JONATHAN JK

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Posts Tagged ‘instagram

The Guardian: Join Instagram, join a collective act of self-delusion

Jonathan Jones writing for the Guardian:

I speak as a recovered digital photography addict. I more or less stopped taking photographs at all once I realised I was subscribing to a cheap self-deception about the originality, beauty and meaning of my tens of thousands of pictures. An enthusiam has frozen into revulsion. I love the convenience of digital cameras and their potential to create beauty – but I hate it, too.

When did my photophobia begin? When I realised that I was buying into the same delusion of grandeur as everyone else. I have a decent camera and it can take lovely pictures. It has a close-up focus that can capture perfectly crisp images of a flower petal or a bee up close. So I think the moment it all went wrong was on a visit to Kew Gardens. There I was, having fun snapping water lilies, when I realised that about a hundred people were doing the same thing. Grannies, kids, babies, all with cameras and a sense of being artists. I am waiting for dogs and cats to get their own photo-sharing site for their genuinely beautiful snaps.

I think the main problem immediately lies with Jonathan Jones’ perspective on photography, not with the behaviour of Instagram, in his decision to take lovely pictures of flowers and bees; the same, accessible, non-taboo, subject material that everybody else points their camera at and has done since the Kodak box brownie. Instagram quite rightly lets us share these images, but it certainly isn’t digital photography or Instagram that’s at fault here. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!

I was in Victoria Park here in Hong Kong back in November 2012, with plenty of photographers chasing the butterflies, around the greenery. The most professional, seasoned photographers seemed like they were standing at the back, resting their heavy cameras on monopods, almost knowing, instinctively when it was the best time to get the wining shot. In front of them was the closest you could possibly get to a polite scrum, with many younger photographers competing for space amongst themselves and those passing by, who were inspired by the silent commotion to join in for a few shots with their compacts.

Ignore the lack of his originality, something which Jones should be scolded for, but where is the imagination to make images of something more meaningful in that moment of personal crisis? This is instead of assuming ‘grannies, kids, babies’ are deluded artists or to blame Instagram. If one feels photography is cheap, it’s because one is not spending enough time with the photographic medium.

When I saw all these photographers taking pictures of butterflies on my trip to the park, I thought it would be fun and much better to take pictures of the photographers chasing the butterflies instead, it would also be a slight commentary on the spectacle of it all. It seems too simple to  get disgusted with photography. Even what you don’t photograph can and will be a statement on our world.

Has Jonathan Jones stopped to think about why everybody takes pictures of what amounts to being the mundane? Surely he is aware that we the general public are socially discouraged from taking pictures because either they are a photojournalist, weird or viewed as a pedophile. Imagine the variety of photography on our news feeds and timelines if we concentrated our gaze and interest on ourselves or on other people outside of what are still Kodak moments. There is a minority of people who do, it’s a shame many other people don’t do it, you’re not weird or a pedophile if you do and that area of photography isn’t the reserve of the photojournalist.

I wished the Victorians had Instagram because not many people know that the Victorians photographed the dead or the dying. Not in a macabre ways (though by today’s standards it probably would be), but in a way where the dead person looked like they were in-between life and death. Victorians even dressed dead people up so as to look their best for the camera. The Victorians did this with the aim of preserving their deceased relatives beyond the physical with a belief they were capturing their soul in an image. Imagine a Victorian gaze uploaded onto the Internet mushed up with today’s type of photography on your newsfeed/dashboard.

This stems from the larger problem of what we have been conditioned to photograph (just google ‘kodak moments’) and what we have come to think of are supposedly ‘proper pictures’ from other images we see everyday. Now this isn’t a call to action to photograph dead people, more of a polite request to acknowledge there is more for us to photograph out there and to photograph something different within your world.

At the same time, I don’t think it can’t be done with single images, those that make a quick comment and are digested within seconds off a newsfeed, they need to be something longer or viewed under a differing context and not necessarily something complicated either. When I say longer I mean through a photo essay, photo series or a visual diary. Something that anybody can sustain if they spend more time with their camera than Jonathan Jones.

