Category Archives: Amateur Content

Instant Photography Pro?; The Pros and Cons of Instagram

An interesting note to speak about on the quality of cell phone photos, and more importantly, photo taking applications. What’s the big deal about Instagram? And why is that the single thing making me want so desperately to become an IPhone user? Is it ownership? Is it that the photos that any amateur with an IPhone takes looks like a gallery worthy image that would take years of education and portfolio building to achieve?

Nope, simply answered, the application uses filters to enhance the photos appearance, and give it a vintage look. This leads me to my second question? With technology that is on the brink of discovery and is so fresh and new, why would you want to upload photos that look like they were taken in 1867?

The merging of old and new technology has been a recent fad. From Skype calling, to ipads, there is clearly a need for society to hold onto these old mediums as we brace ourselves for what is in the future. I appreciate the success of Instagram. It’s a very well-executed product. It’s fast, fun and has a very expedient way of blasting out photos of things people see as they go about their lives. The fact that the entire social network revolves around pictures of relative mundane activities relieves users of the pressure of creating great works of art before showing them to the world.

However, is there really a necessity to making mundane photos seem more appealing? Does society really need another procrastination tool?

It almost seems to me like a money grabber, another application for the iPhone turning consumers into bandwagon chasing zombies. An article in the Globe & Mail discusses the situation and brings to light some very interesting points.

“Vintage filters became the barbecue sauce of the photography world: a strangely appealing taste that’s so pungent it overrules whatever might have been going on in the underlying food, for better or for worse.”

However repetitive it may seem, why do people stick to Instagram over any other photo editing application? Trust me, I’ve looked it up, there is no close to awesome equivalent to the BlackBerry, or the android.

I guess ownership is the glue of this operation. Knowing that YOU took that photo, and it looks just as good as anything a professional could take, is what keeps the users happy and entertained. The social media aspect included is also a great way to enhance a networked community, with the uploading and sharing of photos, only users with the application are able to participate.

So this leaves me wondering…how long until I cross over to the dark side?


Journalism: I Will Survive, or Will I?

In today’s modern society there is an incredible array of choice today in how the masses achieve their information and news. News comes to us from TV, radio, news papers and increasingly, from multiple websites available, and now with blogs becoming so increasingly popular, one may question how journalists plan to fit into this high-speed media landscape? And ultimately, what’s the future for journalism?

There are all sorts of kinds of journalism. You’ve got internet journalism such as blogs and online newspapers, gossip journalism, with websites like Perez Hilton, there are reporters, commentators and a lot of amateur content with personal opinions of the masses. I think this is an age, because of the information overload, where there is probably more focus on commentators, analysts and opinions to try to make sense of the amount of information being steered in the direction of the masses. Journalism has changed from being a conscience means for information to a way for advertising and for commercialism. Unfortunately war sells and peace doesn’t. You try and sell a story of peace and all the public is interested in is the war over seas, and not the feel-good piece on dieting. That’s the problem. The media has drastically changed, thus causing a threat for the future of journalism. The increase of amateur content raises the hurdle of what can be constituted as a legitimate source of information. Can a consumer trust the journalist who has done the research or the average Joe-blow who happened to be at the right place at the right time with his camera phone?

Journalists bring the news to the people, because if a bomb happens to go off in Iraq, and nobody knows about it, than is it still considered terrorism? Is it only terrorism if the knowledge of incidents in particular is spread worldwide to the masses to await a negative reaction from the people in regards to the opposing country? This shows the ethical distinction of whether or not a situation is in fact blown out of proportion due to media coverage, or if it is just information brought to the attention of the consumers.

It’s also the responsibility of the audience and of the citizenry to start understanding the effects of terrorism; it’s also the move from professional to amateur. The inclusion of technologies like digital cameras and camera phones certainly have created their own circumstances around how professional journalists actually need to go about collecting their information, and doing their jobs properly. Professional to amateur content is probably one of the hardest circumstances the journalists of today are dealing with in order to make way for the future of journalism and information broadcasting in the years to come.