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Pilgramers journey to explore community connection behind Instagram

By dpreview staff on Aug 7, 2012 at 00:07 GMT

What’s so great about Instagram anyway?

The answer to that question is part of what a group of Instagram users, calling themselves the Pilgramers, set out to find over the course of five weeks this summer.

The series features the group meeting up with Instagram users in various cities across the United States through a series of 'Instameets,' real life gatherings the Pilgramers advertised through the app to bring users together to discuss the Instagram phenomenon.

What started as a popular Internet meme video, “Stuff Instagramers Say,” posted by a couple of college friends, Ryan Carl, and Jody Johnston, both students at Liberty University in Virginia, has developed into a online video series to explore the popular photography sharing app and those who use it. Carl and Johnston were joined by fellow student Thomas Fisher, and popular Instagram user Tim Landis, in a self-funded cross-country road trip that will be edited into several online videos in the coming weeks shared via YouTube.

The second episode of the series will debut tonight at 10 p.m Eastern standard time on the Pilgramers’ YouTube channel. Until then, watch the pilot episode to learn more about the Pilgramers’ unique mission.

The Pilgramers: On a journey to learn more about the community connections fostered through Instagram.

Comments

Total comments: 53
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 9, 2012)

I ask forgiveness to anyone that feels offended by my non-politically correct comments,
GO GO GO TEAM PILGRAMERS!
...even if you are a constructed marketing stunt by Facebook, that has currently lost over 50% of its share value...
:P

0 upvotes
binauralbeats
By binauralbeats (Aug 7, 2012)

I'll take a creative shot made with instagram over a boring one shot with a megabuck-highspec camera anyday.

1 upvote
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 8, 2012)

Lucky to find one, as they are submerged by hundred of thousands of pictures of spagetti-with-sauce processed with sepia filter and labelled "Eating Old School LOLZ" or Lomo-ized cat pictures with "Can I haz cheese pls" captions.
The prob with that app is that's become land of "spray-and-pray" with no content whatsoever...

1 upvote
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Aug 13, 2012)

Sounds like Blaufield either 1) has spent alot of money on photo equipment and is jealous or 2) hasn't looked at instagram much, especially if he/she can't find one photo made by the thousands of pro photograpehrs on there.

0 upvotes
tomhide
By tomhide (Aug 7, 2012)

Wow, what's up with people getting miffed about this article.
I just watched the first clip "Pilgramers - Episode 1 (Official)" and saw whole bunch of people who are into photography getting together enjoying themselvs. And probably learning much more about photography then reading articles online whilst at it.

Two quotes sprung to mind after reading the article and some of the comments.

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs" - Ansel Adams
"Haters always gonna hate" - My workmate who is many years younger.

2 upvotes
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 8, 2012)

Well, it's interesting that any time you express an opinion not aligned with the current sheep flock, you are labelled as "hater".
At least, in the good old times you were labeled as a "rebel"...
BTW, its true there are only good photographers, but if they churns out bad photographs... And boy, the majority of Instagrams are REALLY bad...

0 upvotes
tomhide
By tomhide (Aug 8, 2012)

... and some of the choices of words you've used to express your opinion so far are; "majority of Instagrams are REALLY bad", "IT SUCKS", "I simply can't stand all this "social" crap.", "It's just hip-sterness at its WORST." etc etc...
BTW, I wasn't labelling anyone as a hater but merely stating that a particular quote sprung to my mind reading some of the post.
There's nothing wrong with disliking something but there's no need to be condescending about it especially there are people who are having fun with it.
I personally don't use Instagram but I think there are lots of interestingly fun and great photos out there.

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Aug 7, 2012)

Hi Entropius --

> ...start writing about photography equipment and techniques, please.

