How to take awesome pictures with InstagramPosted: 04/04/2012
Instagram is great. For those who don’t already know (and Blackberry owners), Instagram is a photo sharing application that lets users take pictures, add filters and share with their friends. Instagram is to pictures what The Edge’s effects pedals are to his guitar playing.
Now it’s finally launched on Android, it’s only a matter of time before Instagram becomes horrendously passé. In the future our kids will ask, ‘but you were the generation that pioneered digital photography! How come granddad’s pictures are better than this grainy toss?’ So make the most of it while you can.
The good news is that it doesn’t take much to become a pro Instagramer – or iPhoneographer as some have dared christen themselves. Here’s how it’s done:
Throw plenty of shit at the wall
Instagram’s all about quantity over quality. It’s like Twitter in that you’re far more likely to get a response provided you saturate your feed with an assortment of the non-events you pursue in your free time. It might be some decorating you’ve done; a muddy bike after a long ride; or the dead prostitute you’ve woken up next to in a cold, blood-smeared room at a Travelodge. The options are endless. Eventually the insipid photography you’ve chosen to represent your dreary life will be ratified via a few likes. You’ve made it! Why not put on an exhibition?
Keep it stock
There are some basics you’ve got to master before anyone will take you seriously in the ruthless world of Instagramography. You can take a picture of any old crap and it’s passable once you’ve layered a filter over the top. Exposed brickwork is always popular. Urban decay is so hot right now. Whatever you had for dinner is a great one. Cats in boxes. The sky! As humans it’s easy to overlook the great firmament that looms over us 24/7, so make sure you take a picture of it doing something slightly different than the thing it did 15 minutes ago. Remember the mantra: Red sky at night, Instagramer’s delight. Red sky at morning? Yeah, fuck it. Take a picture of that as well.
Filter into oblivion
That picture of a nondescript, poorly lit alleyway that tramps defecate down won’t impress anyone. But add a little X-pro II magic to the mix, with a twist of tilt-shift and BAM! You’re now your own self-facilitating Tumblr blog! Have you thought about doing band photography? ‘Cos you’re like, a pro or something! You were always quite artistic, but your parents made you do business studies because art is for wastrels. Watch the likes roll in. You’ve finally been recognised for your vision. Don’t touch me, bro. I’m framing my next Instagram shot.
Add a pretentious title
Once you’ve layered your picture with more filters than the Brita factory, it’s time to label them with painfully overambitious titles. This is your chance to unleash your inner artist. Don’t just call it ‘A Window’. Call it something like ‘A crestfallen portal that looks into the deepest chasm of my empty, empty soul’ or ‘Life is a decaying plastic Ikea chair that’s been discarded in a skip and crapped on by pigeons’. Failing that, title it after any of the books by the philosophers you learnt, and subsequently forgot about at uni. Go deep!
Are you using Instagram? Does the Android launch signal the end? What Instagram staples piss you off? Do tell.