Summer’s Instagrams

Lunsj på en av mange kafeer i SeattleAnyone following my blog should by now know that I enjoy playing around with the app Instagram. I just love the simplicity of the interface and how playful it inspires the users to become. Of course being a «serious» photography, I face the fact that it’s still not quite accepted in many circles to let an app like Instagram «take over» the craftsmanship. And I am just fine with that. As I discussed in my post The Impediment of Art not long ago I don’t see apps like Instagram as a threat to or a deterioration of the craft or an easy way to create an artsy look, but just one more tool for photographers to play around with.

Anyway, today I am just posting a few of this summer’s Instagrams I have had fun making. In honesty I haven’t taken a lot, but it’s always stimulating whenever I get myself to use the app. I mostly tend to use it for private photos, but I have decided I will try to exploit Instagram and other apps on assignments as well – if I can my clients to accept the idea. It certainly would bring a more contemporary feeling to the images.

I don’t only use Instagram anymore but a combinations of apps. My favourites in addition to Instagram are Camera ZOOM FX and LittlePhoto where I often start the processing using one of the others and finalizing it in Instagram – which I also use as the only sharing platform. Both Camera ZOOM FX and LittlePhoto offer more options than Instagram. Where Instagram is the easy one click app with just a few tweaks offered, the two others have a more complex interface. LittlePhoto is definitely the more advance while with Camera ZOOM FX it’s possible to add on more features with additional downloads. All three of them are still easy to use, and as I have said a couple of times already now really fun to play around with.

If you want to follow me on Instagram my profile name is ottovonmunchow.

113 thoughts on “Summer’s Instagrams

  1. Thanks for mentioning and sharing these Instagram shots. Like you, I have the app, but rarely use. The Zoom app is great. Will have to checkout the LittlePhoto app.

    One of my favorite in place of the standardiPhone Camera app, HDR Pro.

    1. There are plenty of great apps for Android. The problem is really to limit it to the “right” ones, which of course is different from one person to another. Thanks for commenting, Angeline!

  2. I guess I should get a cell phone one of these days… : )
    It seems to be a wonderful tool, these are great, Otto. I like how the abstraction of an image through filters adds emotion in many cases.

    1. I agree with you, used with care filters can really add emotional depth to a picture. But of course you don’t need a cell phone for that, you can basically use any photo editing program to achieve the same – as you well know. Thanks for the comment, Karen!

  3. Still practicing just becoming a somewhat competent photographer. When I’ve paid my dues in that department, maybe I’ll feel OK about taking on something like Instagram.

  4. I have been experimenting with Pixlr Express on my android before posting to instagram as well. Sometimes the 3rd party apps offer better finishes and they also give you the ability to control the amount of effect.

    1. Other apps definitely offer more control than Instagram. I guess what makes Instagram so great is the sharing platform. I will have to check out Pixlr Express. Thank you, Shawn!

  5. Herlige bilder, liker spes godt det første og kajakk bilde ; ) Jeg har også så smått begynt å bruke Instagram, redigerer i “Pixlr Express”.
    (Følger deg på IG som iksberto; ))

    God ny uke til deg!

  6. Very, nice, Otto! So long as the photos are ones own, tweaking them shouldn’t matter, after all, it’s still creating and being selective. For me, it’s like adding zest to a recipe. Good job!

  7. You know that I agree with you that apps are simply another tool in the photographic camera bag. This set of images does demonstrate that it really is about the photographic eye. Each is engaging, and drew me into their individual stories.

  8. The sequence really works like you invited me onto a journey and I am pleased to follow. I like the narrative power of this sequence! Thanks for sharing!


  9. There is one definite difference between Instagram and camera shots: it is the format. Instagram shots are square. Being used to work with vertical or horizontal ‘canvas’, when you first started to use Instagram, what impact did the square have on your compositional considerations?

    1. The square format took a little adjustment to get used to. But now I really like it, it’s so easy to make dynamic compositions – as long as you avoid putting the focus in the middle. Thanks for the comment, Andelieya!

  10. Very cool shots. Where are those mountain/ski shots? They remind me of the Tahoe area. I am always interested in camera Apps. I’m all fumbles when it comes to iPhone technology. But, I’ll catch on, just as the next wave drowns me! 😉

    1. Those pictures of mountains and the ski resort is taken around Girdwood in Alaska. Using for instance Instagram is quite simple. It’s just like jumping in water and swimming right away. Thanks for the comment, Linda!

  11. Very, very cool. Let me vote for the fourth in the series–but they’re all excellent. Given these results, who can quarrel with the tools you used? (Well, that argument won’t always work: the ends don’t always justify the means . . .)

  12. Have not graduated to Instagram after all the controversy over claims that Facebook gets to own your photos or something like that. I lost track. I will check out the two apps you suggested. Been using Camera+ so far.

    1. At least Facebook withdraw their claim to ownership of photos posted via Instagram. If not the whole professional photo world would have abandoned it. Thanks for the comment.

