The Instagram Debate…

Should I say or should I go?

I keep toying with this article, and I am not quite sure if it is completely finished or not. The internet is littered with pro and negative articles on Instagram at the moment. Anyway, here are a few of my thoughts. The images I have added are completely unrelated and come from a recent shoot in Phuket. Enjoy, feel free to comment…

A heated discussion?

Instagram is being re-branded and will now be known as ‘Instagram from Facebook’. As Instagram is already owned by Facebook, I see little changing with the platform. By now, most photographers will have realised that the stakes have changed when making a post, and the visibility of each image is determined by an ever-changing algorithm. Chasing likes, fake profiles and influencers are all bringing the topic of Instagram to the boiling point. The question is, should you remain with IG, or look for something new?

Bar Stool with a View

It is all about the adverts.

Silicon Valley is portrayed as an industry run by geeks in jeans, who want to make the world a better place. In reality, the internet is run by large corporations with the mindset of a tobacco merchant. The internet can be harmful and addictive, affecting sleep, relationships and self-perception. However, it is a great tool for advertising. The longer you are on Instagram, the more money the corporation makes. It is clearly in Instagram’s interest to increase its addictive qualities.

Your Time = Their Profits!

The Pros and Cons

I arrived late to Instagram, and my following is embarrassingly small. It takes a lot of effort to keep up with trending hashtags and to maintain a fresh and innovative feed. With the use of hashtags, groups such as National Geographic pick the best images to ‘feature’, if your photo is chosen by one of the popular pages, you can expect thousands of likes. Yet most of the time, it is these popular feeds you will be competing with. How do your photos stack up against a collection of images curated daily by a professional editor?

While It is hard to stand out on Instagram, it is high-quality feeds that make the platform worth viewing. As photographers, we can improve our own work, by viewing the best photos captured by other people. At the moment, Instagram remains one of the best places to do this.

Not everyone likes Instagram, but we all love Street Food

A Solution?

There is a way fight against the addictive qualities of Instagram. I have recently deleted a host of social media applications from my phone. This has restricted the time I can spend on each platform, as I can only log on when I am at home on my desktop.

5am/ Patong

Secondly, I try to curate my feed. There is an incentive to follow thousands of people, in the hope that some of these will follow you back. However, it is impossible to actively engage with such a large community, and with a busy feed you often miss seeing the photos you are interested in. A well-curated feed consistently provides high-quality images, and takes a short amount of time to review. A smaller feed also provides greater opportunities for meaningful interaction, which is something that the algorithm (apparently) favours.

Conclusion…

Instagram has its faults, but it is still the premier tool for connecting photographers. I am a remainer (but only just).

Take Care and Keep Clicking, Chris

10 Travel Photography Annoyances

Stunning locations, exotic food and beautiful people. What is there not to like about Travel Photography? Here are ten annoying things that face travel photographers. As always, please don’t take it too seriously! The photos accompanying this article come from a recent evenings photo shoot in Patong, Thailand.

Beer O’Clock
Read More

Children’s Stories Exhibition

An exhibition in Moscow is currently featuring two of my Street Photographs. The body of work being displayed focuses on the theme of, ‘children’. This exhibition has been curated by the Moscow Encyclopaedia Foundation and the Regional Public Organization of Assistance cultural and historical heritage of Moscow “Moscow and Muscovites.”

Quite a mouthful!

Read More

Photos with Friends!

A Morning Shoot with Angelo Gifford

Borough Market

A short post today as I am now on holiday, currently located in Devizes, near Bath. If you are near the area and fancy a shoot let me know. Last week I arrived in London and had a chance to take a photography walk with my friend Angelo Gifford, who is a co-owner of Mewe’s Street Photography Community (SPC). Angelo often captures photos of the street just South of the Thames, and is an expert on the how light bounces around the area and the locations that can be found.

Slow Shutter Speed

Seeing with New Eyes

If there has to be a point to this blog, then it would be to encourage more people to explore an area with someone else. We each only have one pair of eyes, and can get into habits which crush creativity. It is also nice to have someone to talk to. Lastly, if you are in a new area, it is certain that a local photographer will have some insider information on the location, including the interesting spots and how light works at different times of the day.

Where Next?

Next month I will be heading to Glasgow, on some unrelated-to-photography engagements. However, I would love to meet up with someone for a shoot if you can get to the town centre. Towards the end of the month I will be in Thailand, shooting street with a distinctly ‘beach’ theme. Locations will include Phuket and Pattaya.

That is all for today folks, so find a friend and keep clicking!

Chris

MEWE – why not join the SPC Mewe Community? Come on in, you are all invited (and the water is warm).

www.mewe.com/join/street_photographers

Mumbai, Day 2

Yesterday was a long day of exploring. After the a mid-day nap I headed out to Chor Bazaar, the interpretation being ‘thieves market’. The taxi driver dropped me off, pointed straight ahead and let me walk the rest of the way. Obviously I became instantly lost and took the next hour and a half finding the location. However, as is often the case, my best photos came from the area surrounding the location I was planning to shoot.

Read More

Pictures of a Wall

Catchy title I know, this is a blog post deemed to never go viral. Recently, I have not had enough time to do half of what I plan for. Arguably, head butting a metal door and spending Friday afternoon in A&E has not helped, an accident that ruled out weekend shooting. However, I have been walking to work, a journey that takes me past a rather interesting wall.

Go Slow. Sounds like good advice!

This technique is often called, ‘making something out of nothing‘. It can be amazing how the mundane can be transformed if looked at a certain way. These photos would also fall under the subject of minimalism (or still life for that matter). Capturing these kind of images is an affective way to practice framing, as the subjects remain motionless. The strong geometric lines would look good in black and white. However, I think the contrasting reds and yellows make a striking contrast.

This style of shooting opens locations you can go back to time and again. The same areas will look different depending on the time of day and the position of the sun. On a personal note, I can see this theme growing into something of a long-term project. Now there is an idea!

Take care and keep clicking! Chris

Five Tips for Planning a Photo Getaway.

This month I will be heading to Mumbai for a weekend of photography. Mumbai has been shot to death by photographers far greater than me, but I am hoping that I will be able to capture something new and unique. Here are some of the things I put on my check list when planning for Travel Photography.

Holy-Bull Walker

The photos for this article are part of a book project I am working on, with the working title ‘The Bangalorean’. You can hunt for more photos taken while shooting for this exciting project on Instagram, #bangalorean and #bookaboutbangalore.

Read More
%d bloggers like this: