Ace Jet 170 on pigeons, planes, and asterisks in the sky

~ While Alistair is away cycling the length of Great Britain, we’ve invited twenty disgustingly talented people to each write a post for our blog. Today’s post is from the inimitable Richard Weston, the man behind the brilliant Ace Jet 170 blog. ~

207. That’s how many people know I am crazy about Instagram at the moment. Naturally nosey, it fits me like the proverbial hand attire. Spare moments, and some that aren’t actually spare, are spent peering into places I should probably not peer for potential Insta-fodder. Down darkened allies, over rooftops, into murky rivers. So far, it hasn’t got me into trouble.

On the surface Instagram looks like a gimmicky, fake retro photo filtering application. Masking, as it does, bloody awful photos in old-style falseness. You probably know of it, even if you don’t use it. Because I use it frequently, every day, I find it hard to imagine you aren’t at least aware of it and its auto-counterfeitery.

Perhaps you’re like I used to be. At first, I was repelled by Instagram’s faux photo styling. There’s no craft in it. You point, you click, you pick a filter. But hang on. Your crap photo, surprisingly, looks better. It really does. Often, not just better; more than better.

But the reality is, Instagram is much more than a tricksy little app for polishing your photographic turds. Photo sharing is ace. Arguably way more fun, certainly more intimate, than Twitter; it is the natural successor to moment-sharing-as-text. Especially for snoopers.

So we can show people what we’re seeing. We can show off a bit (hey, look where I am! / look what I’ve got!). And we can collect instances because we can feed them, effortlessly, straight into Flickr or Facebook. Or even into more purpose-built diarising apps like Momento.

And like the way Twitter can make you think more about the words you use and can act as a channel for those thoughts you have that are of no real value to anyone, Instagram can encourage you to look around more and snap the things you would ordinarily smile at and forget. Like the flock of pigeons that circle overhead, the planes that fly over our studio, and the asterisks in the sky.


~ Alistair is raising money for Cancer Research UK during his ride – please wander over to his Just Giving page and donate a little cash. ~

  • I’m a complete convert since the last time you wrote about Instagram – it’s just really fun. Plus it comes with an interesting shutter-sound, that sounds a lot like your other half saying “why the hell are you taking a photo of THAT?”.

  • Perfect. Exactly why I love Instagram, in fewer words than I’d have probably used. I’d take a picture, but you beat me to it.

  • Spot on Richard, great post!
    Infact, I’m loving all these guest posts.