The Instagram Photography Revolution?

Guest post by Dan Izzard

Image: Tatsuo Yamashita

The Camera Phone is King

Like many others, I have pawed over handsets, deliberating mostly which technology will stand the test of time the best. I have had a few Sony Eriksson’s, a Nokia, and a sleuth of HTC handsets which all seem to have one thing in common – an above average camera (at the time of release).

People argue that the camera phone is meant for snap-shots, a secondary function, one that should not be counted towards the overall experience. Yes it’s true that it is not the primary function of a phone, but if a camera was excluded from a new flagship model there would be widespread uproar.

I now ponder framing, angle, depth of field and shutter speed, all when taking a shot and I still consider myself an amateur.

Due to the disposable nature of digital cameras, we all have an unparalleled access to photography that was not even available ten years ago.

I was lucky if my Dad let me take one photo with his film camera on a family holiday, with each photo costing a significant amount. Now we see digital cameras marketed at children as young as 4.

Why Instagram?

Of course Instagram has been incredibly popular since its inception 2 years ago and the buyout by Facebook just cements the fact that digital mobile photography is big business.

But what is it about Instagram that has captured the imagination of many?

Remember those old camera phones that took terrible pictures. My hard drive is plagued by a thousand pictures that could be printed out no bigger than a postage stamp.

But with filters from Instagram – what was a marginally blurry overexposed mishap is now a purposeful work of art.

Image: Justin De La Ornellas

Lomography

Instagram owes much of its success to Lomography, a once guerrilla movement now being pushed my mainstream media so much that its hardware appears in high street shops alongside mainstream fashion,

Not that I am bitter that it is. These styled photos, no matter their origin give colour and character to otherwise flat images, creating interesting shapes and textures. They stimulate sharing and community.  They also stimulate interest in film photography, a medium I think will return.

The Aim of Photography

At first with digital photography the aim was to build a consumer camera that perfectly replicated the living world. The enthusiasm for Instagram shows that photography is as much about the process and the sharing of the image itself.

When the camera was first introduced to the masses in 1839, a French painter, Paul Delaroche, sensationally claimed that “from today painting is dead”. How wrong he was.

I consider digital photography to have the same resonance as these claims. Digital photography is a more practical and cheaper form of creating images. But then so was film photography to painting, with painting as a medium remaining a part of culture today as it has ever been.

I encourage you to take photos in whatever medium you choose, whether a film camera, professional digital SLR or even on your phone. I look forward to seeing them online soon.

Dan Izzard is a snap happy blogger, who writes for Strategy Internet Marketing, an SEO agency who offer a link building service via a dedicated creative team, producing inspiring content that is worth sharing

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