The digital age has certainly transformed photography, but the best (and also possibly the worst) weapon in the digital world’s arsenal is the camera app. The app that finally does it all: exposes, captures, and edits… In seconds! Why would I get out my gigantic camera with all its complicated buttons when I can snap a photo, send a text or two, check my email and then tweet said photo? Boom. All done. Toning? What’s that?
Damon Winter placed in POYi for a story he shot with his Hipstamatic app, and you know what, good for him. We’re not here to talk about where the line is, and the people upset about Winter’s award were actually just pissed cause they didn’t think of it first. Hell, even the guy who called Winter out took back what he said.
The problem with these apps isn’t how they’re being used. It’s who’s using them. The photographic elite shudder to know that with the aid of Instagram, everyone thinks they are a great photographer (try asking that Instagrammer what shutter speed is). Plus, it doesn’t hurt our naturally large egos that we can see how many people like our photos. Instagratification.
Suddenly, that chick from high school that worked at Olan Mils is posting a photo on Facebook, and even though you hate to admit it, it’s actually kind of a cool photo. Sure, it’s of a half-eaten homemade dinner that’s slightly out of focus, but man, doesn’t that vignette just add something? And those colors! I didn’t know beef could be teal! We’re breaching a whole new level of art here, and maybe that’s why we love to hate camera apps.
After all, it’s the solution to all of our problems as photographers. Every filter in Hipstamatic or Instagram is the long-desired “unsuck filter”. It allows us to take a photo on an assignment that we think is good but would never legitimately turn into our editor. We can just blog/tweet/facebook/tumble it later.
By all means, Instagram to your heart’s content. Just keep the fake Polaroid photos of your cat to a minimum.