Hello blog: photography is for Instagram

For a few months I quit being interested in photography. It seemed pointless.

Now I realize what the problem was. People are doing photography the wrong way. They have an old fashioned view of photography, involving making huge prints and hanging them on your wall. Sorry, that’s the photography of the past. Today, photography is all about Instagram.

The technical rules for Instagram are simple:

1. The square (1:1) aspect ratio it the best ratio to use for Instagram. The only ratio that makes sense. Forget about rectangular photos.
2. You don’t need a sharp lens, because the maximum size that Instagram will save a photo is 1080 pixels, and most of the time the image is only displayed at 640 pixels. Even the softest lens ever tested, the Olympus 15mm bodycap lens, is sharp enough for Instagram! The kit lens is fine.

The rules for subject matter:

Instagram is not very intellectual. If a museum curator at MoMA likes your photos, they will probably NOT do well on Instagram.

The best aspect ratio for Instagram

The best aspect ratio for photos you post to Instagram is 1:1 (square).

Now, some readers are thinking, “duh! of course!” but actually it’s not so obvious anymore now that Instagram allows you to post photos of any aspect ratio.

However, Instagram will truncate the top and bottom of portrait-oriented photos if they are longer than 4:5, and landscape-oriented will not maximize the screen real estate that Instagram makes available.

Furthermore, in thumbnail view, Instagram always crops your photos to a square which may seriously weaken the composition if it was composed for the common 3:2 aspect ratio. Your photos have to look good in thumbnail view if you want click-throughs!

So while I think that 3:2 is the best aspect ratios for photos in general, for Instagram you should go with the square!

Dave Beckerman’s photo blog


Best photo blog on the internet. Dave has been blogging for 20 years, before he even knew that what he was doing was called “blogging.”

There are many photographers who post their photos on the internet, but it’s very rare that any of them have anything interesting to say about their photos, and Dave has been writing interesting stuff for 20 years.

Become famous on social media

Allen Bell left a comment:

Your passion is teaching us at a time when social media is running rampant! Definitely need to know something about using a camera today.

Well, there is the option to simply not care about social media. Surely there are people in the world who don’t post every day on social media and they are doing just fine. Aren’t there?

But can I teach someone to become famous on social media? I can’t make myself famous because I’m a boring middle-aged man, and no one cares about people like that. But I do believe that I have the ability to curate the social media feeds of someone inherently more interesting and photogenic than me, and make them insta-famous.

Leave a comment if you’re interested. (I expect to share the profits, I’m not going to do it for free. But probably, this call for action will be a failure, because the kind of people who are inherently interesting wouldn’t be reading this blog. Can you imagine Justin Bieber reading this blog? I can’t.)

The fake war photographer


I actually think it was pretty cool that he was able to become Instagram-famous by stealing other people’s photos. I’m always impressed by a good hoax.

But what does it actually mean to be famous if you use selfies of some good looking guy as a stand in for yourself? (Probably, the guy behind the fake account is not as good looking. I am sure he’s a guy, I can’t imagine a woman pulling a hoax like this.)