Thing 4: Instagram: Replacing art majors since 2010

I think I am not alone when I say that Instagram has single handedly ruined the word “Sepia” for my generation.

Once held in high regard among the artistic community, “Sepia” has now become the new Helvetica. Everyone uses it to be different, yet the irony eludes them as soon as they publish their next “original” work. It is an epidemic that is not only sweeping the nation, but it is also killing pockets of humanity in it’s wake. We must stop this nonsense before it reaches the shores of sanity.

I am a fan of vintage.

I own a record player.

I like Cole Porter, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, and Sam Cooke.

I don’t use Instagram.

We are in a world now where High Definition is everywhere. Everyone’s camera phone is capable of high definition video and pictures.

Told You So

We are in a world that has the latest technology that will capture life’s best moments in the blink of an eye. Cameras that sell for $80 are better than cameras from 3 years ago that sold for 5 times as much. So why do we continue to put up with things like Instagram. Shouldn’t we be taking pictures that catch life in the exact moment that we saw them? Isn’t that the point of a picture?

Nowadays I see so many people using this new mobile application to forever alter the photo that they are taking. What once was modern and beautiful, has now been raped and tortured by a data filter.

Why do we put up with this?

I have to admit, in moderation, the Instagram content could be interesting and artsy. The only problem is that people are abusive of new things. We have used Instagram to make pictures of the ordinary look extraordinary. And by extradordinary, I clearly mean that we are making our pictures an abortion of their former selves. I can picture tons of people looking at their regular photos and being unsatisfied, simply looking for that one thing that will make them the next Henri Cartier-Bresson or Steve McCurry. The only problem is that America is lazy and we find one thing that will make us seem like we are doing more than we actually are. This is where Instagram comes into play. It is the single, easiest way for someone to claim that they are artsy. It is the preferred app for hippies and unoriginal photographers of the 21st century and I am sick of it.

Why are the people that abuse Instagram not being called out? There is a simple, yet increasingly large difference between artistic vision and the use of Instagram. We are in a stage where everyone who uses Instagram truly thinks that every picture they take can be made better by increasing the amount of purple, yellow, and brown.

When did 1973 come back?

Honestly, I could care less about your breakfast this morning. I know what Special K looks like and it isn’t what you posted on your Facebook wall.

Why can’t we all just embrace the beautiful quality that HD cameras have afforded us? Have we really become that bored with what is around us?

What we have encountered is an age where art has become stale. We need a new Jackson Pollack or Pablo Picasso. All of these wannabe artists are saturating the digital world while real artistic talent is being thrown aside.

Let me clarify though, there is a place for Instagram in this world (About $1 billion worth). It just needs to be used in moderation. I want to make it clear that I am not an artist and will never claim to be. Everyone who plays Draw Something with me can vouch for that. I am standing up for artistic integrity.

Art is not easy. You must train for a long time in order to blossom into a true, professional artist. Isntagram will not do that. It only will give people that assumption that they are now something that they are not. Just because you add a filter to your iPhone (and recently Android) does not make you an artist. It makes you the opposite of an artist. We are past the time when true art is looked at as precious. Photographers work has been watered down by hipster people that assume that vintage is cool.

Vintage can be cool. As I stated before, I love vintage. I wish I could live my life in a smoky jazz lounge while some beautiful woman in a skin tight red dress sings “Fever” until the room becomes hypnotized by her seductive voice. Knowing that, I have never once looked at an Instagram picture and said, “Yeah, that’s what I want my life to be.”

Again, I hate to harp on this point, but it needs to be said. Instagram users need to chill out with the pictures. It is okay to post an “artsy” photo every once in awhile, but I really could care less about how your dog would have looked if his fur was washed out and your lawn was an unnatural, hybrid shade of green-brown-yellow-purple. Your coffee isn’t more awesome if you show the world how it would have looked if it were taken with a polaroid in 1984.

The worst part of all this is that we are making things that are beautiful into things that have been damaged beyond repair. You look back at those times that have been and think, man I wish I could see what they hell is going on in this picture. What happened to pictures being washed out because they are just plain old? In 20 years, are you going to look back at your pictures and say, “Man, those were the days” or will you simply say, “Man, I wish I had better pictures?”

Go look through your old pictures now. Part of the fact that they are old make them what they are. They bring back memories that had long been forgotten. That picture of your family at the Grand Canyon from 20 years ago. That random picture that you took at Disneyworld before Pixar took over and everything you watched was hand drawn. These are a thing of the past. by making pictures look old right off the bat, we are ruining the effect. Pictures look washed out when they get old, not when they are brand new.

We are killing memories right now. Memories that will be looked back on with shame. Im sure you think it is all cool now, but once you get older you will want to recall a moment and because of Instagram, you won’t have that same feel. The feel of warmth in your body, seeing a family that you have long since forgotten or a place that used to your favorite vacation destination.

Not only are we ruining the integrity of artists and photographers of our time, we are stifling creativity. I would rather have people pirating photoshop and being original before using Instagram.

You are not original.

You are not special and neither are your pictures.

Take off the camera filter and take good, HD quality pictures before it is too late. You only have one chance to capture original moments. That original, digital copy can be manipulated one hundred times in the future. Why dismiss the beauty and realism of High Definition photography right off the bat? Make sure you save a good copy before you go screw it up with programs like Instagram.

Having that app doesn’t make you an art student or professional photographer. It makes you annoying and unoriginal.

I am afraid that the new aquisition of Instagram by Facebook will make it easier for people to completely ruin beautiful photography for years to come. And we have one person to thank:

The Harbinger of Death to all photography