  13. I have not (yet?) a smartphone, maybe one day or another…I like very much your Instagram photos which I find very alive! And I find interesting when pictures taken with a modern high tech instrument looks like old photos!

    1. It’s really interesting how modern technology is used to emulate old techniques. Except the new once are much easier. Thank you for your comment, Robert!

  14. Otto, I was very standoff-ish when it came to Instagram. But now that I caved in, I love it as well. I haven’t had a chance to try out the others photo apps, but maybe I should. I love the filters that Instagram provides though.

  15. These are all very charming images, Otto, and I personally don’t see any problem in using Instagram or any other app or processing. In your case, your photographer’s vision shows through here. If we’re going to ban Instagram, we might as well ban black and white, too. If the results are agreeable, why not make use of it?

  16. Hmm, ja, jag har sett och läst här förut att du gillar Instagram…och ja, jag förstår din förtjusning och ditt resonemang bland annat vad beträffar enkelhet och lekfullhet. Det är helt accepterat och jag kan även känna så ibland…men jag har i alla fall tagit avstånd från alla förenkligar av och förflackningen av fotokonsten.
    Varför undrar du säkert?…jo därför att det blir ännu lättare att kalla sig fotograf och konstnär utan att ha en susning om vad det handlar om. Att leka, att gå utanför gränser, att inte känna begränsningar…det kan man göra när man kan och vet, i alla fall det grundläggande om komposition…men idag är “alla” fotografer och konstnärer pga tekniken och det är en missgärning många gånger.
    Personligen tycker jag att det finns oanade möjligheter att leka med kameran…utan instagram och diverse appar…men, jag varken dömer eller bedömer, It´s Your choise.
    Hursomhelst så tar du upp intressanta trådar som tål och bör diskuteras…jag skriver på svenska då jag inte vill stöta mig med dina trogna följare som har helt andra åsikter än jag.
    Hade varit roligt att träffas i Seattle och fått lite givande diskussioner om konst och foto men det får bli en annan gång…där eller någon annanstans:)
    Ha det gott

    1. Jeg er faktisk enig med deg i at de nye, enkle måtene å leke seg frem til bilder på, gjør at mange tror de slippe unna med å lære seg noe som helst, at de er “fotografer” og “kunstnere” uten å forstå hva som må til. I dag kan jo alle fotografere – og da trenger en jo ikke lenger riktige fotografer. Det er nok dessverre slik virkeligheten oppfattes. Samtidig ser jeg ingen grunn til å avstå fra Instagram og andre hjelpemidler bare fordi de kan “misbrukes”. Men jeg er også enig med deg i at den enkelte må selv gjøre et valg om å bruke eller la være, det er ikke noe som er riktig og galt i denne sammenhengen. Takk for at du tar opp viktige argumenter – som jeg tror kunne ha vært sunt for mange andre å kunne følge og… 🙂

  17. These are choice shots, all of them. I thought instagrams got “lost” or erased from existence after a few minutes. But I also know there’s an app which enables you to save them.

    I am not by half so technical. You really do frame life beautifully.

  18. I love these. I remember quiet a while back you blogged about instagram and I hadn’t tried it yet and couldn’t understand why someone would use it when there are programs that can enhance photos as well on desktops. But since getting my ipod and using the camera on it with instagram and many other apps I have downloaded on it I found I love the creativity in it. I really love the framing you have these and the effects. I haven’t tried the ones you mentioned yet. So far stay with only free ones. Just downloaded yesterday. Photo Studio from the apple app store. So much easier to get around and layer effects. Many many free effects as well as frames and text. Also more can be purchased. I have about 10 apps so far and will be deleting half as the Photo Studio app does so much.

    1. I think most of us experience the same thing as you. Before we have tried any of the photo apps, we don’t really get the point. But as soon as we dig into one of them we are caught by the playfulness they invite us to try out. Maybe not everybody, but I think for a lot that’s the way it goes. Thank you for sharing your experience, Carrie!

  19. I started using Instagram when my kids gave me an iPhone for my birthday this past July. I use the iPhone exclusively for it, keeping my Nikon shots for upload to my various websites/blogs. I find Instagram to be fun and light-hearted, and so easy to use! Thanks for the article! My personal iPhone is at SueBeeMeyer if anyone cares to follow!

  20. Beautiful captures! Another proof of the saying “‘It’s not the camera it’s the photographer who takes a good picture”. I wish I could use my smartphone for wedding photography 😉 I may try…

    1. Yes, why not try using a smartphone. You might still have to back-up with your regular camera, but I think you could really get some fun and interesting pictures at a weeding with the smartphone. Thanks for your comment, Alex!

  21. I like all your photos in this presentation. And it makes me (re)think. And that’s not bad at all! 🙂 So far, Instagram has rather had the ability to make me turn away. I’m a Norwegian, living abroad and spending most of my time either in Germany or England. If I look for post about Norway in the WordPress Reader it’s absolutely jammed with Instagrams from Visit Norway and not only me consider them almost as spam. 🙂 Maybe I’ll get app for my next iPhone…
    Greetings from North Norfolk

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