Friday 30 March 2012

Why are we making photographs nostalgic before they have even had the time to become nostalgic?

Instagram and other similar applications are getting on my tits a bit now. A photograph by its very nature is something of the past. As soon as the photograph is taken it is a history, so what i don't understand is why so many people will add filters to photographs in an attempt to make them look like something from yester-year. The photograph will one day be nostalgic, give it time. The instagram filters are a way of trying to add a sense of spontaneity and element of chance to a photograph, much like 'hipsters' using shit lomo cameras to get 'cool' colours and fringing and terrible resolution. (It annoys me how that for the same money people pay for all this lomography stuff, people could be taking beautiful photographs with vintage film cameras with sharp optics and heavy duty build quality...but oh well.) Instagram basically imitates the characteristics of film. By adding a filter after taking the photograph to make it look like it was shot on film, therefore removing any spontaneity and chance factor involved - and even then, the filters are based on rigid mathematical code in software, not the true chaos of chemical reactions based on light and temperature that creates chance elements in film. To me the instagram photograph is generally typified by a photograph of a drink which is an appendage to a shit status about how yummy the drink is, followed by a "#yummydrinksareyummy". What the fuck is hash tagging facebook statuses all about? #pricks.

Hash tagging is a parallel to the instagram filter - an attempt to trend, and be noticed. They both aim to add a gloss to what is otherwise banal. People are attempting to transverge media: the hash tag of twitter becoming appropraited on facebook whilst the characteristics of film as a medium being appropriated in digital photogaraphs.

Personally, I believe social media is a document we reflect our ego onto. Upon daily reflection of this document which is always live and present, the photograph instantly becomes part of that document from the moment it was taken (the taker knowing full well that it will be uploaded onto facebook). Knowing then that the photograph will be part of this document and posted at a date and time recorded precisely by facebook, the photograph becomes information in a document, which can be viewed at a later date and therefore even at the moment of taking the photograph, the photograph is old. And what do old photographs look like? Grainy? Discoloured? Soft? Weathered? Bingo!...the instagram app can do all that. #Beingpostmodernisbeingahipster

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