone camera and presented them here, in batches. Lower quality as the technology is still improving, just the same phone photography has altered the way people take and look at pictures.