I've noted lately a flush of stories that seem not to jibe with DPR's mission, and are to me, otiose. For example,

• Pilgramers journey to explore community connection behind Instagram
• Reuters showcases EOS-1D X multiple exposure modes
• Book Review: 'Envisioning Family' by Tamara Lackey
• Japan Hobby Tool makes urban camouflage cover for Nikon 1 system
• Dan Chung live blogs from the Olympics with iPhone and Snapseed
• Photojournalists discuss the ethics of non-intervention
• German Designer Unveils Concept for 'Instagram' Glasses
• Five Friends Take Same Picture for 30 Years

And I'm being liberal in my choosing.

But the comments always amuse.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 7, 2012)

We are expanding the scope of our news coverage. There is an option to filter-out 'Other News' if it doesn't interest you.

1 upvote
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Aug 7, 2012)

Oh, OK, that's fine.

Thanks.

1 upvote
69chevy
By 69chevy (Aug 7, 2012)

These people are ruining the world.

First, they are changing out of their sweatpants, and leaving their houses.

Next, they are taking photographs with no regards for ISO, noise, or DR.

Then they have the nerve to go meet other people... in person!!

They should stay put, and stop enjoying themselves.

Their Insta-crap is ruining my fun of sitting home on a photography forum talking trash about cameras I don't know how to use.

10 upvotes
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 7, 2012)

Well, so because I usually take my mirrorless camera with me in my bike or bicycletrips shooting and talking with people, spending more time with my eye on the evf than on the screen photoshopping, that I would like using Instagram?
I've used Instagram, and, guess?
For making photos IT SUCKS.

3 upvotes
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 7, 2012)

BTW: if they need Instagram for finally changing their sweatpants, going out of home and interacting with real people... well, this goes a long way saying what type of people uses that apps... ;)

2 upvotes
newe
By newe (Aug 7, 2012)

Insta-stupid more like it. People going to Insta-Meetings wasting Insta-Money that Insta-iTunes now has. Gag me.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 7, 2012)

I tought that the meaning of photography was taking a meaningful image that tries to convey a message or to elicit an emotional response...
Here we have casual snapshots laden with a filter and uploaded to a network saturated with "white noise" in the meager hope that someone will click the "like" button and fill the hopeless need for attention...
I'm not a snob, I simply can't stand all this "social" crap.

5 upvotes
ignatio
By ignatio (Aug 7, 2012)

An open mind always helps us being a better photographer.

7 upvotes
peterwr
By peterwr (Aug 7, 2012)

The meaning of amateur photography is to have fun; the meaning of professional photography is to make money. If Instagram works for you in either of those contexts, have at it. If not, don't. Simple.

5 upvotes
ignatio
By ignatio (Aug 7, 2012)

Right! I have a lot of fun making money as a professional photographer though ;)

2 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Aug 7, 2012)

peterwr, the problem is there though, I've met people that think others would pay them for their "fabulous" over insta-filtered photos they took of their backyard and other everyday snaps.
And legitimately think that they've had enough experience taking iphone photos that they could become pro.... well....

1 upvote
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 7, 2012)

(Blaufeld) I agree 100%. I'm not a snob, a luddite, resistant to change etc, but I've been into photography as a hobby for 30-oldd years. I got my 1st camera, a Kodak Ektrallite 10 using 110 film, at age 13, but IMMEDIATELY started reading photography books & longing to take better photos. I read all about the techniques & learned how to work an SLR like the Pentax K1000. I NEVER wanted to get into a "snapshooting" contest with someone using a Kodak Brownie. That was beneath me then, & it's beneath me now.

I saw a Pentax K1000 at a garage sale over the weekend & it reminded me of that. This was a camera that aspiring photographers would get because it was affordable but capable, fully manual 100%, requiring you to LEARN some things to use it but opening up worlds for you if you could. That was the price of admission for aspiring shutterbugs. We had NO desire to get in snap-shooting contests with soccer moms using a Kodak 110 camera, anymore than we would Instagram users now.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Les Kamens
By Les Kamens (Aug 7, 2012)

remember the Holga..... and probably the Polaroid land camera before that just another slot in history of making images/art.

