Chico State Student Newspaper Feature Focuses on Instagram (@TheOrion_com @Instagram)

In a recent front-page story, The Orion at California State University, Chico, focused on the odd, increasingly addictive practice of “edit[ing] everyday images to look old-fashioned.”  The app that has made such immediate aging possible: Instagram.  Its ease of use and convenient sharing capabilities have made it a huge hit since its launch, raising related questions about its relative artistic merits and the ethics of altering what has been snapped.

One interesting Instagram idea the Orion embraced: some photos featured in the paper were adapted via the app, giving readers a glimpse at what various campus spots might have looked like in the “sepia-toned, Polaroid-infused days of yore.”

In a related piece, Orion features editor Ben Mullin explains how the app has enabled pictures to be saved from the almost-too-perfect digital photography landscape.  It is one of the more interesting pieces I’ve read so far this month.

As he writes at one point, “I threw my hands in the air and declared Instagram a fad until I was forced to consider the pictures more closely.  Faded around the edges. Tinted with unnatural greens and blues. A little too dark to be real.  Instagram is not the perfect visual representation of reality that our high-resolution cameras have led us to believe in. An Instagram photo forces us to consider everyday images as they aren’t by putting them into a different light that we each get to pick. . . . In a snapshot, Instagram has showed us that a picture can be worth a thousand more words if we stop and age it 100 years.”

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