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Monday, January 6, 2014

I got an Instagram and now I'm basically a terrorist

I finally downloaded Instagram the other day because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I wanted to be part of Instagram culture. I wanted to be hip.

Now, after my extraordinary success in dealing with Twitter, you'd think I'd be an instant Instagram guru. A legend, even. 

And you'd be right.

I started out the same way as everyone who has ever owned both a child and an iPhone: by messing around with pictures of my kid. I didn't really know what I was doing so I just slapped some filters on there until I found one I liked, and then hit "SHARE".

Since I was clearly getting the hang of sprucing up pictures of my darling babe, I decided to take it to the next level: a picture of my breakfast.

Instagrammers are well known for taking pictures of their food, so I thought I would join the herd with a moody black-and-white shot of my morning go-to:

Costco-brand Slim Fast shake. Chocolate.

I shared this one on Facebook as well, and got a few tips for future food pictures. My friends gently informed me that without any garnish, the Slim Fast shake looked boring. Another friend criticized my use of negative space. Whatever; haters to the left. HATERS. 

Also, if anyone knows where I can get a tiny top hat to use as garnish, or if anyone can explain to me what "negative space" is, I'll happily give this shot another try.

At this point, I decided to get a little more ballsy with my approach. I started messing around with the water droplet button thinger that apparently makes one part of the picture in focus while the rest of it gets blurry. I used this tool to make this amazing picture of my kid, in which I think she kind of looks like a model but Jesse thinks "that's not even a good picture and Instagram filters aren't going to help you with that."


Then I took this one and I just think she looks really cute so I'm making you look at it too:

Next, I thought I'd do some more work on my photos of food. I was making a big crock pot load of Coq au Vin, so I decided to hone my skills with a good picture of that.

I took one picture, but it wasn't nearly blurry enough so I took another one without the flash. I thought it looked really nice and artistic, and the orange tint from the filter really added to that artsy vibe:

Yum, aren't you getting hungry?

I showed it to Jesse and he turned his nose up again. Surprise surprise. He never supports me in anything I want to do!

Actually, the conversation went like this:
Me: I'm trying to take the worst food picture ever.
Jesse: Well, you're getting pretty close.
Me: It looks like a toilet that someone shit and then puked into.
Jesse: It does.
Me: (laughing uncontrollably for the next thirty minutes)

The next day, after the Coq au Vin was completely finished cooking, I broke apart the chicken breasts. I decided that this step required another photo, you know, in case I decide to start a food blog on the side.

The original photo looked like this:

I started messing around with the filters while Jesse looked over my shoulder. I was desperate to find the perfect filter to make the photo look like fresh vomit glistening in the sun after a brief summer rain shower. But of course, Jesse had other ideas. He encouraged me to use a darker filter, because it "makes it look rotten." So I listened to him.

In hindsight, I kind of wish I hadn't. The original photo looks much worse than this.

However, I do like how I used the raindrop thinger to draw your eye towards that one particularly questionable-looking chunk. I am an artiste, what can I say. (the chunk is diced bacon, by the way)

Not content to rest on my laurels after achieving such excellence in the field of food photography, I moved on to the next challenge: selfies.

Taking a good selfie is no simple task. What kind of facial expression should you make? Where to draw the viewer's eye?

Nailed it.

Is this a really flattering photo of me? NO. It's a really flattering photo of my wedding ring, set against a background of a really flattering photo of me. Because I used the raindrop thinger to make the wedding ring the focus. What do you think about that shit, huh? I should teach a class.

The black and white filter really takes this photo from a 10 to, like, a 12.

At this point, I think I should just retire from Instagram entirely, because I'm going to make everyone else feel bad.

... but not before I take a few more pictures of my kid trying to wake up in the morning

Somebody's got a case of the Mondays!!! 


And if you thought you were done looking at unappetizing photos of my Coq au Vin, think again. Check out today's lunch:

I like how I used the raindrop thinger to move your eye to where the Coq au Vin gooed up the side of the plastic container. It's, like, a metaphor or something.

Personally, I can't believe I lasted this long without Instagram. I'm clearly a prodigy.

My Instagram handle is patentspatented, so follow me if you want to look at cute pictures of my baby and awful, horrible, unappetizing food photos. That's pretty much all I plan to use it for.

That's pretty much all ANYONE uses it for.

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