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Instagram – Retro Photos?

by: isev

on: 23rd April, 2012

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The photo app – Instagram has been bought by Facebook for $1bn.

Instagram – along with apps such as Hipstamatic, Camerabag and Picplz – are giving digital photography a certain imagery trend.

The 2012 photography trend seems more 1970’s retro with borders, leaking light and overblown colours not to mention lens flare…

Instagram technology lets you apply a digital filter to your smartphone image and then looks delightfully retro. They only launched in March 2010 and by the end of that year had a million users….Only 15 months later however they had 30 million account holders and a billion pictures on their site’s servers.

Instagram’s innovative use of filters has enabled them to mirror many processes used by photographers to open up a whole world of saturated colours, exaggerated contrasts, multi processed slides in negative chemicals, out of date film to produce soft, gentle colours – the options are endless – using an app that give 11 different filters such as Lomo-fi and Toaster.

The site’s co-founder Kevin Systrom has said: ‘The idea was to make mobile photography fast, beautiful and fun. We learned from experience that taking photos on the phone didn’t lead to the results that we wanted, so we created the filters and tools to achieve a more artistic experience.’ (this is his direct quote – so can’t change this – Jo)

The creators of Instragram may have good reason to thank a man by the name of Michail Panfiloff.  Way back in 1982 Michail Panfiloff, was head of a Cold War-era optical plant in Leningrad which decided to make a ‘copy’ of a basic Japanese ‘point and shoot’ camera and call it the Lomo LC-A.  The Lomo LC-A could be looked on as the ancestral home of Instagrams 21st Century current success and indeed why digital has gone retro – to at least 15 years ago. In fact this trendy new idea has made an icon out of the LC-A and its production has been restarted. The Facebook and Flickr-verse are filled with ‘Lomo’ shots but these are made of bits and bytes instead.

Does this encourage creativity? Probably not… but if you want to turn your everyday photo into something very artistic with the choice one of 11 different filters and the click of a button, why not! No tedious learning curves, mistakes, rolls of film or discarded boring shots. This way we can all be a professional.

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