DIGITAL AMERICA

Not just for sharing photos anymore

// Posted by on 01/16/2012 (7:52 PM)


When a person takes a picture with their mobile phone, they often want to share it with the world around them. There are dozens of ways to do this (Facebook, Twitter, email, print and send, carrier pigeon, etc.), but one used by millions is called Instagram. The mobile phone app used by many has not only become a popular way to share photos, it has affected the way people take pictures.

The author of this article in the January edition of Wired, wrote that when scrolling through the site, there are the typical pictures that would be suspected: cats, pictures of oneself, etc., but what was surprising was what else had been posted. The app and its filters allow and encourage its users to become artsy. Users are not simply taking pictures for documentation purposes, but because with the filters, they can make something ordinary, extraordinary. What they are using their cameras for has changed as well as what they are taking pictures of.

One simple app, constructed by six people, has allowed millions to share photos online and has changed the way many of them take pictures and even the way they look at their world. This article makes one wonder what else apps can do. Sure, apps can make communication simpler, can be used for entertainment, and allow us to connect with the world around us, but how often do they change the way we view the world?

Personally, I’ve never used Instagram. I have looked at friend’s pictures that they have posted, but have never used it for myself. After reading this article, I was intrigued and am curious to see what I can do with it, to see what kind of photographer it makes me. Have you ever used it? Has it affected the way you use your cameraphone or more importantly, how you view the world? We are becoming increasingly attached to our technology and it interests me, but also makes me worry about the future. Will there be more apps such as Instagram that benefit society or will new apps simply draw us closer to technology.

For now, I leave you with a couple of pictures I found on their site of stairs, different viewpoints on ordinary stairs. It sure will make me look at the next staircase I ascend differently.


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Comments:


Bridget said...

I think Cameron pins the goal of Instagram’s creators very well by explaining “…they can make something ordinary, extraordinary”. This idea that ordinary people can do so much more with simple apps hints at the great possibility of what they could do with complex, intricate web-based creations. The internet has given us sites like YouTube and Twitter that have accurately demonstrated the ability for regular, ordinary people to become well known “celebrities” via posts or videos that obtains millions of “hits.” Contrary to some beliefs, the internet seeks ways in which the “regular Joe” can experience more than they ever could without the web. The internet is not a hindering, containing place, but an environment in which regular people feel comfortable to say, perform, write, and publish for others to see. Often, these regular people gain fame and reach millions of viewers just from the sheer comforting, creativity-heavy environment that the Internet provides. This idea of a comfortable Internet environment hints at the ideal environment the “real world” should have. Although the Internet can be viewed as more of a fantasy world, it promotes and demonstrates the conditions of a more liberal, ideal physical world. If a simple web app such as Instagram can allow ordinary people to do extraordinary things, perhaps the real world could create conditions (like apps) that allow for such possibility. The Internet gives many users the confidence to do bigger, greater things – couldn’t a world with similar conditions do the same? The creators behind all of the Internet’s features have an ultimate goal in mind behind their web environment – a real, physical environment mimicking the comfort and freedom of the cyber world. How do you think such a world could exist (if even)? Is it possible to bring the possibility of cyberspace into real space?

// 01/16/2012 at 8:57 pm

Molly said...

I was also intrigued by Instagram when I first heard about it and I have had the app for a while now. It allows people who have little or no background in photography or art to create a photo that appears professional. For a few weeks I felt the need to Instagram (yes, a verb) all of my photos that I took with my iPhone. I felt a little too artsy so I stopped using the app but I agree that it made me view things differently. I can imagine almost any photo as black and white, brighter, darker or tinted because I could so easily change images through Instagram. Though I eventually lost interest in the app, it made me appreciate how easily I could change simple things around me into art.

// 01/16/2012 at 9:04 pm

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// 01/18/2012 at 11:00 am

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// 01/21/2012 at 5:18 am

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// 01/30/2012 at 2:54 am

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// 01/30/2012 at 11:03 pm