MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 4, Sustainable Prospects; Week Three
Ritchen (2010) analysed the prevalence and meaning of digitation of things and image making. He wrote about sequencing and the new reality “Like a novel, and our earthly lives, a vinyl record was created with the intention that it be experienced within the logic of a beginning proceeding to an end; a music CD or iPod is made to be resequenced, shuffled, and rethought. In digital media, nonlinear and interactive, no two people will necessarily read the same words in a book, listen to the same music, or experience a film or photo essay in the same sequence”. pp 17 He describes the digital as “the reconfiguration of the image into a mosaic of millions of changeable pixels, not a continuous tone imprint of visible reality” pp 18 Ritchen notes that image making “achieved the paradoxical credibility of a subjective, interpretive medium that has simultaneously been deemed reliable and ultimately useful as a societal and personal arbiter” it is if he foresaw in 2010 the blend of trends in society and the interface with personal insights as it was the year that Instagram was born. In October 2017 it will now have towards 800,000,000 users with over 200 million daily users.
From https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/26/instagram-700-million-users/ (visited 9.10.2017) I gleaned this historic growth over almost 7 years:
Here’s a breakdown of how long it took Instagram to add each 100 million users:
October 6, 2010 – Launch
February 26, 2013 – 100 million; 28 months
March 25, 2014 – 200 million; 13 months
December 10, 2014 – 300 million; 9 months
September 22, 2015 – 400 million; 9 months
June 21, 2016 – 500 million; 9 months
December 15, 2016 – 600 million; 6 months
April 26, 2017 – 700 million; 4 months
I recall observing the debate about titling images in the classic art word of the photographic exhibition. What now intrigues is the fact that an image on Instagram with a narrative or hashtag or indeed a link to raise attention from some person, organisation or brand will be quickly lost in the ceaseless wash of image deluge. The eloquence and deliberation over the words I suspect may exceed the time taken in capturing some images.
Ritchen perhaps laments the loss of the gaze at the world at large, but rather the fixation on the small screen that is the camera back or the phone “It is not because it makes it more immediately “real” that we prefer the image, but because it makes it more unreal, an unreality in which we hope to find a transcendent immortality, a higher, less finite, reality” pp21
Instagram World: Holding Oneself to Account
Yet we now find ourselves bound up as emerging or amateurs photographers or ad ‘men’ having to navigate around the use of Instagram if we are to avoid the worse by committing a silly mistake and instead maximise its opportunity to share our practice. From some web research and from my own account https://www.instagram.com/philip.d.singleton/
I would make these observations;
The square format will often create an annoying vertical and horizontal restriction to tall or wide images. Unless shooting for Instagram (with the camera on the ‘square’ setting) then this will cause issues and cropping.
I need to begin tracking traffic on my account as I have yet to implement that
http://collectivedge.com/blog/bloggers-you-can-now-track-instagram-clicks-in-google-analytics/ although this is restricted in its use. I have tasked myself with further investigations on this topic as part of my merging marketing plan.
I have noticed, for example during my current exhbition, that ‘cross promotions’ using the bar’s and visitor’s Instagram tags result in tagging in return and double exposure.
Having a landing page in the ‘bio’ section will drive traffic to a web site. Mine currently lands on my vernal web page about my consultancy work and this needs to be revised.
I have deliberately used a greater number of hashtags in the last week on my posts and this helped raise my fowler numbers (admittedly along with my university peers starting to all floor each other) from 312 to 328 in a week. A total of 16; modest but a good proportion. Again I need to up my game and be more thoughtful and strategic about my use of hashtags.
I have found that sharing from Instagram to the Facebook platform (on which I have a photography business page) is effective but sharing onto Twitter provides a textual link and not the image; I assume this is to do with the joint ownership of Facebook and Instagram, leaving Twitter a little out in the cold.
I tend to follow established, internally know photographers, galleries globally and locally, friends and people who work in similar way to myself or capture buildings that fascinate me regardless of the image making style.
Ritchin, F. (2010). After photography. New York: W. W. Norton.