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    Instagram: A photographer’s dream

    By: Christy V. Temple

    I must admit that I have just recently become addicted to Instagram. I have heard about the app forever and that a lot of people have accounts with this site but I just figured it was one more thing to add to my IPhone that I really didn’t need. Boy was I wrong.

    This app is incredible to me. From the moment that I downloaded the app and started exploring I was really blown away by the absolutely amazingly beautiful photos that people from around the world have taken. I have seen things that have literally made me gasp because the colors are so vivid that they almost don’t seem real. I have seen everything from glaciers to large cities to wild animals in Africa to the verdant green hillsides of Ireland. I am totally in awe of this app and now I find myself sitting for quite a long time just constantly scrolling through photos of others that I am following.

    Basically, the gist of this app is like so many others out there. You download the app, sign up for an account and then you have a home page or a main feed where people from everywhere are posting their own photos. You can decide to follow someone that you really like and you can also click on a little heart at the bottom left of each photo to let the other person know that you like it. I have clicked more little hearts in the past two weeks than in a lifetime. As soon as you click one it turns red signifying to you and the other person that you are a fan of their work.

    There are several very neat things that you can do with this app including adding your own photos to your account right from your phone. I have already uploaded several of my photos and gotten several followers too from around the world. You can go in and tweak your settings to make them more private if you want. For right now, I’m leaving mine open just so that I can experience all there is to be seen out in the Instagram world.

    One of the other items I really like about the app is that when you get ready to add one of you photos you can change the color schemes, brightness of the item, adjust, contrast, structure, add warmth, change the saturation and adjust the color of the photo as well through the use of the filters. Once you have added any filters you want to use and hit next, then you can go and type up a brief caption and tag other people, add a location for the photo, and share it via Facebook, Tumblr, Swarm, Twitter and Flickr. You can also send it to followers or share it “direct.” In this option, you can basically choose an individual person or group that you follow and send it directly to them and no one else. All of these are very cool options.

    The point is that there are many ways that you can use Instagram to showcase beautiful photographic images. One of the neat ways it can be used is in libraries where it’s nice to be able to show off the programs that have been done and give sort of an advertisement to what’s coming in the future. I just took a webinar the other day that talked about the use of social media in libraries as marketing tools and how that Instagram was a great way to showcase some of the nicer photos that were taken at many of the Los Angeles Public Libraries events.

    Obviously, Instagram can be used in a variety of ways that can be very complementary to what we do in our jobs on a daily basis and in our private lives as well. After all, the Daviess County Public Library has an account also and we use it to promote many of our programs to the public in our community. The trick is to just be cautious when using any type of social media and to be aware of your surroundings. Overall, I have to give a thumbs up for this app and if you really are a photography buff, I would highly recommend trying it out.


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