I make fun of the Mrs for always being late to the party. Not in the literal sense, as for actual parties she has this knack for making sure we are first, and not just first but sometimes awkwardly early. No, what she is late for is anything to do with popular culture outside of what's in her gossip mags, Dlisted or Gawker. Just this past Sunday, we were having a family funday Sunday at a super family friendly brewery, Fullsteam. Someone had started playing Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run" and the Mrs turns to me and asks "is this new? 'Cause I like it." I think you get my point. Not that I am on the cutting edge of things by any means, though I like to think I'm plugged in a little deeper than the Mrs. But for the first time in a long while, I am getting on the bandwagon that has been going strong for a few years now, Instagram.
I was an admitted hater. I thought: "what kind of photos could be so amazing when captured on your iPhone or Android? Get a real camera, you hippies!" I had tried Hipstamatic a few years ago and took about ten pictures before I threw it to the curb. Then I noticed some photographers starting to edit their DSLR shots with the same funky filters that you'd see on Instagram or Hipstamatic. This made me hate it even more. Why would you ruin a perfectly good shot with that? It's not that I am photo purist by any extent. I have an unhealthy love affair with sometimes over saturating my photos and bumping the contrast up to higher levels than most people. I call it "pop", others have mentioned it can sometimes be distracting. Meh, who asked you?
In December, I met up with an old high school friend of mine who has been a pro photographer for years. He was telling me how his shoots for fashion week were being instantly shot to Instagram. No crazy filters, just his shots. This is the same friend who got me into photography in the first place, and so I thought maybe it deserved a fair shake.
Three weeks later, I was hooked.
The quality of some of these photos are amazing. People have really figured out how to get all they can out of their phone's camera through tons of practice, a few great apps (yup, they got those) and some extra equipment (i.e. tripods/gorillapods). A few of the Instagrammers I started following were creating pictures I was sure were made with DSLRs. There was no way they could achieve the balance in the photos the way they were. Simply no way. But after listening to Cory Staudacher (@withhearts) podcast on The Cultcast, I realized that it was possible to get such amazing quality with such a small tool (with a little practice and some sick apps). The phone has simply become an extension of my photo tools, and like getting a new prime lens, it has been challenging to work within the boundaries of what the phone can do, but that has made it all the more interesting.
So yeah, I'm late to the party. Really late, even. But then again, what else is new? And if you're on Instagram, I hope you'll follow me, @toliveanddiaper.