Instagram - I have 2345 photographs on Instagram. I first downloaded the app in 2011. Doing a little mathematics, I see that I have taken about 3 Instagram shots every day over the past two years. How many photographs have I taken with the DSLR in the same time? I doubt I am anywhere near that figure. And why? Well, the iPhone is a multi-functional device and it goes everywhere with me. I pat myself down to check it is with me as often as I check that I am zipped up. It is precious to me; my all-time favourite gadget. As Apple has developed its technology, the camera has improved in quality and with the fun that Instagram has brought to shooting I have fallen in love with it.
Like most photographers, I am constantly seeing frames, seeing moments, seeing people that I just know would make great photographs. So many times in the past these moments passed me by, luckily consigned to memory. Now, with the iPhone with me at all times, I can get that shot. And I can get that shot without having to raise and point a weapon-like instrument that a DSLR is. The iPhone allows you to get great street shots – discreetly. The latest update from Instagram, the one which allows you to later rotate the image makes this even better. Now you can have your phone at any angle and know that later you can flip that image around. No need to have raised directly at your targets. Such fun. And fun is what it is all about with the iPhone.
I keep two Flickr accounts. I set up another in 2011 just for the Instagram shots. I had been posting Instagram shots to this Flickr account for a while, but when I was away in Asia I really got into it and on a 5-week trip I took more than 1500 iPhone shots. Again, doing a little maths you can see that more than half my Instagram shots come from that five weeks. For holidays, I venture to say it is the best camera you can have with you. When we were in Barcelona in August, I hardly used the DSLR at all.
One of the very best things about Instagram is the community aspect. Cast your mind back a few years and try to imagine a scenario where first thing in the morning you could flick through images taken that day (factor in a time difference here) in Shanghai, Tokyo, Ankara and the grand old U.S of A. Now imagine this on a daily basis and you begin to realise how wonderful this is. You get to see the world through the eyes of others. The dream of living vicariously is possible.
And what images they create and share. Each day it is a trip (pun intended) to see how Michael in Tokyo and Mimo in Shanghai find commonalities and beauty in these two Asian mega-cities. Their images elicit a million wows each day. Serap from Ankara presents Turkey with grace, elegance and artistry. Then for sheer beauty and jaw-dropping images there is Trina – Pixelmama, a whole different class of wows! Some of you may follow their streams on Flickr – but I can tell you, you are only getting half the picture. Get an iPhone, download Instagram and kiss this photographic future.
To follow these guys on Instagram: Me – @nadnerb - Michael – @mdkistler -Mimo – @mimokhair - Trina – @pixelmama
Here is a small selection of my Instagram shots that have not been posted to Flickr:
High-Speed train to Tokyo
Train Station, Cork
Holocaust Memorial, Berlin
A man without a nose
Coffee shop, UCC, Cork