Skip to main content

Instagram Crapolla

IMG_20120408_000756Yes, I finally succumbed. Right before Facebook announced their billion dollar purchase of Instagram and right after the announcement of an Android version of the app, I went out to Google's Play Store (how so appropriate) and installed the free app. Then I started to play around with it.

The biggest annoyance, and the reason it came off almost as quick as it went on, was the insistence of the app to upload the photo to the cloud. Being Old School and such, I tend to gather together a whole mess of photos and then look at them all before sharing anything. If you've seen my Flickr stream you may well argue that really doesn't help much, but still, it's my "work flow", and I do try to practice some minute modesty.

While the camera on the HTC myTouch 4G isn't all that good, I have tried valiantly to produce reasonably mediocre photographs with it as apposed to blatantly crappy work. When I looked at what Instagram produced I was reminded I hadn't seen anything that bad since the late-1990s when I purchased an Agfa ePhoto 307 on sale at a local Walmart. And the Agfa was better.

I may yet fall victim to the over-processed digital photo craze sweeping the world, but it won't be via Instagram or Hipstamatic. Right now I'm looking at FxCamera for Android. And I'm also considering Snapseed for my PC. My oldest daughter has that installed on her PC and is running her Canon IS650 output through the application. I've seen the results and they're far more interesting than the smartphone processing.

The absolutely horrible photo taken to the right was smartphone processed with FxCamera for Android. It has a limited collection of "filters", ranging from ToyCam (Holga-esque), Ponandroid, Fixheye, SymmetriCam, Warhol (see right) and normal. You can further refine the effect with color modes, vignetting/pinhole and picture size and shape.

After spending just five minutes with it on my smartphone I'm about ready to pull it as well. It's heavily ad driven, but more significantly, it takes a long time to process any given photo.

After looking at all of this it makes me want to write my own bad-photo app. I used to run an image processing IRaD project and I still recall all the interesting ways to manipulate JPEG images. While I doubt I could do "better", I'm certain I couldn't do worse.

What would I call such an app? Beedak (Kodak?) Beekon (Nikon?) Beeb-o-matic? Beeca (Leica?) Crap-o-matic? I was given "500 Cameras: 170 Years of Photographic Innovation" this past Christmas. I think I'll thumb through that magnificent little tome for naming inspiration when I get home.


  1. I've purchased CameraBag 2 and Snapseed for the PC. I too have been wary of the "hippy" apps, but I've come to like them. As far as the phone though - my phone doesn't even have a camera. That's by intent. All I need the thing to do is make calls. I'm tied to the computer crap enough as it is, I don't need to be bothered with it on yet another device.


Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…