Tilt-Shift and Instagram - a gripe

Regular readers, or anyone who’s looked on this page, will know I’m fond of photography. I’m not one for buying enough accessories to fill a garage, I just like a good camera with a good lens and capable software to tidy up the image.

What I did get into, briefly, was the tilt-shift effect. It came as a preset on a point and shoot camera and creates the effect of making things in the centre of the frame appear in miniature by blurring other parts of the frame. In other words it does this:


So I’ve done it myself and occasionally I might do it again. My gripe though is that it is being overused. In last night’s episode of ‘Amazing Spaces’ on the UK’s Channel 4 I counted 47 uses of tilt-shift in a sixty minute programme. I didn’t really count them, that was just a guess. But it certainly felt like a minute of screen time couldn’t go by without seeing masses of blurring.

And while I’m ranting, can we please have a moratorium on Instagram pictures? At first these faked versions of pictures taken on a dodgy, light-leaking camera were charming and different. There is now an almost fascistic quality to their use. Every picture that pops up on Facebook or Twitter has a raggedy black border, strong colours and odd halos. Yes, it does make the mundane look cool, but do we have to have so much of it.

Many people I like and admire are keen users of Instagram but none of them took bad pictures before the bug took hold of them.

Stop it. Stop it now, before it’s too late.


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