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android app of the month

Android App of the Month: Instagram

Unless you have been living in a cave, you know that Instagram is a photo sharing social media service (sms) recently acquired by Facebook for $1 billion.  Who knew that photos of people’s lunches could be so valuable!  And that is sort of the knock against Instagram (we’ve heard the same thing about every sms that has gotten big) that no one cares about the minutiae of your life.

Instagram’s big innovation was creating a dozen pre-defined filters that allow the Instagrammer to editorialize their photo.  By controlling, enhancing or downplaying colors and using the filters to manipulate the lighting you can change the focus of the photo.  Is it the sunlight on the building, were you focused on something in the foreground or background, did a color catch your eye, is there an amazing amount of pepper on the pastrami?  In short, the filters really give you a chance to emphasize why you took the picture.

Of course there are a few lunch pictures in my 500 Instagram photos.  But am I thinking of an audience when I take a picture, Meredith Fineman seems to think so – here is her $0.02 on the matter http://www.fastcompany.com/3013197/unplug/how-instagram-almost-ruined-my-life?partner=newsletter

I have taken a few pictures to get a like from a particular follower, but that isn’t why I am on Instagram.  For me Instagram is like creating postcards of all of my adventures.  Of course I am glad if people like my photos, but that isn’t why I am going to all the trouble of going to a museum.

Instagram became available for android right about the time we moved from St. Louis to Dallas.  Most of my searches have been for places I love the most in St. Louis.  I see places that I know and sometimes I can even SEE the weather, like it looks chilly (how can that be when it is 90 in Dallas).

Although any St. Louisan would argue that the wider world isn’t really necessary (especially anything outside of 270), the world is on Instagram too.  Of the 150 million active users, 60% are outside the United States.  There are Emirates Airlines flight crews who routinely have 24 hour swanky layovers in all corners of the world.  There are even photos from North Korea (seriously follow: drewkelly dguttenfelder).  There are little corners of that make the world feel like home and there are others that seem impossibly exotic.

I understand where Meredith Fineman is coming from, but my experience is that social media has never been about minutiae.  Meredith, spend more time searching for your favorite places and places that have always captured your imagination – take the scenic route!  As you see the wider world, you might be inspired to get off the couch and go to that gallery or go to a polo match or step outside your comfort zone in some way.  Even if stepping outside your comfort zone doesn’t live up to your hopes, you can be sure to get some good Instagram shots out of it, and if you are really lucky you can even geotag the photos.

I admit that my North Texas Instagram feed is still a little paltry, I would love it if you would tweet me your recommendations of people to follow on Instagram.  Here are some of my favorites.

India:  goa, danielberehulak, gabielfigliodellimperfetto,

Street photography: algrega sushidetortilla denisphotographie kypexin ttapioka prinny thb1970

STL cherokeestreet dilipv stlgasm matthewvhuff michaelcalhoun zianzami

Russia: osipova_alina, iridescent

Journalists arishapiro, byrontau anncurry

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