I don’t understand the fascination with this service. Well, I do, but it’s so superficial and really, just lazy. I understand people’s attachment to the past. the “retro” look, hipsters aside; yet, that’s not enough to garner such a large following. At least, I wouldn’t think so.
I love reminiscing, as well. I have a huge collection of old TV shows and movies from the past, including a lot of the cartoons that I grew up with; video games, as well. In fact, I’m a huge Pac-Man fan. I have dozens of variations and every computer, handheld, gaming console and electronic device that I can populate with at least one variation of Pac-Man, I have. I have even kept my Atari 2600, with what has been arguably considered the worst interpretation of Pac-Man by a commercial entity. I still love it.
When it comes to photography however, I want my pictures to look professional, or as close as I can get them to do so. I’m far from a great photographer and have nothing but point and clicks and an older camera phone with which to take my shots. However, I fuss over every shot I take, tweaking and processing them once I migrate them to my computer, until I’m satisfied with the final product. It’s rare that I will crop a photo, because I prefer to keep the full frame, whenever possible. So, purposely using an application that crops every photo to a square is sacrilege to me.
I’m also an audiophile and mediaphile. I collect movies and television series, music and photographs. My computer is primarily a media center. I do less gaming with my rather respectable gaming system, than I do media management. It’s only recently that I realized that my passion is and really, has always been entertainment media, moreso than video games. As such, the vast majority of media I have collected is widescreen. The concept of purposely losing some of that media by cropping it to a square is repulsive to me.
I am also a perfectionist and while I do understand the ease and artsy benefits of Instagram’s filters, they annoy me. I much prefer to edit a photograph I’ve taken myself, by using the myriad of filters and applications I have that are dedicated to just such a purpose. So again, settling for a third rate option like Instagram is a foreign concept to me.
Then there’s the resolution. I have an 8.1mp camera on my smartphone. My snap and shoot is a 12mp camera and I have a 1080p handheld digital recorder. Instagram’s maximum resolution is 612×612. Don’t believe me? Here’s the quote taken directly from their site:
High-resolution versions of your Instagram photos are saved to your device after you upload the photo to Instagram. This means that you are the only one with access to high-resolution versions of your photos.
We will always save images in the highest resolution size possible. The maximum resolution on both Android and iOS is 2048×2048, but your device’s resolution capabilities may be lower than that.
I understand that you might want to save the high resolution versions for yourself, if you’re a professional photographer and don’t want to be plagiarized. However, Instagram hardly lends itself to professional photographers. For the rest of us, showing off our images in their full, high resolution glory is one of the only ways to garner the full impact of the experience. Even if we don’t want to upload a 20mp image, something larger than a miniscule 612×612 would be nice.
So, after trying the service out, investigating the terms of service, viewing the filters, features and communities, I realized quickly, that Instagram was certainly not for me. More than that though, I really can’t understand why anyone who isn’t a tween girl would want to use it. Basically, it’s a “quick and dirty” way to take a snapshot and upload it to a service wherein the quality doesn’t matter. Selfies and pet pictures seem to encompass an overwhelming percentage of the content. Don’t we have enough of that already? Isn’t that already what Facebook’s photo albums are already filled with? Now, I understand why they purchased the service. It obviously fits hand in hand with a large percentage of their demographic. I just don’t know why anyone who truly appreciates photos and photography would possibly want to use it. I’m sure their cameras and devices already take far better pictures than anything you can obtain with Instagram. Why downgrade? That’s the mystery I’m unable to understand.