Over the last few days I've been spending a little bit of time playing with Instagram. Initially when I decided to get an iPhone, one of the main reasons was to be able to share photos from my travels in a way that was as close as possible to real time.
A month later, and I realised that wasn't happening. Part of the problem was that I'd started a travel blog while in my own country, which was never going to motivate me to post too much. The other part was that I'd started to get into the same mindset that you have when using a full-size camera - that is, photos need to be transferred over, processed, re-named and uploaded. Taking this approach, there's really no point in using an iPhone.
As I was waiting for my plane at the Brisbane Airport, I happened to take another look at Instagram, and seeing as I still had some data left on my plan, I actually signed up, took a photo and uploaded it. Connecting to facebook and twitter was easy, and before I knew it I'd actually had some responses.
Seeing as I had some time to kill, I took a similar shot with the 5D mk2, and used that as the day's photo on my daily travel photo site. Comparing the image quality of the two really shows how much difference there is in the quality of the image from a professional camera with the benefit of processing in Lightroom.
However, my aim with my travel blog isn't to create beautiful photos, but to try to capture the atmosphere and experience of some of the places that I visit, and share that. For this aim, the iPhone and Instagram are perfect.
With a bit of tweaking (ok... several hours of tweaking) I've worked out how to get the photos to show up on my blog very close to the time that they're taken, and in a way that I can re-use the images for posts, seeing as I'm often shooting things I'll want to talk about later. For those following along on Twitter or Facebook, there's no extra effort involved in adding them there, and in time, I'll end up with a visual record of what will probably be a really long trip on this blog.
If you want to take a look at the journey as it unfolds, the latest images automatically show up in the sidebar to the right - click on them for a larger slideshow of the set. If you want to see them on the instagram app, look for me by searching for "holgsrtw".
Tomorrow I'm heading to Tokyo... more instagrams to follow!