Instagram Photo Sharing Application REVIEW

A user profile page
A user profile page

Rediscovering a love of photography.

Launched in 2010 and now with nearly 8 million users and counting, Instagram is an application whose popularity will continue to grow exponentially using the very unique concept of sharing photographs across the globe.

In describing this iPhone application the iTunes store states:

Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends through a series of photos.

Instagram is part iPhone application and part social network. Users take photos on their iPhone (some users transfer photos taken on other cameras over to their iPhone) and share them with other Instagram users or send them to social networks like Facebook, Twitter or even email them. This application allows you to follow other instagram users and in doing this, opening the world of images and social networking on a virtually limitless and global scale. It is easy to navigte this network and find users from far corners of the globe.

Part of the fun of Instagram is that it offers filters that can change the appearance of your photo, sometimes giving it a vintage 1970’s look or other times brightening up a photo. Some filters include XPro-II, Earlybird, Rise, Amaro, Hudson, Lomo-fi, Sutro, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Nashville, 1977

Gramercy Park NYC photo taken with the iPhone 4 - click thumbnails to see filter effects

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Beginnings

Instagram creator Kevin Systrom, wanted to combine the instant joy that he remembered a Polaroid photograph bringing him in his childhood days with ease and benefits of modern technology. The effect is both modern and nostalgic. Systrom explains

It started off as a mobile check-in app that let you post pictures and videos. People ended up liking the photo posting more than the checking in, so we built in camera functionalities and made the focus photos, not check-ins... It’s a way of expressing your life as it happens.

Systrom became intrigued and challenged to create varying filters that give photos an added dimension or changes the tone of the photo. Some out of focus photos or otherwise deleted shots can gain a second life as a result of these filters.

Brownie No.2  The first Brownie was introduced in February, 1900 and cost $1.
Brownie No.2 The first Brownie was introduced in February, 1900 and cost $1. | Source

It is amazing to think of the rapid advancement in photography in little over a century. In 1900 Eastman Kodak first introduced The Brownie a simple and inexpensive camera which introduced the concept of the snapshot with huge advancements ever since. Ironically, the Eastman Kodak Corporation has had to file for bankruptcy because although they invented digital photography they failed to capitalize on it, leaving the concept open for competitors to gain ground, thus in the end losing their edge in the photography market.

Pentax K1000 a manual camera that forces you to learn the mechanics of photography
Pentax K1000 a manual camera that forces you to learn the mechanics of photography | Source

My Story

I have always loved phtography and was designated the family photographer even as a child. I went on to study photography in college and was required to use a manual Pentax K1000 camera with the goal of understanding how a camera works. The idea being that by understanding a camera’s controls you will take better photos. At the time I had considered becoming a professional photographer but my professor’s advice to me was this: “Even if you love photography, don’t count on it for paying the bills, focus on a more reliable career direction and keep photography as a hobby ’with possibilities’.” After doing some work in photography after college I went on to pursue other avenues in my life and left my Pentax Camera on a shelf collecting dust. Most recently my photography has taken an upswing with needing photographs to compliment my articles on HubPages and this has been fun but since discovering Instagram everything has changed and the world has practically turned upside down.

My passion for the art of photography has been revived thanks to Instagram. I would equate using this iPhone application to being passionate about a hobby, having friends that share this passion with you where they are magically there at all times. If you are any kind of photography lover you might have to pinch yourself a few times and realize that this is not a dream. In an instant I can see an image that I know would make a fabulous photo, point, shoot, filter and share it with the world. Then, a moment later you can view the photos of any other instagram user.

Instagram Users - One Size Fits All

Each user has their own style; many are professional photographers or graphic designers while others are just Moms snapping candid shots of their adorable little ones. I have even begun following Jamie Oliver, the famous chef as he shares photos of his life and kids. There is a feeling of freedom and an explosion of expression here that I have never felt before. There is one popular instagram user that claims that she never took a photo before she got the iPhone and the app but she seems to have an amazing eye for capturing great images.

The process of shooting the photo and sharing it is so quickly that even during my busy days I manage to find a second or two to be part of what I consider my go anywhere photo club.

I must warn you that there is a possible addiction factor with this app!

When I think of all the photos that people have taken throughout the history of photography and how so many of them are stored in a box or saved on a hard drive, and then compare it to instagram where your photos come to life by sharing and feeling a human connection between users, it is like nothing I have ever felt.

