It seems these days that any rubbishy photo can be salvaged in an Instagram. With the escalating epidemic of smart phones finding their way to every man’s hip pocket — costlier and more addictive than a flask of the good stuff — so is the use of vintage-inspired photo filters.
Don’t get me wrong, these apps are fun. I certainly use them, albeit with an inward grimace at times, to record moments in life. I shoot my little artsy photos and treat them with all that blown-out, washed-out, crackled goodness — and post them on my blog every once in a while.
Those software developing geniuses out there sure know that making something look old or worn or faded makes it cute and nostalgic. Vintage is a winner. That’s not really my issue.
Since when did it turn us all into hopeless romantics wanting to turn everyday life into a piece of yesteryear? And since when did it turn professional photographers into filter-obsessed happy snappers? I think it’s wonderful that we have cameras in our pockets everywhere we go. I just don’t think that cross-processing everything you see down the street is necessarily going to make the grade. So to speak.
We can only appreciate photos now that look as if our parents took them forty years ago. I’ll be honest: I’m getting slightly disturbed at people taking fairly ordinary shots on their phones, cutting half the image out to allow a vintage-style border creep in and then sending it out to the masses with the simple tap of a screen.
Far be it for me to doubt a photographer’s ability to use a simple phone and make beautiful photography; it can be done incredibly well. But are we now only adoring an era of photography instead of good photography?
Our mind’s eye is getting tricked into thinking something only looks good if a filter adds scratches, borders and colour burns. I won’t argue that it’s not fun. Let’s just not make it a habit.
End of rant.
Comment from a follower after reading this:
"Vintage is not a winner. It’s a trend that stems from people not having faith in creating something original (way too harsh, I’m kidding).
I love that instagram will end the careers of many shitty hipster photgraphers whose only ‘differentiator’ is - ‘I shot it on a shitty camera’ and don’t think about the shot itself.”