“Instagram has perfected the single unit / social object / photo experience.”

imagistapp, commenting On (New) Ways of Photographing and Consuming.

[citation needed]

Seriously. Instagram’s image presentation is so devoid of context that it’s laughable. There’s barely any attention paid to location, and none to time (the existence of the latergram tag indicates how poorly that’s handled). Speaking of tags, the presentation of those is also laughable.

I mean, I think I know what (Joshua?) is getting at here, but I really really don’t agree, for all that I accept that Instagram’s capture and upload seems to have set a standard for getting images posted.

Response: On the contrary, I think Instagram has done a great job of making it easy to share photos, but I don’t think the single filtered image is the pinnacle of how we communicate or share. I do think images inherently have value over words or videos for documenting/communication, because we get the point of what the sharer is doing the fastest.. but yeah, I’m still enthused about context as much as ever as a way to parse the fully story behind the images instead of just treating them as ‘ooh, shiny objects for me to cram my brains with then throw away?’ — although, that use case isn’t bad either.. I like cramming my brain with shiny objects of amusement.

The problem with context (titles, comments, tags) and metadata (a la Flickr) is that they’re such a pain to add and most people don’t care about it or don’t like to work for it.. it’s a design challenge more than anything.

But having an Instagram account is like having an abundance of money in a dead currency. So much nostalgia and meaning have been shoveled at us that the aesthetic has lost much of its ability to affect. Merely making your photos evocative of photo scarcity doesn’t make them actually scarce or make others covet them. There’s a deep mismatch between the aesthetic language of Instagram and the affordances of the network. Despite all the manufactured nostalgia, your photo disappears down the stream, largely unnoticed.

Pics and It Didn’t Happen – The New Inquiry (via thisistheverge)

Sidenote: Seems like the permanence of images (Flickr) vs (Instagram) the impermanence of images (Snapchat) is on a lot of people’s minds today. It’s a huge divide and proponents are both sides are drawing lines in the sand.  

I’m having a hard time switching between my ‘nice’ camera vs my phone, going back into my camera roll for images I took months ago - images that deserve some reflection, between keeping around ‘ugly’ images that I had taken just in the moment (receipts, dimly lit bar funnies, ugly food shots, jokes) and nice shots when I travel or am on photowalks, between synching everything into Dropbox, Drive, or Facebook vs keeping images on my hard drive, between storing the increasing visual detritus that I accumulate and have little use other than links on Twitter or Tumblr —  the floaty world between communication, documenting, curating and self-expression… I’m not even going to get into how I want to edit my past; services like Timehop only increases the feeling that I not only have to maintain my current digital image, but also now I need to get a handle on my past.

I’m having a hard time. Anyone who thinks photosharing is solved is nuts. We’re just getting started - because The Image is still the single best medium to get meaning - whether it’s narratives or moments or reactions or commentary - across in the digital world, it means that we’ll continue to generate more images: the problem is how to make sense of it all.

Some recent writings I’ve noticed:

They’re just like us

From today’s health care reform bill signing event and a throwaway line:

The White House took on a festive air for the occasion, as senators mingled in the grand foyer of the Executive Mansion before the signing ceremony… As they filtered into the East Room, many lawmakers took out cameras to photograph one another and record the moment.

I wonder what happens in a world if those photos, from lawmakers and insiders and persons of power, are shared?