Remember taking a polaroid? Gosh it seems like awhile ago. Click!… and after it shot out of the camera … you might have waved it around as the crowd of friends around you eagerly waited for it to develop? Well recently – I’ve been waving my cell phone around taking photos with the uber cool Instagram iphone app. It’s all the rage.
Instagram is what Polaroid should have invented before they died a gruesome death. Polaroid was the original instagram with their wonderful soft look and feel achieved in the chemical materials of the real deal you could hold in your hand. Now though, the real deal has to do with the digital age – the iphone has become the camera, calendar, personal assistant and historical marker of our age. It’s an amazing world we live in and I am endlessly fascinated with the new gadgets and technology emerging around me.
And yet, I haven’t even an ipad…because I keep wondering “What’s next?” I have started to ask friends and sometimes recent acquaintances even – “What’s the next thing?”, “What’s the next Facebook coming down the line?”, “Will we see it coming?” Sometimes you have to be abit nosy to find out what technology people are really using. I have always wanted to be an inventor. That’s what this is really all about – I wish, so wish I could have invented something so simple and elegant and artistic as instagram. But it’s crazy because it’s just taking something that we already had and repackaging it to the new era. The new day and age. Gosh! It’s brilliant. Why am I so amazed… because Instagram was acquired for a billion dollars by Facebook.
A billion dollars. Wow.
It’s Facebook’s largest ‘purchase’ to date and was said to be the sole decision of Mr. Zuckerberg himself. Amazing! And to think that Polaroid and Kodak both didn’t have the insights to move ahead in this direction – how many stock holders did they have? How much time and energy invested in building a brand, in building a place in American culture and history. I wonder if other similarly fated large corporate behemoths will reconsider who they hire in their R/D departments after the Instagram success? You hope so.
Instagram is simple enough to operate. After downloading the app onto your phone you launch the program and take a photo. The photo appears in the main window to which you can choose one of 13 different filters. I opt for Lo-fi most often. The filers ‘Sierra, Early Bird, Toaster and 1977 all have that classic polaroid look and feel with the desaturated colors and soft quality. The ‘Nashville’ filter even superimposes negative numbers onto the black edge mimicing a 2 1/4 format slide film contact sheet. It’s pretty cool. You can also rotate the photo, turn the frame off, blur certain points of the photo – like I said – it’s pretty darn great. If only Polaroid had hired me!