Ahmet Polat on Instagram
Located in Bebek, one of Istanbul's high profile areas, I walk
into Lucca, a corner brasserie/restaurant. The owner Cem welcomed
me and I asked about the exhibition there. He pointed out that on
the left side the "amateurs" hung their work and on the other side
were the "professional" fashion photographers.
It was a good thing he told me because looking at the images you
wouldn't be able to distinguish who was who.
I hadn't made it to the opening a few weeks earlier. But the
idea that Vogue
Turkey opened an instagram exhibition had my interest and I
wanted to see what this was all about. Obviously they were
interested in using the huge community of instagrammers to create
some kind of buzz and get people to come to their event. As we all
know instagram has become huge globally and not only within the
Istanbul creative scene.
What interested me was the fact that the exhibition was a mix of
amateurs and professionals showing their images. On the surface
this would be considered a light and joyful occasion. "Real "
photographers mixed with "amateurs", hanging their work side by
side. Looking at some of the work I did get flashbacks of known
photographers like Elliot Erwitt or bits of Lee Friedlander.
While walking around I had a flashback of 10 years ago when
digital cameras just came on the market and people were saying this
would be the end of photography. At that time I was an optimist
still believing that it wouldn't matter since it would still take
years to develop your own style and reasoning behind the work you
would make. But 10 years later and I truly have to give in to the
thought that instagram really took away my last hope.
It has become a matter of programming, coding and pre-settings.
Within a few more years any person can emulate any photographer's
style, lighting and even composition. Add a bit of augmented
reality and people will get a step-by-step tutorial on where to
stand, how to bend and maybe even how to interact.
Instagram is photography's worst enemy. Now the only thing that
separates us "real " photographers from instagrammers is maybe the
intention we have while taking and showing images and the story we
would like to convey with it. Within 2 years newspapers, fashion
magazines and other media will look towards cheap instagrammers to
fill their pages with images that look like Alex Webb or Steve McCurry.
Apps will be developed to emulate their styles. Anybody can push
But what I can't grasp is that photographers who have worked 10
to 15 years, maybe even more, to groom their craft, create a
vision, fought for a position to convey their ideas are now just
giving in, accepting that all those efforts were meaningless.
That's what really gets to me.
Now maybe I'm taking all of this a bit too far. Maybe I'm just
an elitist who still believes that creativity and vision should be
unique and not just a superficial application. If there is another
way to look at this development please let me know.