Instagram is ruining everything
A disclaimer: what you’re about to read is an exceptionally cranky rant. Forgive me.
The first time someone sent me a link to a picture on Instagram, I thought, “oh, cool, that’s a pretty neat effect.”
The second time, I thought, “I wonder what this actually looked like, before the colors were changed and scratches added for no apparent reason?”
The third time — and in the hundreds of times since — I’ve thought, “when will this fad blow over?” My assumption (and hope) is that we’ll eventually tire of the gee-whiz factor associated with adding vaguely vintage-looking discoloration and damage to our photos.
Don’t get me wrong: there’s definitely room for art in the process of developing a photograph. It’s a practice that goes back the better part of a century. But the overwhelming majority of the impromptu moments you capture with your cameraphone don’t need a lick of post-processing — and if they do, the goal should be to improve the image, not artificially destroy it. I want to see what you’re trying to capture, and I’m no longer even briefly impressed by the filter you’ve run your photo through.
What’s worse, Instagram does a pretty good job of hiding the effects of a crappy shot or a crappy camera — by substituting its own rendered crapiness — and the service’s overwhelming popularity risks lowering consumer demand for better cameras in their phones. We should be asking for tools to take great raw shots, not tools to conceal low quality.
Just take a good picture, people.