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LATE TRAIN LEAVING THE STATION. NO MORE INSTAGRAM FOR PHOTOGRAPHY = GOOD?

(OPINION)

This is a time of many wows, and whoas' and what’s next and who will save us!?

From hot topics within the political realm and the one about how humans don’t know how to care about anything other then our own agenda, leaving everything else at the way side, like the planet we live on….but then there is also smaller potatoes.


Instagram not supporting photography anymore.


There are many videos and write ups on this topic already, and I stand with the ones that speak of the breathing room this will be giving some of us. Hopefully in that breath we can create beyond the digital realm and maybe begin a journey in the dark room, maybe even for the first time!

An idea some articles mention is Creating a personal website. This can be helpful for those of us who have ideas of making a space that truly caters to our own needs and allows us to share when and how we want and shape how we want to be seen. Even with this website option, and how much in this day in age that could come in handy, I still lean further into the dark with this one. There are so many deeper areas to explore and learn from in a setting like a dark room. I’m not just talking about ways to dodge and burn either, I’m talking about learning about yourself, how you work and what you are willing to do or cross over, to get to where you want to be with your work. While in the darkroom we are no longer reliant on pre existing platforms with built in editing software and filters and horizon line correction. This process is slow and much much more rewarding when you finally get it the way you saw it, or want to see it, it can be very enlightening.

Fun in the Darkroom, using a piece of angled glass to warp the image.


If you are like me, and follow that romanticized trail of rose petals within whatever creative pathways you find most fitting, and then find yourself in the dark, huff puffing away, being re acquainted then, with your lack of patience, it can be a very personal time where you get to work through blocks and ways that we/you/I/they have incorporated to not trust ourselves, and move forward in areas that could actually be beneficial in the long run. There is a scene in ‘Everybody Street’ where Bruce Davidson is talking about how as a young person he was shown by his friend, the very first darkroom he would experience. They created prints together and from then on he knew that was what was it for him. The magic of seeing the image appear before your eyes, in that red glow. How cool is that!?

This leads me to think about how interesting and absolutely stripped of magic it would have been for Bruce if his friend was like, “hey come down here, I want to show you this new app I’m using to post these pictures on…” scroll…..scroll….

This is not to say the internet isn’t its’ own kind of magic, but hopefully you get my point and if not, that’s more than ok too.

Scan of a Print made in my Darkroom!


So many people are moving again, to the old ways to experience within their interests, a new (for them) exploration of their medium. Whether that is fulfilling is again, personal, but even still it could be just the right push someone needs to help move them in the right direction. Newness is scary, change can be terrifying, but let’s face it, an app or website becoming something that we aren’t familiar with anymore…that’s nothing new, and also it really shouldn’t be that detrimental, but I do apologize if it is. There are places you can go, but that do offer a very different user experience and audience interaction. Such as www.Flickr.com or www.Grainery.com . I saw a Youtube video by ‘Mango Street’ where they are listing off alternatives, like Pinterest, which I have never used, but if that’s what gets you to where you need to be, go for it!

Scan of a print made in my Darkroom!


All I am saying is that Instagram is making headlines within the photography community due to its’ lack of care in keeping part of its demographic happy and that’s because they are a business. They don’t care about your photos or your success, you do, and that’s the way it will always be with big businesses, sad but true. It’s up to us to find our ways through this ever changing money centric world and feel excited, and challenged and new, and I believe we can do it! I will continue to take days off, weeks off and use Instagram, at least as a way to stay connected to some great people I’ve known or met over the years. But as a place to rely on to get me where I want to be, nope. I say start a chapter or club or whatever in your town, where photographers and artists alike meet, share work, uplift and challenge each other, collaborate and have shows spotlighting all that creation.

A little fun in the Darkroom using some angled glass to warp the image.


That is what I am trying to do in my little city…is it working…well, only time will tell, but I’m trying. Physical/In person interaction allows for a kind of energy and conversation that at least for me is not at all possible online. So last thing I’ll say is, as someone that has been battling for sometime with feeling a reliance on Instagram as a way to get validation or somewhere, anywhere with doing what I love, this is a big deep breath and slow exhale. I believe this will be a good shift for the photography community as a whole, even if the only thing that happens is people come together and create a new platform that is exactly what the doctor ordered, at least we came together…right?

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