Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Cebu, Philippines - taken by Dianne McKenzie

I'm on holidays as many of you are, and I have been exploring Instagram over the past few weeks and it has been a lot of fun.

I like photography,  and I strive to improve each day with each shot. I also like the convenience of being able to take photo's with my iPhone, but I never really explored or appreciated how good the camera on the iPhone was until I have been without my 'proper camera' and lenses. 

Instagram was introduced to me via friends on FB who were using it, I messed with it a little, used it to take photos of events happening to post on FB, but never really explored the potential. One of our leaving teachers is a big Instagram fan & user, it was mentioned in her farewell speech as being a part of her. I spoke to her about is and she mentioned 'it is a little bit addictive'.I needed to explore more. 

Recently I was on holidays with my daughter, who is also big Instagram fan & user. She showed me how she uses it and connects with others who like to take & share photos just for the appreciation of this art form. She demonstrated the use of hashtags to connect just like on twitter - but instead of messages along the same theme, photographs on the same theme. Wow! So that is how you find more photographs of what you want to see and find different photographers? Easy!

She also showed me Camera+ a brilliant photography app that helps to enhance the photos to bring out the edge, then she puts the photos through Instagram filters if required and - more wow!

In the past week I have had the opportunity to explore the streets of inner Sydney and take photographs. There is a Facebook page of the city of Sydney which asks people to take photos of Sydney & tag them #sydneylocal. By taking the photos and tagging them, I have expanded my viewer base and the opportunity to interact with others who like to take photographs of Sydney. I get to improve by looking at their images and how they used the filters to get the wow factor. Social photography without too much banter. Love it.

As I have doing this I have become 'a little bit addicted' as it is where I can share my photographs where it is expected to be done without hindrance, and on a platform that people are accessing, and where you receive instant feedback. I have used Flickr, but I found it is not as widely used as this social platform. Photographs are taken to be shared.

One of the great things about instagram is that due to the immediate nature of the forum, you really only want your best shots 'out there', so you make sure what is going up is truly worthy!

So how des this relate to school & libraries? Well, I am thinking I may start up an after school club for instagrammers with our own tag and we could support each others photographic endeavours and showcase where possible.  I would also love to start an in house/school Creative Commons image base for all students to be able to use instead of students using Google images. To have students utilise their mobile devices in a meaningful & lasting way using Instagram could be part of the way to do this. 

If you are interested in my Instagram feed, you can access it here - is will be a perpetually growing collection, as I am a little more than a bit addicted!

Paddington Reservoir, Oxford St, Sydney - Dianne McKenzie

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