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 7, 2012)

(peterwr) To me, amateur photographers don't use PHONES to take photos. That's what SNAPSHOOTERS do, and that's not the same as "amateur photography." I know all about amateur photography, I've been doing it for years, and have read many a book on the subject. All the books I've read for YEARS, they ALWAYS would point out that, yes, you can use anything to take a photo, but if you really wanted to make a go of it, you really would be best served getting something like a 35mm SLR, not using a Kodak or Polaroid Instamatic sort of camera. It wasn't about being a "snob" (as others say), but about using a tool that's commensurate with the goal of trying to take something other than a snapshot, even if it's "just for fun."

I know many AMWIC (another mom with a camera) types using their phone, or even DSLR, for "kiddy pics" & nothing else, but I'd hardly call that amateur photography. That's not being hateful or intolerant, more power to them--it's just the truth.

0 upvotes
Abe Adew
By Abe Adew (Aug 7, 2012)

so there's pro photographer, amateur, and now a snapshooter. new breed of photographer, right? noted.

0 upvotes
Abe Adew
By Abe Adew (Aug 7, 2012)

"..I tought that the meaning of photography was taking a meaningful image that tries to convey a message or to elicit an emotional response... "

that's true no matter what camera you use. even camphone, perhaps?

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 8, 2012)

(Abe Adew) Actually, yes, there is a "3rd breed," but it's not NEW. I've long recognized it as being like this:

(a) pro--capable of the best shots of anybody on earth (generally speaking), makes photography his source of income, takes lots of photos for pay, demands the best equipment--at a minimum, something like a Nikon D7000, but quite possibly D800/D4 material

(b) amateur--or "hobbyist" takes photos as a hobby for "fun" or maybe side-money but pursues excellence like what they see pros turn out. This user has learned how to work D-SLRs (and not in "green auto" mode) has taken a class or two or read many books, is capable of taking shots much better than the typical "snapshot," but not as consistently as a pro or at quite as high of a level.

(c) snapshooter--everybody else. They don't know an f-stop from a hole in the ground, they look confused when they see that cameras still use viewfinders--the "Kodak Brownie" crowd.

Nothing wrong with (c), but they are not the same as (b).

0 upvotes
Adrian Harris
By Adrian Harris (Aug 7, 2012)

What the F is instagram, will it help me be a better photographer?

1 upvote
ignatio
By ignatio (Aug 7, 2012)

Very interesting contribution that is Mr. Harris.

2 upvotes
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 7, 2012)

Nope, just a "spray and pray" one.

2 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Aug 7, 2012)

It's a program for mobile phones that lets you apply various canned post-processing effects to cameraphone pictures, and then automatically share them on social networking sites. These post-processing effects are given names that evoke old films and bad lenses to delude the users into thinking they're doing something other than taking cameraphone pictures and post-processing them.

And, no.

5 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Aug 7, 2012)

Thanks, Entroplus, for a concise, thorough and well written summary. You don't, by any chance do reviews of software, plug-ins and other "breakthroughs", do you?

0 upvotes
arammc
By arammc (Aug 7, 2012)

You will learn to compose square and more about composition and form and contrast (filters) .

The images are small (800x800 I think) so you'll need a certain technique to make your images pop on the small screen.

1 upvote
JWest
By JWest (Aug 7, 2012)

I hope the video is all grainy and saturated with cool faded edges. If it isn't, I'm not interested.

2 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Aug 7, 2012)

It's hard to believe this is "self funded" and not facebook marketing.

What's your source for that info?

I can't find anyting on the backing other than that the pilgrims site is a product of mediumdivision.com which leads to nothing.

2 upvotes
Pilgramers
By Pilgramers (Aug 7, 2012)

Hi, keeponkeepingon

We are in fact self funded at this point! No affiliation with Facebook or Instagram.

Interestingly enough, Facebook hasn't had any hand in Instagram yet, the purchase is still in pending.

