Monday, June 1, 2015

To Post or Not to Post

by Terri

Edited in Pixlr

One of the more contentious debates to spring up from the increasing popularity of the photo editing and sharing app Instagram concerns how people are capturing their images.

I have had this discussion with many of my friends and they all seem to feel very strongly. On the one hand, you have a group you might call Instagram "purists," who believe the whole point of the app is to shoot and share images captured with their phone cameras. It’s called Instagram.  You take a photo and “instantly” post it to Instagram. Well, sometimes not so instantly. There are a billion apps to play with first. 

Edited in Tooncamera

On the other hand, take a look at some of the photos people are posting on Instagram and it's clear many of these shots were captured with professional cameras with high-end lenses and then formatted and posted on the app. The winners of contests and features seem to be photos that are obviously NOT taken with a phone camera. The real giveaway is that creamy, dreamy background that you can only get with a wide-open aperture, something even the best depth-of-field apps can’t duplicate. And the technology is such that it is easy to go back and forth between images on your computer and your phone, so why not do it? Is this a form of Instagram "cheating"? Some people certainly seem to think so.

All photos taken and edited with an iPhone and posted to Instagram.

Photographer Jorge Quinteros wrote:

"At first I puzzled about how I felt with photographers uploading their processed DSLR photos onto Instagram but I’ve concluded that I dislike it. I use Instagram to share photographs taken exclusively with the iPhone because there’s a level of authenticity to the process as opposed to bypassing the limitations the iPhone may have when shooting with it and replacing it with a DSLR. The purpose of an app like Instagram is to celebrate the increasingly mobile culture. There’s no right way or wrong way to use the service but sharing DSLR photos on Instagram seems almost like violating the spirit of the app."

So there seems to be two schools of thought – (1) Instagram should be reserved for phone photos only, or (2) anything goes.  Well, I guess there’s a third school of thought – who cares? For me, Instagram is all about sharing your best phone photos, for showing what is possible to be captured with just your phone. It’s a challenge for me to see how close I can come to a DSLR shot with just my phone camera. And I really LOVE playing with the apps.  

Edited with Tooncamera

So here’s my question:  what do you think? Do you reserve Instagram for your phone photos? If so, where do you share your DSLR photos? Or do you post both types of photos on Instagram regardless of what kind of camera you used to capture them? And if you don't use Instagram, I would still like to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Maybe it is a wave of the future that I just need to catch up with. It wouldn't be the first time I have been caught a bit behind the times. I know that's what I've been told by many of the people I've had this discussion with, except for the ones who happen to agree with me! :-)  So I'm putting this question to you: what do you think about posting DSLR photos to Instagram? Can't wait to hear your thoughts.


Lisa Clarke said...

When I first joined Instagram, I only had an Android tablet, and it took truly terrible pictures that nobody would ever want to look at! So until I got a smart phone, I would transfer DSLR images to the tablet with Eye-Fi and then edit/ post in Instagram. These days my phone camera is better (though not great) and I enjoy the challenge of using it almost exclusively. Sometimes, though, I will throw in a DSLR shot, and when I do, I try to remember to hashtsg it as such.

Lisa Clarke said...

All that to say, while I prefer to see phone pictures there, and think it is more in keeping with the spirit of the thing, I don't mind the occasional "nice camera" shot. And I can especially make allowances for those with sub-par mobile options, as I've been there ;-)

Barbara said...

Oh this is an age old question I suppose, as I am not on IG any longer for more reasons than I can explain here, I do prefer to see mobile images. I like, you have said I want to see what an app can do and I so loved it when I was on IG to hear how it was processed and which app. It seems to me more and more business owners have come over from Facebook. I don't like all the businesses promoting, as I had felt it was just a fun place to gather with friends to see mobile images IMO. It has lost it's appeal now that it has switched. Wish there was such a place, no business promoting and only mobile images posted, but that isn't going to happen I don't believe. Then again this is only my opinion and my opinion isn't worth a whole lot.

I do believe that is my agave in the first image looking so grand. Love all your images Terri with your iPhone and apps.

Misty Prochaska said...

I miss you there, Barbara!

Carol said...

I go with option 3 - who cares? Until recently, I didn't even know how to get my photos that were not from my phone into Instagram. The way I look at it - no one is keeping score ( or if they are, they probably are not my kind of people!) I play with the apps, and its fun. Now that I know how, I probably will include a few from my big-girl camera, if I want to get them out there or make a point, and I post throw-aways that are of the moment and just fun. "To each his own," my Mom use to say and I agree!

Carol said...

p.s. -Barbara -your opinion is worth a whole lot, and p.p.s. terri -these shots are so great! I love the toon app with the flowers!

I also want to toss in here how much fun you can heve with the apps and still create real art ( as you have here Terri) One of my professional friends recently took a series of shots out the train window as he communted each morning. He used the ival train windows as a frame in each and processed them all with the tune camera and yhey made a beautiful and unique series! Whatever it takes to express your inner artist!

