Why I am getting more active on Instagram 

If you want to follow me on Instagram, I am balbo42 there.

I started using Instagram for the first time more than 3.5 years ago, but I very quickly got bored with it at the time and decided to drop it. It felt to me as if at the time Instagram was only an app to put hipster vintage filters on square-cropped images, which was surely trendy in some artsy sphere but of no interest to me. So I stopped using Instagram, and started to be more active on Twitter.

To me, Twitter has one massive advantage: you can use it to reach out directly to people to whom you would have had never access to beforehand, and because you are forced to send short messages there is actually a higher chance that this person will actually take the time to read your message. There is then again a higher chance that this person will  respond to you, once again because tweets are short messages and can be responded to on the fly. However, there is one thing for which Twitter is not good at: sharing pictures. For whatever reason, Twitter seems to have found the ultimate algorithm, to show your image in your timeline re-cropped, with the center of interest out of the picture. And you have no control over that.

Twitter timeline

Fast-forward a few years, and I finally discovered that since I first tried Instagram, they have updated their app with a complete redesign of the interface. You even have now basic (but more than enough for the purpose) retouching options, so you are not limited to the artsy filters anymore. In fact, looking at some of the top followed Instagram accounts, there are just some amazing pictures posted all day long on Instagram. Unlike Twitter, Instagram is not an efficient medium to contact other people. But, in my opinion, Instagram has basically turned into a great to visually engage with people. And this is what is important for photographers and other visual artists. I still don’t get everything about those bazillions hashtags, but my aim is to upload images (mixing previews of my work, behind the scene images, and images of my daily life giving a context of who I am and what sorts of things I like) that will make viewers eventually want to know more about me and my body of work.

 

Instagram grid

I think there is only that much time in a day/week you can (or really) should allocate to social networks, so you can’t be active on every of them. You need to find the ones that work for you, and these will be different for everybody (for examples I never understood how Google+ is supposed to work, but others will only swear by it). Personally, these are the ones I use currently and why:

Facebook: only for a private usage, to keep up with friends and family, because that is where they all “are”.

Flickr: this is where my “final” images end online, because it is dedicated to showcasing pictures; I have more followers there than on any other social network; it is easy to upload your pictures to your Flickr account directly from Lightroom (i actually almost never go to the website).

Twitter: to say random things, share articles I find interesting, engage verbally with people

Instagram: to engage visually with people

Hope to see you on Instagram too. Let me know in the comments which social networks you are using or if you have any recommendations regarding Instagram 🙂

Here are some of my recent posts on Instagram:


  
  
  

Merry Christmas From Tokyo!

Tokyo Sky Tree Christmas Illuminations

Merry Christmas everyone

Just took the shot above with the Fuji X-E1 and the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R OIS LM (Mr Fuji please make the name of your lenses shorter!!) kit lens (and first zoom in the XF lens family). The big tower on the left that looks like a reversed lightsaber is the Tokyo Skytree that opened in May this year… the tallest building in Japan and currently tallest “free-standing broadcasting tower” in the world according to the Guiness book of records. The tower is being illuminated in red and white especially for Christmas.

This is the view you get from just below Azumabashi (the red bridge in Asakusa, Asakusa station on the Ginza and Asakusa subway lines). This is a very popular spot and a lot of people were there taking pictures as well. You can also see the Asahi Beer Tower (the building that looks like a giant pint of beer) and the Asahi Super Dry Hall designed by Philippe Starck, with its characteristic “Flamme d’Or”. By the way, The Sensōji temple is a must-see if you visit Tokyo.

On another topic, I have currently sorted out somewhere around 2/3 of the pictures I took during a recent week-end trip to Kyoto, and will be able to share about this pretty soon. If you want to see some of the pictures I took with the X-E1, I have posted some of them on Flickr.

With all that said, let me thank you warmfully for passing by on my blog, and wish you once again a merry Christmas!

Talk to you soon…