On Instagram

July 23, 2012

By Peter Andrews

Instagram is mainly a tool for young people to take pictures and catch up on things; situations that they missed out on, either because they weren’t yet born or because they just weren’t there.

It is a fascinating tool, however it’s not real photography, it’s an illusion. Listening to an explanation on what Instagram is, it appears that anyone can become Ansel Adams (who I studied at the Fine Arts faculty 30 years ago). Just with a touch of technology one can skip all the creativity that we had to develop or study for and just pick up an iPhone and become an artist. One may look at it as the end of photography (and most photographers who make a living by taking pictures would say that). But if you look at it from a different point of view, it is the beginning of a new era in photography and photojournalism as this global tool turns image-taking and sharing into a worldwide diary of everyday life.

Myself, as a professional photographer who has made a living by taking images for 28 years, I have a tear in my eye when I look back at the romance that film photography was able to give me, in the same manner that a painter who lived at the beginning of the nineteenth century would say about his passion and profession. I recall taking pictures, followed by developing film by hand, breathing fumes in the darkroom, spending evenings making prints as perfect as possible and then sometimes a few hours later looking at a product with satisfaction.

Times are changing and the new generation that have missed out on all that now with the touch of a button using Instagram can transport themselves a few decades back to feel as if they lived through an experience that they never had…

Instagram and other technological developments are inescapable and for those who were able to live through the previous times – cherish those moments but move forward. And for those who are new to the world of photography, use the tools wisely and enjoy.

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