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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ambient Intimacy via Instagram Mobile Photo Sharing

Chris Brogan just wrote a post about the iPhone photo capture and sharing software, Instagram.

In his post he asks, "Does Instagram Make You A Better Photographer?"

I think Instagram does much more than than. Instagram makes me a better connected friend.

Here's what Brogan asks in his post:
Do you share your photos on social sites? Does it change how you curate what you post? Does it change what you consider a “good” shot?
Social Sites
Obviously I share my photos on social sites. Each site is different.

My main photo sharing site used to be flickr. I'd be able to post photos there and then see comments from friends and also see their photos. Flickr has changed. In fact, flickr has not changed to keep up with mobile. Lately, when I go to flickr and look at my friend's photos, all I see are Instagram photos cross-posted to flickr.

Flickr: Search your photostream | Instagram

Flickr is now more of a storage locker for photos and no longer a vibrant community of people.

Instagram is Immediate
On a recent trip to Paris, I saw lots of people around me taking photos. I wondered, "What's going to happen to those photos?" "Will they be shared?"

On this trip I decided to use my iPhone as my main camera. This allowed me to immediately share my photos via Instagram.

I also received immediate feedback from friends.

This is the powerful feature of Instagram. It's instant.

Inkstagram - Photo - Notre Dame

After taking and sharing the photo, I can check back and see how many 'Likes' it gets. I can see comments too. It's like having my friends along with me. I might even get suggestions on where to go based on the photos.

What I Post
Knowing that my friends are watching, I like to share what I'm eating and drinking. Many times it's beer.

Inkstagram - Photo - Au P'tit Boulevard

If I wasn't sharing my photos to social media sites, I don't know if I'd be taking so many of these photos. My Instagram friend feed has lots of photos of food and drink.

That's where Ambient Intimacy comes in. Leisa Reichelt describes Ambient Intimacy this way:
Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight.

Who cares? Who wants this level of detail? Isn’t this all just annoying noise? There are certainly many people who think this, but they tend to be not so noisy themselves. It seems to me that there are lots of people for who being social is very much a ‘real life’ activity and technology is about getting stuff done.

There are a lot of us, though, who find great value in this ongoing noise. It helps us get to know people who would otherwise be just acquaintances. It makes us feel closer to people we care for but in whose lives we’re not able to participate as closely as we’d like.
Ambient Intimacy is real.

Good Shots
Instagram makes me feel a little bit like I did when MacWrite first came out. People went crazy with font choices.

Instagram makes it easy to use features like filters an tilt-shift. Prior to this, you'd have to bring your photo into Photoshop, or some other photo editing software, to adjust it.

The combination of iPhone and Instagram makes it easy.

I keep these features in mind when framing shots. Especially tilt-shift. I might be overdoing it but it's FUN.

Inkstagram - Photo - British Museum People

Social photo sharing via mobile devices has changed photography.

Instant sharing and feedback has made photography a shared experience between friends
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