Thursday, July 19, 2012

Are Instagram and other image processing tools debasing real photography? From @guardian

Old or new … is this photograph an old scanned image, or is it a modern one with the faded colours added by a filter? Photograph: Kate Bevan 
It may seem odd to start a piece for a ranting slot by saying how much I love something, but I love photography and I particularly love the way social networking means I can share my photographs and the way I can keep up with friends through their shared images.

But I deeply dislike Instagram, which is the sharing app that millions of people seem to prefer. Indeed, Facebook loves Instagram so much that it is bidding $1bn (£637m) to buy it (assuming the UK's Office of Fair Trading doesn't block it, of course).

Every day my Twitter stream and my Facebook newsfeed are full of Instagram images, all sporting the cutesy faux-Polaroid filters and ragged white borders added by the iPhone or Android app.
Or more recently, the disconcerting faux tilt-shift filter that makes everything in the shot look like a toytown miniature.

It's not just Instagram – other software produces the same effects: Hipstamatic, Snapseed and of course the big boys: Gimp, Photoshop and Lightroom.

For me, these filters spoil pictures: they get in the way of the image and they distort the story the picture is telling. It jars to see a picture taken a few seconds ago, in the summer of 2012, that looks like a picture from my childhood (I'm a 60s baby).

Read on here....

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