I’m an #igaddict and proud

I’ve become an addict. I can stand here and hold my head up and be proud to say it. I AM ADDICTED, but not to anything narcotic or alcoholic.

No, I am addicted to Instagram. I was introduced it to months ago by a colleague, but never really got into it. Purely because at that point I was addicted to Twitter. Over Easter a friend showed me some of her images she’d posted onto Instagram and showed me how it worked.

Taken with iphone4 and altered in Instagram

That was that. I went home, delved into my app and began posting. My first few images were straightforward shots of my pets; photos I’d taken on my iphone4 and not altered in anyway. Those first few posts contained no hashtags, I wasn’t sure what to do. Then I looked at other people’s images and noticed they’d hashtag them #ig (Instagram), #igaddict (Instagram addict), #iphonegraphy and so on. The lists were endless. Hashtags connected to what the image was, whether it was black and white or colour, beautiful or photo of the day.

These keywords are important to help people locate and follow. See an image you like, then like it or comment on it. Your likes can be seen by your followers and you can engage in dialogue with people around the world.

Some on there are professional photographers, who use more than their iphone to take a snapshot. I only use my iphone and there are many who do the same. It’s amazing what good quality photos can be taken with the phone.

While Instagram offers filters to be able to change your image, if you don’t want it to remain

Guess the film title? Pictures taken on iphone4, altered using Instagram, Snapseed and framed using Frame Maker

‘normal’, there are so many other apps out there to do the job. I’m enjoying Snapseed, Percolator and Frame Maker. Snapseed is great as there are many tools to manipulate your image from its size to filters, colours, structure, contrast, etc. And it’s so easy to use too.

Percolator is interesting as it allows you to convert your images into bubbles and it’s all done as if you’re making a brew. While Frame Maker allows me to import my images and put them into frames. Here I’ve been able to show before and after or a range of shots and how they’ve been tranformed.

I’ve now progressed from snapping my family and animals to looking at things around me and taking a photo and then using Snapseed to recreate the image. I also love on my travels snapping architecture and quirky things.

This is addictive. Because my phone is with me all the time, it’s handy to grab it out my bag and point and shoot. Instant uploads and within seconds it’s there on Instagram. I love looking at what other people are doing too and engaging in dialogue with them.

There are many people taking landscape pictures and street scenes, and there are some very talented people out there too. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a great photographer or not. It’s about, for me anyway, seeing things visually and then taking that image. While it may look great normal, I then love the fact I can change it and enhance it in some way.

The other night I took a picture of a glass purple paperweight and turned it into a photo called ‘The birth of a new star’. As a photo on its

The birth of a star

own it looked bland and boring. Visually not interesting, but chuck it into Snapseed and add filters to it and alter the brightness and you have something unusual and different. You can see the bubbles in the glass, but where the light has caught it I’ve been able to expand and develop that.

It just reminded me of the galaxy and a star exploding, hence its name.

Instagram is a great app and I thoroughly enjoy using it. I’m always looking for something to take a picture of. If you look on my IG profile (lingarde) then you’ll see a variety of images from portraits to abstracts.

It’s the variety I like. I don’t concentrate on one type of image. I seem to go through phases, one week it’s animals, then riding shots, then abstracts. Just lately it’s been shoes and legs. Who knows tomorrow what I may take?

I suggest everyone gets on there and becomes an #igaddict. It’s worth investing that time into creating things. Especially if wanting to go into media. It’s a showcase of your work. Are you one?

One of my first Instagram posts - a black and white image of my horse