Laurie, whom some of our nerdier readers will recognize more readily under the name Seldo, posts a really great screed at her place about Instagram, the iPhone photo toy of the moment, and why she hates it. And she makes some great points!
The biggest point that many overlook is that digital photo resolution in almost every consumer camera is just now getting to the bottom resolution that a film camera can produce (approximately 12-20 megapixels per image), and that means we’ve been accepting crappy images for years now. This is much true of almost every digital medium—resolutions have been suffering across the board, and we have been living in a world of lowered expectations for at least a decade now. When I was but a wee designerlet in the mid-1990’s, it was pretty common to be working on image files of about 30MB, delivered as TIFF files, for an 5”x7” image. JPEGs were considered a badly-compressed, destructive joke. Now? Almost every photo agency offers JPEG files as a standard file type. Notably, however, we all know how to compress them so it’s not as visible as it was way back when.
Anyway, Instagram. The point of the program is twofold: to create fake Polaroid images from your little 5 megapixel iPhoto camera, then destroy the original by default, then upload the entire thing into a social website. Because we don’t have enough of those these days.
Take a look at Laurie’s article. She makes a pretty decent argument at why you need to take better care of your photography.