Monday, April 9, 2012

Fun with Instagram

Little Boo enjoys a snack
Over the last few months I've enjoyed seeing other people's Instagram pictures on Facebook and Twitter, so I decided to check it out for myself. Instagram is an application used with mobile phones equipped with camera and internet access, and the application offers a variety of filters to make pictures look more artistic.

Self portrait captured from image on computer screen
Filters may alter the color to simulate a faded vintage photo. Brightness, contrast and saturation can be manipulated in a variety of ways, and the effects include a variety of edge treatments reminiscent of fine art photography. The rough black border in the picture of Boo (at top) is the same effect you would get if you printed a photograph the old fashioned way, with an enlarger and trays of chemicals in a darkroom. That particular effect is from printing full frame with a negative carrier that's been filed out. I did a lot of printing like that back in the day.

My living room, looking very retro like an instamatic photo
Boo, faded portrait with film edges
It was pretty easy and free to get Instagram set up on my iPhone. All I did was go to the app store and download it. Took just a few moments, and I was up and running.

Outside the Japanese Garden, Portland
Ever since I was a photography student, I've enjoyed manipulating photos. While studying at Rhode Island School of Design, I took a class in Antique and alternate processes and discovered a wonderful book called "Breaking the Rules" by Bea Nettles, which led to much experimentation.

Time for a grilled cheese sandwich
That's why Instagram is so much fun for me. I can almost instantly share artistic looking pictures with a sense of age and history, but I don't have to come into contact with any chemicals. No affiliation, just a fun app I enjoy using. To learn more about it, click here.


  1. I love all your photos! But I am especially partial to the ones with Boo. She is a sweetie!

  2. Old fashioned:) It wasn't that long ago! I'm still in shock from how quickly digital took over from silver gelatine photography. I miss the darkness of the darkroom - but not the smell of the chemicals. I love the photo of your cat - very graphic.

  3. Cool! I love Instagram! It's a quick and easy way to show everyday life. And gives us another view of the artist as photographer. I like your pics! RISD I've heard wonderful things about that school. Someday, I want to visit Rhode Island. (I dream about uncovering some awesome bead/stampings/findings stash when I visit. hee hee) There were many jewelry manufacturers in RI back in the day.

  4. I don't know if I miss the darkroom much. Once computers and desktop publishing came to be, digital was inevitable. It took a lot to get a picture ready for publication before electronic media. I had that first Casio point-and-shoot digital camera in the early/mid 90s, and an early version of Aldus Pagemaker, now evolved to Adobe In Design CS. We've come a long way since just the 90s.

    RISD taught me to roll with it, no matter what the tool, whether it's a paintbrush or a camera. So when Photoshop came along, I just started using it. :)

  5. I have a quick question. Would you please email me: