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Of course it is! Anything mass produced loses quality. Why was literacy left to the elite (monks and scholars) of the Western world until Gutenberg? For preservation of the Truth of the Word.  The Church didn’t want several people’s interpretation of the Bible because, well, those people could (and would) be wrong. Now that literacy and the printing press have developed significantly, we get literature like 50 Shades of Grey to pass around.  Literacy has ruined literature much like Instagram has ruined the art of photography.

Everyone can do it. They’ve dumbed down the technique of capturing real life, so now anyone and everyone can call themselves a photographer. “Yea, I’ve got an iPhone and an App. I can totes make this pic look like a Leibovitz if I add the right filter,” says the typical Instagram-er.

My bet is that most Instagram-ers don’t know who Leibovitz is. Comparable to this would be literate adults my age not knowing who Thomas Pynchon is. While Instagram won’t replace talented photographers who have worked with film, in darkrooms and have made the recent digital transition, it will change what and how photos are published. Time magazine is already asking for Instagram photos for current issues. It’s convenient, quick and easy, but dumbs down the art of photography for the masses. Why would anyone pay thousands to get a degree in photography at an art college, when the demand to capture quality photos is lowering? When even Time will take Instagram photos to publication, you have to wonder what’s next for professional photographers and the study of photography altogether. That’s Chuck Close as The Wizard of Oz and Keira Knightley as Dorothy. I wonder what filter Annie Leibovitz used here…

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5 thoughts on “Is Instagram Ruining Photography?

  1. Great, post! I totally agree. It’s frightening to think that photography may be heading in the same direction as literature. Thanks for stopping by and liking my post.

    Best,
    Nett

  2. Great post. Even for casual shots these snapshooters will come to realize the filters have so distorted their shots that their value as a memory is forever reduced. They will never be able to restore the full resolution, color balance, and feeling of what was in front of them when the picture was taken. It’s sad to see what could be precious memories trashed this way.

  3. What mostly puts me off about instagram is those filters and colours. Either edit pictures way too dark or too bright, and boost up saturation to 150%.

    And then these people with lack of taste and colour theory are cramming up to become graphic designers to give permanent headache to everyone else.

  4. I’m seeing a toallty different era! I’m seeing glamorous, sophisticated Art Deco- bright lights, tall buildings, Fred Astaire in a top hat, looong sleek cars They both look like something I’d wear out at a club with Bertie Wooster! So for the stick I’m suggesting Empire’, evoking both the building and the Napoleonic era- romantic and sophisticated. For the slide, Night at the Opera’ or This Heart of Mine’, more whimsical but still classic. (Fred Astaire sang This Heart of Mine’ way back when, and it picks up the heart motif in the slide )

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