I am totally addicted to Instagram right now.
I have always loved photography. I’m not a great artist (drawing, painting, sculpting) but I think I have “a good eye for it,” as they say, and photography is the medium through which I’ve been most able to express that.
Which is not to say that I am a photographer. I’m a hobbyist, an amateur at best. I don’t have professional aspirations (or even delusions, haha). I simply do it for fun. For beauty. For memory.
(I make that disclaimer in part because I sympathize with the pros who must endure every doofus with a camera phone thinking, “This is easy! I can take a good picture. I’m a photographer!” Trust me, writers feel that same pain.)
Thoughts on photo-processing (and personality)
Personally I’ve always leaned toward “less is more” when it comes to adjusting or enhancing photos. I like to boost contrast a tad, and de-yellow-ify indoor shots, but otherwise I tend to leave things alone. So I actually wasn’t a big fan of Instagram at first, because it forces square crops and promotes filters. As Andy once put it, “Why do all these photos look like they were taken in the 60’s?”
It’s a fair question, and occasionally I wonder if our generation will regret not having any “normal” photos of this period of our lives. But obviously I’ve changed my mind enough to get hooked, so… yeah.
(Also, I realized portrait and landscape crops are a bit arbitrary, aren’t they?)
In truth, I still stick fairly close-in to my original photos, using Instagram to tweak contrast or color balance, but mostly trying to make a better (truer?) version of the real thing.
(This probably comes as no surprise to my mother, who often remarks that I am not wild enough.)
Meanwhile, there are some really creative folks out there. Folks who use HDR, superimpose multiple images, etc. People like my friend Stephanie, who can bring so much imagination to the image. Who can create a different story than the one originally captured.
(Steph lives, breathes, and writes the fantasy genre. This is a surprise to no one.)
If you’d like to be friends, let’s! instagram.com/kristanhoffman
And if you don’t have Instagram, no sweat. You’ll see plenty of my stuff in the “[Month] in photos” posts anyway.
Here are just a few of the great Instagrammers I’ve discovered so far. Click through to see more of each person’s amazing work.
Even as a hobbyist, there’s a great joy in being inspired and pushed to do better work. These folks give me that.