Photography has a whole new dimension and I am enraptured by it.

Features

Instagram is free and its features include:

100% free custom designed filters and borders such as XPro-II, Earlybird, Rise, Amaro, Hudson, Lomo-fi, Sutro, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Nashville, 1977, and others.

☆ Linear and Radial Tilt-Shift blur effects for extra depth of field.

☆ Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Posterous

☆ Unlimited uploads

☆ Interact with friends through giving & receiving likes and comments

☆ Works with first generation, 3G, 3GS and iPhone 4

☆ Full iPhone 4 front & back camera support

☆To download the free app visit the iTunes store from you iPhone and search on “instagram”

To Enhance you Instagram Experience you can:

  • Download the photo editing application Befunky to your iPhone to gain even more filters and more powerfully edit photos before sharing them on Instagram.
  • Access some Instagram features like viewing and commenting from your PC by visiting ink361.com
  • Populagram.com is a service that allows you to view popular photos from Instagram on your PC.
  • Check out instagramers.com, this site offers tips ranging from how to get started on Instagram to how to add hashtags and set up instant meets.

Source

Celebrity Instagram Users


  • Jamie Oliver


  • Selena Gomez


  • Justin Bieber


  • Chris O’Donnell


  • Rosie O’Donnell


  • Even President Barack Obama has begun using Instagram

Will you be downloading the Instagram Application?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
  • I already have!
See results without voting

© Copyright 2011 Tracy Lynn Conway with all rights reserved.

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Comments 11 comments

kgala0405 profile image

kgala0405 4 years ago from Michigan

Nice Hub. My friends are always posting Instagram photos on Facebook. Some of them turn out really cool! I have Android phone so I can't use it. Have you heard anything about the app becoming available for Android phones?


gregoriom profile image

gregoriom 4 years ago from East Elmhurst, NY

I didn't expect Instagram was going to be so addictive. My friend told me about it and I downloaded the application. I just love the easy way you can change the appearance of your photos by browsing the different themes they have. the result is just a beautiful pic. There is also another application related to Instagram which is called tweegram. On this application you can type anything you want and make it look pretty by choosing one of the theme they have and we can share it on twitter and facebook.

Even Obama has Instagram!!!??? Cool=D


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This looks like a fun photography program Tracy. I hope this helps users who want more information.


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Kgala0405, I know what you mean about feeling left out, I remember seeing Instagram postings on facebook before I had an iPhone and they always looked artistic and beautiful. Instagram does not have plans at this time to make the app available for android phones so unfortunately you will have to continue to enjoy the app from the sidelines. Thank you for the great comment!

Gregoriom, I agree about the addiction factor, but I will argue that it is a good addiction and I don't find myself spending huge amounts of time on it but rather just a few minutes here and there. I don't think it will take over your life. I will have to take a look at tweegram, it sounds great! Yes, even Obama is on Instagram. Thank you for the great comment!

ChristyWrites, It is really fun, thank you!

Tracy


MosLadder profile image

MosLadder 4 years ago from Irvine, CA

You rock! Great hub, and I definitely have a better understanding of Instagram now (I grew up old school, Polaroids and Leicas in my case,) I have been resisting, but it may be time to make the switch to an Iphone. Voted up!

Cheers!

Chris


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

Nice hub..that's why my friends are sooo crazy with instagram, they love posting it on fb.


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

MosLadder,

Yes, resisting can seem right, there needs to be some catalyst for change. I held out for a while before switching to digital and now 35m film seems prehistoric to me. If you get an Iphone or an Android (Instagram is now available on android phones) you might not look back. Either way thank you for your great comment and votes.

Cheers back to you!

Tracy


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Unkown Spy,

Instagram IS an App to fall in love with. Thank you!

Tracy


kelleyward 4 years ago

I have Instagram but haven't tried using it yet. Thanks to this read I'm motivated! Voted up and shared! Kelley


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Never knew about instagram, thanks for sharing.


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Kelleyward,

I think you will really like what you find with this application, the filters alone make it worth looking at. Thank you for the votes and for sharing as well.

Best, Tracy

Vellur,

With so many applications it is no wonder that you haven't heard of Instagram. I hope you found this information useful.

Best, Tracy

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