Thursday, September 8, 2011

You Had Me At iPhone

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I've been using Instagram (the photo sharing app) since I first ponied up for an iPhone about four months ago and have been a steady user ever since. It's charms were instantly recognizable: responsive, reliable, incredibly easy to use AND compatible with Flickr, tumblr and facebook. I'd used Hipstamatic and Camera+'s image filtering services before, but ultimately left both behind since they left a lot to be desired in the way of filtering quality and the essential ability not to shut down in the middle of using them.

Not so with Instagram! It's the perfect example of an app being social, well designed and basically idiot-proof. Call me smitten.

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Now no one is implying that Instagram replaces "real" photography - I still love me a good SLR - but it does free you up to do a bit more observing and documenting in your everyday life, which to me is a beautiful, beautiful thing... and did I mention the filters? Right now Instagram only supports 15 filters, but that's sort of the beauty of the app; it's not overly complicated and fifteen options are just enough to make looking at your friends stupid pictures of their cat using a litter box for the first time... interesting.

Judging by a completely unscientific sample of the people STUDY follows on Instagram, the "Lomo" filter is by far the most popular. I suspect this has something to do with the fact that it makes everything look highly saturated and that Urban Outfitters has made a cottage industry out of hawking nouveau Lomo cameras. But if you ask me - and I know you will - the "Nashville" filter is the way to go:

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This post should be subtitled "...or what I did on my summer vacation" since it feels like all my friends and I did on our trip to Nashville and Pigeon Forge, TN (read: pilgrimage to Dollywood) was use the Nashville filter on our iPhones/cameras/future-devices. In fact, I only used my go-to point and shoot that I typically take with me on trips a handful of times. And I really didn't miss it once.

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In full disclosure, my friend Sarah took some of these photos (most importantly Dolly's wig below) but I had to steal three of her photos for this post... it takes a village, people.

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Since I'm in the vintage business, it only fits that I'd try and make all my photos look old... but it's more than just that. I look at these snapshots now and no matter how uninteresting the subject matter or how awkward the angle, there's something instantly cohesive and emblematic about them which makes our already rosy little getaway look even more fun. Which is pretty damn hard when you're sharing a Smoky Mountain log cabin with these people.

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