digital rant: why I hate instagram

I’m about to step on a lot of toes and for that I am sorry, but these are my opinions. This is quite possibly the most controversial post I will ever write about, but I have to share because it eats me up alive every time someone posts a picture. Also, to my friends who use instagram, this is not directed at you but in general so I apologize if I offend you.

I hate instagram. Yes, I will confess it. Every time I see one of my friends/companies I follow on twitter post pictures of their beautiful children/dogs/beers/whatever using instagram I feel so… disgusted.

Yes, its great that now in the digital age, everyone can have cool photo effects, and when I shoot on my phone I sometimes use filters and programs to tweak the pictures, but with the total widespread use of instagram I feel like the actual art behind the IDEA of instagram has been totally and utterly lost and blasphemed. Almost all of the pictures I’ve seen people post are totally misusing the filters, and yes I know “art” is highly subjective, but what bugs me is that actual learned TECHNIQUES are being mistreated and repurposed for a quick fix and half the time it looks awful. Most if not all of the tilt-shift pictures I’ve seen aren’t even being used properly. Tilt-shift isn’t for selective focus on normal “flat” pictures, its so the plane of view looks TILTED, and you shift the lens, hence the name TILT SHIFT. If you wanted a selctively focused shot you can use a macro setting on your camera.

The thing that bothers me is the users of instagram aren’t and have probably never been photographers, the reason they are misusing these settings is because they have no idea what half the crap means!!! UGH…I know this is one god awful rant, but I KNOW other real photographers out there who actually know how to do these techniques BY HAND are as frustrated as I am with this. This is one step beyond digital convenience, this is total decimation of artistic technique.

The tilt shift thing is just one example. It bothers me deeply that the things I know how to do BY HAND in the lab or by adjusting my lens, using different lenses, whatever analogue style, is being mass produced by instagram and people are using it without even knowing how to really use it which results in really shitty “photography”. Whats even worse is that I’ve seen actual flickr sets dedicated to “digital photography” with people using instagram for their filters. HOW LAZY. SERIOUSLY HOW LAZY CAN YOU BE?!

The real thing, I think you were going for this? A great example of amazing work by Andrionni Ribo via flickr

Really I’m only writing this to get it off my chest, but if I can purpose this post into anything, it will be that hopefully you instagram users out there will actually take the time to read up on the filters and techniques that the program allows you to reproduce and LEARN about them and how to really use them well to take full advantage of it. Please, that is my only request of you instagramers out there.

18 thoughts on “digital rant: why I hate instagram

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  1. haha…I’m so out of the loop, I had to ‘google’ what instagram was!! I get how you feel…remember my story of my college major?!?!

    1. haha aww its ok lora lol. but yeah its not even that i hate the app, i think the idea behind it is actually pretty neat, but EVERYONE and their mother keeps ruining pictures by misusing the features and wanting everything “vintage” looking. *rolls eyes* theyve totally abused it and now its so hip even starbucks uses it on twitter. lol

  2. As an Instagrammer, I feel like I shouldn’t necessarily defend myself but rather explain myself:

    I have to agree with you where I use IG, but I would say the only difference is that I don’t go around claiming to know the photographic details; I know for a fact that I have no ability, and I own up to it. IG is kind of like Guitar Hero/Rock Band for people who have no musical talent either (of which I also play, lol): so long as one isn’t bragging about how much “talent” they have with filters or with plastic guitar playing, trying to come off as if they’re knowledgeable about the subject at hand, then I think it’s rather harmless. I would never try to sell my mass-filtered photos as art, or claim that I did them by my own development and hand. Sometimes, it’s just nice to feel as if for a second you transformed a photo. Perhaps that translates into ignorant laziness, but I agree with you where if a person is going overboard with IG then the next logical step is to learn how to do the actual skills manually.

    Overall, nice post; I would hope IG’ers aren’t claiming that they’re “skilled” at choosing a default filter on a photo.

    1. oo good analogy with the GH/RB thing, I never thought of it that way. maybe its just so offensive to me because its being misused to transform any shitty old picture into something “cool” which honestly half the pictures i’ve seen out there have been mundane things that don’t look cool because they look vintage lol

      but i’m glad you responded, you definitely don’t have to explain yourself to me but i’m glad you did so i could see it from your side. :)

  3. I totally agree with you, I rant about this all the time! I spend the time editing my photos in photoshop, tweaking them to have a certain effect..and then with a click of a button someone can do the same thing from their iphone. I love the vintage effect in photos but I very much prefer doing that with an actual camera!

    found your blog through Liz’s site. following you now :]

  4. I know this was posted a couple months ago, I just wanted to say I totally agree with you. I’m trying to become a better photographer, and yes, sometimes I apply slight (or what I consider “slight”) filters, and I’m sure my photographer friends shutter at what I do – but it’s frustrating that a friend (or… a hundred friends) can just take a low-quality camera pic, apply a thick filter, and, judging by the comments they get, everyone seems to think that equals good photography. Of course, I have lots of close friends who use it, so I’d be too much of a wimp to post anything about it.

  5. Furthermore. They all fall over each other to like a photo that (as you suggest) is complete rubbish! It has no photographic interest but the colorful overcooked HDR is nice eyecandy. I’ll give you a like. Full disclosure: I do participate in instagram as I initially thought it was a way to continue to my photographic development when sans camera. Now I just use it for experiments in human behavior and

  6. I must say, this opinion totally went a different direction. In my opinion, I thought she was going to say how she hates Instagram because its a social network. But in my opinion I am more disgusted over Twitter in comparison to Instagram.

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