Lisa Comperry said...

I also take the Instagram app as a challenge to see what I can make with phone pictures...So mobile phone pics are strictly what I upload...Like Lisa, when I first joined, I didn't have a smart phone with a good camera.So the very early pics in my photo stream are a mixture of DSLR pics and phone pics..The DSLR pics are identified :-) I would say I am in the "who cares" camp..Instagram is a fun place to network, it has a different personality, more of a homey feel than Facebook..

kelly said...

Terri you can put me in the iPhone only camp. With very few exceptions, I only post photos on IG that I have taken with my phone. It's a different way of shooting for sure. Like you said, mobile devices can't really capture the look of shallow depth of field. But I think that's part of the charm. And the challenge. How create meaningful, storytelling images you love with the limitations that come with it. And the creativity that comes with all the apps that are available is amazing. For those that do participate in all the IG challenges and hashtags, it does seem like submitting a DSLR image is a bit of an unfair advantage, but I try to keep my judgment in check by remembering that is a seriously first-world problem. ;) xoxo

Michelle said...

I only use Instagram for my phone pictures. I have a few apps and I also use the IG filters some. I enjoy taking pictures for Instagram of the little tidbits and memories of my days such as coffee with friends, sunrises with our big girl cameras, flowers, nature, etc. When I first started on Instagram, I would look at some pictures and wonder how they were able to take them with a phone and get so much in a little square! I finally realized that they were DSLR pictures. I like when they let you know they are DSLR pictures. I enjoy IG for the photos, for seeing and learning about different places and things.

CarolHart said...

I am definitely in the "who cares" camp. My view is that IG is a social platform for sharing your images, those you are proud of and/or tell the story you intend. So it really doesn't matter what device was used. I don't post to IG in order to "win" contest or features. That said, recently Kim did feature one of my images in her #fouriadorefriday - and that image was taken with my iPhone, proving that there is no "unfair" advantage. For those who are disturbed by seeing images on IG that you think were taken with a DSLR I do have a solution - quit following those people and then you won't see those images in your feed! Enough said. Let's go out and take some pictures!

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm IG naive because I had no idea this was an issue. I love the app because I get to be inspired by the wonderful art others are creating, and I share my own with the same hope. For me it's about the community of artists, not the medium of creation, that's important.

Deanna said...

Well, I am not huge into Instagram, posting only occasionally, but I will say that 99.99% of what I do post are with my I-Phone. I guess I am in the "who cares" camp. I know that not all pics on instagram are taken with a phone camera, and many state that and some do not. I think it is all about community and what art is created with all the amazing apps available for camera phones. I say whatever makes your heart happy!!

Cheryl McCain said...

I'm joining the "who cares" camp and here's why. It seems that the die-hard iPhone photo takers are against the DSLRs. However, is there really a difference in taking an iPhone pic and then "editing" it with all the fun apps out there instead of posting it "instantly"? or someone using their DSLR and posting to IG?
I'm one who has posted phone pics "instantly" BUT my phone pics STINK. I don't have a good camera on my iPhone. So I choose to share what photos I take with my DSLR.
CarolHart had a good idea that we could all use. If you only want to view iPhone pics, then "unfollow" those that use DSLRs and the DSLR users could do the same. Even though I shoot with my DSLR, I still enjoy seeing the art that comes from the iPhone and apps. So the only groups I can choose is the "who cares". It's a way for anyone with any type of camera to share their images.
Just my 2 cents.

Susan Licht said...

I'm a member of the "who cares" camp. Instagram to me is just another way to share photos and I share both dslr and iPhone images. I actually enjoy taking dslr photos and editing them with apps to get a different look. Sometimes I think too much emphasis is on the equipment...I really don't pay attention to what kind of camera is being used, to me it's all about the photo. Art is art, no matter what medium you choose. And variety is the spice of life!

Marilyn said...

I'm so new to IG, I probably don't have reason to have an opinion. It does seem that IG was for phone photos. And I like seeing what apps were used to get the particular look. There's always Flickr for all the others. I like Flickr because I don't see advertising on it. If advertising is showing up on IG then that's disappointing.

Roxi Hardegree said...

Instagram has always been for my iPhone 'art' and that's how I spend the majority of my creative time. I have posted very few dslr photos to it and always tag #canon to those shots. I've done a few more recently only because of Kim's class and her hashtag. I try to post dslr photos to Flickr, but I'm not very active there. It's hard to be in two places at once. Personally I don't care if others post dslr photos there, but for me its my mobile platform.

Sarah Huizenga said...

I would say my photos are 95% taken with my phone and 5% with my Canon. I am not a purist. I would probably belong in the third group, who cares. I have more problem with the realistic landscape photos that people take with their dslr's and then win contests with. If you are processing the crap out of it for that artistic look (what I am more prone to do), it doesn't matter you can get a similar look with either camera.

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