Friday, April 27, 2012
Was I ever ecstatic when you showed up on the Android market! I couldn't wait to cross the Great Divide and switch from our Android phones to the iPhone at our next upgrade. Not for iTunes, though I'll use it; not for iCloud, though I'll use it, too. But truly, exclusively for you, my dear Instagram.
But wait no more. I was one of the 1 million people who downloaded Instagram on the first day it went on the Android market. I had been drooling over my friends' Instagram pictures on Facebook, wondering how it is that they can make a picture speak, um, a gazillion words. There was something about Instagram pictures--I didn't know what--that made them seem so polished, dreamy, and classic. They also look different in that they are shaped like perfect squares instead of the digital 4 x 3 format.
So with great excitement, I began to play. On my version, Instagram has 17 preset digital filters that alter the look of your pictures. Depending on which one you pick, your original photo can look faded, pop in colors, black and white, plus more. And then I discovered the social networking component to it: it's like Facebook/Twitter all over again with following/followers in photo-sharing style. Which, to me, is just decorative icing, since I really would be taking photos and sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, and my blogs anyway.
With the blooming of my new tulips, I went to work. I buried my face in mulch and weeds to capture a tulip with the bluest of skies as a backdrop. I made Dear Husband hold a tulip in the most awkward position until his hand shook with fatigue. I sneaked pictures of Dear Son watching TV or playing just so I could play with the digital filters. 'Mommy's taking pictures again' and 'What'd you do, take 20 pictures of that tulip?' were often overheard around here. To which I'd reply, 'Yes, I love me some Instagram!'
(To be fair to the objects of my lens, however, some shots do not need any filters. Some things speak for themselves. And to take away their focus, color, or lighting would just be a crime of epic proportions. To ensure that, I trust that the subjects of my photos will give me a piece of their minds in order to retain the essence of their beings.)
A few days after my precious (and free) acquisition of this fabulous app, Facebook announced its one billion dollar acquisition of Instagram. That either validates my interest in this app or someone just has a lot of money to spend. I don't know what implications this takes on for Instagram or Facebook, but since I planned to share my pictures there, it hopefully won't complicate things too much. Facebook has already segregated Instagram pics from other mobile uploads in their own distinct folders; I guess it considers its Instagram pictures as already in a class of its own.
I've always enjoyed taking photos, and with the ease of digital cameras these days, photography just seems to be an easy hobby to take up. But short of reading our new camera's user manual for all the different effects the camera is capable of--and when my days spare me no extra time to decipher a booklet of photography terms--my smart camera phone will just have to do for now. And with Instagram, I'm good to go.
Of course, I'm late again getting on the It Train; I'm always catching up. Instagram has been around since 2010, and here I am, hopping on as a last minute customer. But again, better late than never, since how else do you make a salt shaker look like it's melancholy and needs a little 'shake me up'?
So, Instagram, I am so excited to have you in my life. You will decorate my vision with all sorts of still shots that elicit moods and conjure ambiances I have not had the pleasure to see before. And it's as easy as pulling out my phone to do so. I know that down the line I will want to get out that user manual and learn how to use a real camera, get familiar with lighting and focus and aperture, and create effects all on my own. But for now, you are my stepping stone, and until then, you are my best friend.