I recently started a visual diary in the summer of 2012; just something to show friends and family (though it’s open to all) back in the UK what I was witnessing here in my new country of residence. I’ve been brought up academically as a photojournalist, working on long term projects, working with and documenting other peoples. How I photographed, has changed when I began photographing in a diary format, I have taken on another awareness of the photographic medium, which makes me think in other creative ways. Again it comes with spending time and developing that awareness, I’m at an advantage to the layman, but it’s a skill I believe anybody can pick up.

That is how we can solve the problem that Jones incorrectly addresses without blaming fashionably unpopular social network ‘x’, until we do, don’t expect anything to change on your respective timeline. Instagram is here to share our photography, not teach us photography.

~

Written by jonathanjk

January 3, 2013 at 12:29

I’m tired of freemium content, or content that will work out how to monetize a service later.

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Just give me a service I will gladly pay for if it’s good, no bullshit in-between. Keep it simple. I would have paid for Instagram in order to keep it independent and I would pay for ‘Read it Later’ or now known as ‘Pocket’ if they would sort out their service.

Written by jonathanjk

April 23, 2012 at 15:53

JPG Podcast – The One Where Alex Reveals his Pessimism

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Welcome to our fourth podcast, in this episode Alex is back and we jump right into discussing Instagram; with it’s recent purchase by Facebook and Instagram’s growing role within Photography and Photojournalism. We also spend discussing Alex’s move to Canada and what are his first impressions and we reflect on KONY2012 and compare its media attention to similar projects (like Aaron Huey’s: American Natives Prisoners of War TED talk & TED wish) that haven’t been given the same attention they should deserve, especially when they are closer to home.

iTunes and direct links.

Show Notes

02:00 – Facebook buys Instagram

How to Export Your Instagram Photos Before Facebook Ruins Everything (Gizmodo), Why is Instagram worth $1 Billion to Facebook and Zuckerberg, (Suntimes)

40:35 – Instagram’s role within Photography and Photojournalism

War Never Looked So Hip (Duckrabbit), Photojournalists debate ethics of Instagram, Hipstamatic (www.poynter.org), See the Eyes of VII in the Hands of Hipstamatic (Griffinmuseum), Instagram is the Best, Instagram is the Worst (TheVerge), iSay: Stephen Mayes on Smart Phones, photography and the future (blog.corbis.com),

1:16:50 – Alex’s First Impressions of Canada

1:27:40 – What About Aaron Huey and his Force for Change?

Aaron Huey: America’s Prisoners of War (TED)

Written by jonathanjk

April 11, 2012 at 16:23

JPG Podcast – The One Where Adam Expects Me to Fuel His Rants.

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Welcome to our third show, it’s that time again, a movie centric episode. Journalism and photography is on hold until Alex finds time to escape his new life in Canada.

This time the show mostly consists of Adam trying to break me into some movie news and discovers I won’t get riled up. We follow up with some previous topics covered in our last episode and I welcome Adam to the present after he discusses his new iPhone 4S purchase, missing out on the great deal that was NeverWinter Nights 2 for 69p on the Mac App Store (Mac App Store) and unbelievably some people still haven’t seen Star Wars so what order should they view the saga?

iTunes or the direct links.

Show Notes:

Follow Up - Baldur’s Gate (TouchArcade podcast with Cameron Tofer (twitter profile) from Beamdog, Trent Oscar ([developer working on BGEE] twitter profile), and Diablo 3 (Video).

Discussion – The state of the used games market to come.

Is the iPhone the only Camera you need‘? – Wall Street Journal

Star Wars Machete

Comic Book Men – A discussion (Secret Stash podcast)

Paper 53 – the better stylus to buy, the Cosmonaut and Project Blue Tiger. (Accompanying article from Gigaom – Creativity tools: The Next Wave of iOS Apps)

Glif for iPhone

Total Recall‘ trailer

Fuck‘ A Documentary via A Parliament of Owls (@Apowldotcom)

Liam Neeson  and the Hollywood Babylon podcast and ‘Taken

iOS App Recommendations – Kinotopic, Instagram, PhotoSynth, Project 365, GifRus, 1-Bit Camera and Snapguide.

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