Saturday, September 22, 2012

Instagram Nirvana!

I was ticked off about a picture that my old friend has uploaded on her facebook page, the moment I logged in this morning. Not having met her in a long time and curious to see what she has uploaded, I went to my FB wall and was simply amazed to see what I saw.

It was a picture of a tree lined lane, a section of Koregaon Park, which she had mentioned. What held me dumbstruck was the dreamy, almost surrealistic colour tone that the picture had. It immediately transported to an era when the digital camera was yet unknown and we photography was for serious enthusiasts. We used to dabble in something called the cross process – wherein you shot on film meant for mounting into slides and then proceeded to have it washed normally as ordinary negatives. The result used to be unpredictable with the primary colours shifting and giving the image stunning, albeit unnatural look.

There is a whole community of photo enthusiasts out there who call themselves the Lomographers, their poison being a back to the basics movement called Lomography , where old fashioned (outdated?) cameras using the 120 format films are being used to create amazing effects, memories, statements and pictures. People who detest the mechanised uniformity of idiot proof digital photography and want to reinstate the fun back into photography. Has she gone Lomo and dumped her digital robots for a leaving, breathing pet to play with?

Then something caught my attention which jolted me back to the present. Uploaded using Instagram it said. Instagram? What on Earth is that? For those of you who have not yet downloaded the Apps, here’s what it is:
According to Wikipedia, Instagram is a free photo-sharing program and social network that was launched in October 2010. The service enables users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it with other Instagram users they are connected to on the social network as well as on a variety of social networking services. Instagram currently has 100 million registered users. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras.
Instagram was initially supported on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; in April 2012, the company added support for Android camera phones running 2.2 (Froyo) or higher. It is distributed via the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
In its largest acquisition deal to date, Facebook made an offer to purchase Instagram (with its 13 employees) for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock in April 2012, with plans to keep it independently managed. The Office of Fair Trading gave the deal the 'green light' on August 14, 2012, and on August 22 2012, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States closed its investigation, allowing the deal to proceed. On September 6, 2012, the deal between Instagram and Facebook officially closed.
I tried the platform and am just going wow, wow, wow! It is enough to make you buy a phone that burn a hole in your pocket. And I can go on and on about the various effects that have been made available and how best to use them to generate applauds from the farthest ends of the net.
Guess what? Insta-enthusiasts have also hooked up and have started this movement called insta-meets. And to cap it all, they have a huge site called “rich kids of insagram” that’s rocking the social networking space. God bless them.     
So what are you waiting for? Down load the app (its free), shoot, transform and post.  

- Chawm Ganguly

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