0 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Aug 7, 2012)

Since formulaic and derivative drivel is not really my thing, I'll pass.. but thanks!

3 upvotes
Abe Adew
By Abe Adew (Aug 7, 2012)

funny how the "real" photographers with their "real" cameras giving a bad rap about this article.
The reality is, we have a single App that brings a community closer together through the love of photography. Great people, great idea, honorable mission.

you see, "real" photographers.. no amount of your medium format portfolios can have impact as big as these people with their camphone.

5 upvotes
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (Aug 7, 2012)

"Great people, great idea, honorable mission."
"Impact as big as these people with their camphone."

Pleeaseee......
It's just hip-sterness at its WORST.
If for "impact" you mean like a truck loaded with manure that comes tumbling downhill toward a local dairy products exposition, I agree...

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Lu Heng
By Lu Heng (Aug 7, 2012)

LOL!

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Aug 7, 2012)

Instagram brings instagram users closer, not the community, not the family, not the world. This isn't some new drug or world peace plan.

And very true, anyone's portfolio would be lost in the vast sea of camera phone pics flooded onto the interwebs. Remember, personal exposure is the most important, if you can share a blurry picture of your cat to a billion people then they'll love it, while a compelling shot of a child and his cat will be lost as it wasn't on Instagram... sad times

0 upvotes
arammc
By arammc (Aug 7, 2012)

Its fun, and some people get amazing shots with their crazy little phone cameras. Its a visual communications medium.

I've gotten better at composing in square format too.

I think there some resentment because the photos aren't hi-res and designed for mobile devices, but you can do a lot with the limitations.

@acomjean on instagram.

plus by following photographers in other countries it makes the world a little smaller.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Abe Adew
By Abe Adew (Aug 7, 2012)

"..This isn't some new drug or world peace plan."

i see some addiction (in taking pictures) + a small step to world peace.

gotta start somewhere, right?

0 upvotes
Abe Adew
By Abe Adew (Aug 7, 2012)

"..It's just hip-sterness at its WORST.."

and of course, haters gonna hate.

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Aug 7, 2012)

Is there any way to use instagram with a real camera, for example one that has wifi to connect to your tablet or phone?

0 upvotes
DanCee
By DanCee (Aug 7, 2012)

I dont think so... unless your camera use Android/iOS as operating system .. (I think there's 1 Polaroid camera with Android as OS.. a camera with smartphone style but no call possible)

0 upvotes
arammc
By arammc (Aug 7, 2012)

Yes. I'm not sure how they do it, but the instameet had a lot of people with DSLRs posting photos later. Actually that works better as a photo meet. The first instameet was mostly iphones and when walking though a city its hard to keep a group together that has members stopping editing and posting.

I think when you post after its #latergram

0 upvotes
troutman79
By troutman79 (Aug 7, 2012)

I frequently post photographs taken with my DSLR or images from scanned film. In fact, I almost never post images taken with my phone. You only have to get the photograph onto your phone (at least with the iPhone4) and then can choose the image from a folder.
I'm an amateur with less than two years of experience, but I've seen compelling images everyday on Instagram. There are also a lot of bad ones, but hey, you don't have to click on those.

@troutman79

Comment edited 60 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Tom Z
By Tom Z (Aug 7, 2012)

Instagram... The quickest way to ruin a photo!

12 upvotes
danielacamilla
By danielacamilla (Aug 7, 2012)

@ Tom Z..hahaha!

2 upvotes
SiPat
By SiPat (Aug 7, 2012)

Pilgramer -- the quickest way to ruin the English language?

0 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Aug 7, 2012)

I thought this site was about photography?

Stop posting articles about hipsters and start writing about photography equipment and techniques, please.

13 upvotes
eajames
By eajames (Aug 7, 2012)

WOW

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
photocine
By photocine (Aug 7, 2012)

Fad.

2 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Aug 7, 2012)

meh..

7 upvotes
Total comments: 53