Yesterday we shared a piece by photographer Kenneth Jarecke on why Instagram isn’t fit for photojournalism. Now, from the other side of the aisle, Jeff Bercovici of Forbes writes that Time had great success after hiring five Instagrammers to document Hurricane Sandy:
The resulting collection on Lightbox, Time’s photography blog, was “one of the most popular galleries we’ve ever done,” says [Time DP Kira] Pollack, and it was responsible for 13% of all the site’s traffic during a week when Time.com had its fourth-biggest day ever. Time’s Instagram account attracted 12,000 new followers during a 48-hour period.
One of Benjamin Lowy’s photos even ended up getting selected for the cover, although it’s one of three covers Time is running this week [...] While the level of resolution isn’t perhaps what might be achieved with a camera, says Pollack, “It reproduced beautifully. There’s almost a painterly quality to it.”
Pollack tells FolioMag that the decision to use Instagram was based on distribution speed rather than aesthetics.
Why Time Magazine Used Instagram To Cover Hurricane Sandy [Forbes]
P.S. It seems that by “Instagram photo”, Forbes and Time are referring to the fact that they were shared through, not captured with, Instagram.
Photojournalist Kenneth Jarecke wrote up a thought-provoking piece yesterday titled, “Instagram, the Devil, and You.” He offers his thoughts on the question, “Will ‘Instagram photojournalism’ stand the test of time?”:
As for you Instagramers, twenty years from now you’ll be sorry. You’ll be more sorry than I am when I look back on a picture I made twenty years ago with a 20mm lens when I should have used a 28mm. Years from now, you’ll awake in the middle of the night and suddenly realize putting a fake border on a picture makes the whole picture fake. You’ll understand that the technical choices you made destroyed the longterm credibility of both you and your images.
Instead of having a body of work to look back on, you’ll have a sad little collection of noisy digital files that were disposable when you made them, instantly forgotten by your followers (after they gave you a thumbs up), and now totally worthless. You’ll wish you’d have made those images on a Pentax K1000 and Tri-X (at the very least or most depending on your age and perspective), but the times you failed to record properly will be long gone. But don’t listen to me, listen to all your Insta-friends. They love you.
Instagram, the Devil, and You [Mostly True via The Click]
Image credit: Part of an art project involving tiny pics of my art — using #instagram as one part of the medium. by kimboburly
Photography purists, you might want to look away. For the rest of you: remember that Craiglist listing we shared a couple of months ago posted by a couple looking for Hipstamatic wedding photographers? Among the hoards of enthusiastic Hipstamatic shooters who responded were Keith and Marc, hosts of the iPhoneography podcast TinyShutter. After being chosen for the gig, they drove down to Connecticut from Massachusetts and New Hampshire to capture the wedding with their iPhones.
It’s seems like many photo enthusiasts are hating on Instagram and retro-filtered photos these days, but not photographer Richard Koci Hernandez. He has written a piece for CNN titled “Photographers, embrace Instagram,” in which he explains why he thinks that “Smartphones have ushered in a golden age for photography.”
We live in strange and exciting times in which phone camera photos can be compared side-by-side with top-of-the-line DSLR photos without anyone laughing (too hard). Having just gotten his hands on a shiny new iPhone 5, photographer Dustin Curtis decided to test out its camera’s quality by pitting it against his Canon 5D Mark III (with a 50mm lens fixed at f/2.8).
Apple is on stage right now announcing its new iPhone 5, and has just revealed the details of the smartphone’s camera. It’s pretty much the same camera as the one found inside the iPhone 4S, except they made the whole thing “thinner” (the iPhone 5 is 18% thinner than its predecessor). You’ll find a slightly improved backside-illuminated sensor that shoots the same 8-megapixel photos at 3264×2448 resolution, and the same 5-element lens with a f/2.4 aperture.
Love it or hate it, you have to admit that Instagram is making a huge impact on the world of photography, changing the way images are snapped and shared. Among the 80+ million users who have shared 4+ billion photos are many of the world’s most renowned photojournalists. Olivier Laurent over at the British Journal of Photography recently chatted with some of them, asking them about their thoughts on how Instagram is transforming photography as we know it:
Speaking with these photographers, it quickly becomes apparent that Instagram, more than any other social network in past years, has allowed them to form a deeper connection with the general public. For John Stanmeyer, another VII photographer that uses Instagram, it’s all about “communication, communication, communication,” he tells BJP. “In the decades – let’s hope far less – to come, the entire discussion of whether to use this thing called social media will be a moot – archaic – point of view, no different than it was centuries ago when previous commonly used means of information distribution where invented and debated – ‘Should I write on papyrus leaf or this new fangled material called paper, or a typewriter instead of block-type printing presses, etc.’”
[...] “We are no longer looking at content creation as the only means of income and creative expression,” say Peveto and Slaby. “How content is displayed and distributed are critical in reaching broader audiences, finding more creative ways to engage that audience and in inviting them to participate in the process.” And Instagram, they say, help them achieve these goals. “It helps us connect with our audience organically and offers different options for sharing such as creating parallel narratives with larger projects, sharing behind-the-scenes experiences, opening a dialogue with our audience, and cross-platform geo-tagging and mapping integration.”
The New Economics of Photojournalism: The rise of Instagram [BJP]
Would you shoot a wedding professionally with your iPhone and Hipstamatic? If you want to stay in business, probably not. But what if you were asked to do so, and paid for your work?
If you live near West Hartford, Connecticut, this might be an actual gig you can do. There’s a couple there looking for one or two Hipstamatic photographers to document their wedding in mid-September (don’t worry, they also have a primary non-iPhone photographer).
How’s this for a strange camera accessory: the Paparazzo Light is a lighting attachment for iPhones that mimics the look of vintage press camera flashes (yes, the kind the original Lightsaber was made from). The light comes from a 300 Lumen LED that’s powered by two dedicated CR 123 batteries, and three modes offer different brightness settings for photos and videos.
Over the last year or so, as camera phones and “phoneography” have taken off, many have feared and/or expected the death of the digital camera. In many ways this fear has come to fruition — point-and-shoot cameras are becoming a thing of the past — but for another segment of the market, the advent of the camera phone has benefitted companies and consumers alike. Read more…