FML / Filter My Life — Instagram, Its Rise, and the Noise


Photo sharing sites have now turned the ugliest cat pictures into something that could be passed off as art. Filters are infiltrating our lives and making everything around us look nostalgic and campy. If you own a smartphone, you’ll know that the power of the camera in your handheld device is 10x better than handheld cameras were just a few years ago. This means we now all have the ability to take fantastic photos in regards to the quality of the photo. But, while technology and the Internet allow us to share our lives seamlessly to the world, convenience should never trump true creativity. This video by Grant Timothy McGuire looks at how using a filter has changed our world. But, have they really just created more noise? 

Have no sense of composition? A little cropping and the right filter can fix that issue you’re having. The lighting of all your pictures looking dull? Brighten it, then slap a filter on it – everything is so easy. It can be argued that photo sharing sites like Instagram can turn anyone into a decent photographer. It can also be seen that the quality is suffering because of the convenience. Our lives have become inundated with what our friends are eating – everyone eats, seriously – annoying cats laying around being lazy, and self-shots of people with few or no friends.

Check out the video below, and let us know what you think in the comments. Music by Rosas.

Then there’s that little privacy policy rearranging Instagram did with their Terms Of Service (ToS) a couple months back, where they now own our pictures and can use them as they see fit. What happened to our privacy, or paying artists to use the artwork they’ve created? Professionals on the platform now have to worry about their work getting used and spread across the web without correct citation. Here’s a look at the new ToS below.

“Some or all of the service may be supported by advertising revenue,” Instagram writes. “To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Grant’s inspiration for creating the video came from this blog post on PetaPixel that outlines the submission process guidelines from National Geographic’s magazines Director of Photography, and Instagram changing their Terms of Service (ToS).

“SOLARIZATION, MEZZOTINT, DUOTONE, ETC: No. If you use one of the myriad alteration “filters” available in your digital photo software, please stop.”


To Grant, this was apparently obvious, and he couldn’t think of a situation where any self respecting or head above shoulders photographer would not know this fact. He then had a thought. “What if someone had zero clue about filters (which after traveling Europe he found that there are in fact individuals closed off from American social flare).

To sum it up. We are now faced with a mounting rise in noise from millions of junk photos, & the quality, professional photos are getting ripped off from their owners. Without a care in the world about giving the artist the recognition and payment their artistic endeavors and years of honing and perfecting their craft deserve. Is Instagram ruining photography, and demeaning professionals hard wrought work? Quite possibly.

Here’s the FML // Bloopers + Gag Reel

Via Same Street Different Day & PetaPixel

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