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Deuce Cities Henhouse

Are we weird?

Finn & Elsa Porch Love
The Instagram craze is officially here and we’re on board that train. But it all does strike me as kinda weird. I love Instagram photos, but why do I love them? Is it for the digital recreation of an analog nostalgia? Why do I prefer these photos to just regular photos from my phone? Does anyone ever wonder if our kids are going to think we are weird for taking photos of them in the style our parents took photos of us? For intentionally choosing to add filters to make them look like they were taken 40 years ago? Will it have any meaning to them or will they just wonder why we were taking overly saturated photos with borders that look like film strips?

Finn & Elsa Park Love
As someone who has gone through 4 years of art school to get a degree in the “fine art of taking a photograph” with film and spending hours upon hours mastering the skills needed to print with chemistry, I’m struck by how accessible digital photography now is, and specifically automated digital photography such as Instagram or Hipstamtic photographs. I now have the option to tilt or shift the focus plane of my image with the swipe of my fingertips.

I graduated 7 years ago and I received two awesome but different graduation gifts, a 4×5 Toyo field camera and my first digital point-and-shoot; a crazy foreshadowing into the future maybe? I once blogged about using Photoshop actions to create nostalgic prints and was impressed by the technology then, never imagining that even that would be automated by an iPhone app two years later.

I love that ANYONE can feel comfortable picking up a phone or camera to take a photo. I never thought that taking “cool photos” would be this easy. But it does seem strange that even the most clueless photographer can make beautiful photos now and with, of all things, a cellular telephone. I think there is a high probability that our kids will think it is weird that we took photographs of them in this vintage style. It’s akin to those old western photos that our folks would drag us to have done at the state fair.

I don’t really know where I am going with all of this, it’s just been something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and I wonder what other people might think about it too, or even if they are thinking about it at all. Let me know if you have thoughts or opinions on this crazy craze.

in Photography

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2 comments… add one
  • Sarah July 7, 2011

    We took a family vacation over the long weekend and I was just thinking (in the midst of reviewing, like, the millionth shot of my kid eating ice cream) that even though it's great that digital cameras make crisp, sharp family photos (and lots of them!) so accessible, something is lost that way as well. When I look at photos from my own childhood I'm often struck by the way a photo might be out of focus, or someone might have their eyes closed, or something is just “off” about it that would get it instantly deleted from the digital, and yet there is something compelling about the image, some mystery about it. It almost makes me want to make an album of “outtakes.” That's a little weird, yeah?

  • Colzoz July 7, 2011

    I would agree that there is something magical about those 'outtakes'. We spend a lot of time looking for that perfect composition, lighting, or pose that will make us look a bit thinner than we actually are. Sometimes even when we are not taking a photo but simply roaming around in our everyday lives. These outtakes bring back an honesty that we sometimes loose when we are chasing that 'perfect' image. Now that we live in an age where we could be so quick to erase these moments makes them all the more special.

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