We have all seen the photos and the ‘heart-shaped’ like button given by the widely popular online mobile photo and video sharing application Instagram. For some, they despise this application. They believe it sets a disconnected jealousy of an intangible world in order for the millennial generation to receive some social acceptance. While I will not disprove this this opinion, as highlighted by the Australian teen Essena O’Neil, there is a huge benefit that ultimately goes down to Instagram’s motto, “Capture and Share the World’s Moments.”
As an amateur photographer, capturing the raw human emotion and natural beauty is the underlying definition of art. When we snap a shot, it is not meant simply to take what I see with my eyes. Rather it is to seize a moment and retell it through time. I can never forget the first time I pressed the shutter of my camera. While the photo itself was not my best, it was a match that ignited a flame that continues to burn today. This flame allows me to express my emotions and the emotions of those around me into an artistic format that would last a lifetime.
Currently the process itself took some time to perfect (which is still ongoing today), I think about the angles and the story I want to tell every click I take. During the years, however, things have changed. Since the early 2000s, social media engraved its signature onto the public and gave life to unknown photographers. Though the overall process is different from the approach of a real photographer, the motto and vision is still the same. We all want to share those moments.
When I first tried Instagram, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Yes, it is still not like my original approach, but the overall concept was simplistic and astonishing. For every photographer, we go through a process of editing and printing our photos with black rooms and photo techniques. But with Instagram, the concept is different. You are not just able to take photos or videos, but also able to instantaneously share them through a variety of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr. The antiquated sense of mailing photos was gone. This was the future.
Now beyond the innovative approach of instant sharing, Instagram has modified its application to allow millennial photographers to engage in various photo-editing techniques. This first starts off with strategic planning and the question of what photo should I take? Afterwards, users are able to manipulate the photo by changing the frame, lighting, shadowing, symmetry, cropping, filter colors, white balance and more. Through a combination of these features, a person is able to create a photo of lackluster quality and manipulate it into a form of art.
While I am still very much fond of my DSLR camera and believe this is one of the best ways to truly ignite your passion, Instagram has show to be a very viable tool within the field. Having over 300 million users, one has to question who, of the 700 million, will be the next great photographer?