Clarion Call 2013: “Open to Creativity’

Clarion Call 2013: “Open to Creativity’

This will be a truly fascinating day. Plan now to make it a must listen. Selina is a great friend, and a consummate teacher/mentor. Her work researching creativity and its many manifestations will give you insights into the process you may never have touched. I am recommending this to every photographer I know!

NOTE: IF YOU SIGN UP HERE, WITH MY LINK, and decide to purchase the Clarion Call Four “Open to Creativity” program, you will also receive a code to both of my UDEMY Courses to register for FREE. That is a $100 value. In order to qualify for that, you MUST sign up for Selina’s program from the links on this page. I will be notified from Selina when you purchase, and a Free Code will be emailed to you ASAP.

And whether you purchase or not, you absolutely MUST listen in on this extraordinary seminar.

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Clarion Call 2013: Open To Creativity – Five of the World’s Greatest Experts Deliver the Steps, Practices and Knowledge to Truly Open To Creativity

Five  of the world’s greatest experts have joined teacher/guide Selina Maitreya, for a “first ever” event to deliver the steps, practices and knowledge that all creative souls must take in order to truly OPEN TO CREATIVITY.

In today’s world, those seeking to develop a Creative life, build a creative profession or simply release the artist within have few resources to support them. The key to living an artistic life is to learn how to connect to the creative muse, the higher self and to stay in the zone 24/7.  Doing so enables those seeking to build a creative life with a direct connect to true creative power, deeper relationships, more financial prosperity, excellent health and peace.

Clarion Call 2013; OPEN TO CREATIVITY is a worldwide online event that brings 5 of the world leaders together to share information and inspiration for the purpose of transformation. CC2013 will take place March 28, 2013 from 12 pm EST -7pm EST. This is a free, live event hosted by Ms. Maitreya.

Joining Ms. Maitreya will be leading experts Jean Houston, Jill Badonsky, David Meggyesy, Barbara Biziou and Jeffrey Van Dyk.

Each featured expert will share their knowledge, insights and practices that will help all Creatives to:

  • Bring the artist within out into the world 24/7
  • Re-Open their sensory systems for maximum creative potential
  • Access higher states of creativity
  • Break through creative blocks
  • Move through procrastination
  • Build a life that supports the artist within
  • Develop abundant lives through their connection to creativity

During 6 hours of nonstop content, participants will learn and experience:

  • How to honor your responsibility and bring your gifts to the world.
  • How to release the artist within and bring your creativity front and center
  • A fun and enjoyable meditation that re-opens the sensory systems for maximum creative potential
  • Rituals to start the creative process
  • The importance of you the artist as athlete
  • The importance of redefining the concept of competition
  • How competition helps you open to creativity
  • How to leave creative blocks behind
  • Tricks and Triggers for starting the Creative Process
  • Secrets to move you through the “old paradigm” of starving artists
  • Strategies to build prosperity

“Building a creative life is a possibility for everyone on our planet.  Whether you are an artist, a person who loves creativity or a being who is choosing to live creatively, working to connect your inner and outer lives has several benefits.  Your life becomes deeper and richer, your relationships become more long lasting and beneficial and abundance in your life is everywhere, financial, health and well being, “shares Maitreya.

“As a guide to Creative Souls I am committed to helping as many people as possible discover their path to building a life that is deep rich, meaningful and prosperous. I am thrilled to welcome legendary teacher Jean Houston, author /lecturer Jill Badonsky, author/lecturer David Meggyesy, world ritualist/author Barbara Biziou and teacher Jeffrey Van Dyk to Clarion Call 2013.

I encourage you to join me and my guests for a FREE 1 day telesummit and experience their knowledge and wisdom as you learn what you need to do to OPEN TO CREATIVITY.”

Seating is limited for this event. Registration details are here.

About Selina Maitreya

Sometimes the Greatest is Releasing it in others…

Selina teaches. She illuminates a focus and a purpose for creative individuals of every version and variety. To be “creative” is to make use of one’s divine gift. “Divine”, in a sense of something that flows through you from a place beyond you. Selina helps you release the grip of doubt and move forward from stagnation (a nation you do not want to live in). Selina teaches transformation.

Selina walks the spiritual path with her feet firmly planted on the ground. Selina has a long and respected history of working with and advancing the careers of creative types, especially in the visual realm.
She is now taking that value and vision into all manner of creative enterprise. Whether it’s writing, painting, photography, knitting, pottery, dance, music or a thousand other less-than-obvious creative endeavors, Selina can help you think, work and live a creative life.

At the core of all creativity is a desire and passion to connect. Selina re-energizes and renews that connection.

For Selina Maitreya, creating symbiosis in relationships and empowering the artfulness of the soul are serious personal and professional pursuits.

A life of consulting, partnering and immersing herself in matters of vision and creativity has fully informed her belief system, which Selina offers wholeheartedly to her students. Create a life of human being.

Chronicling Selina Maitreya
Selina has spent over 30 years as a consultant to creative professionals, an author, a internationally acclaimed lecturer (over 100 dates and counting) and developer of several professional workshops. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Boston Graphic Artists’ Guild and is a former correspondent for Photo District News. She has been profiled by The British Journal of Photography, Light Years (Ooty, India), ADWEEK, The Boston Globe Magazine, and PDN. In addition, Selina’s opinions and knowledge on the business of selling creative services have been included in articles in a variety of publications.

The creator of the mega online telesummit CLARION CALL, Selina has brought together thousands of creatives with international teachers resulting in massive growth for all. Unleashing, redirecting and invigorating creative energy is what Selina does for “creatives” of any kind, in any discipline.

Thirty Three Tired and Dated Photographic Expressions: Un-Edited

Thirty Three Tired and Dated Photographic Expressions: Un-Edited

Riffing on a post by Ash Ambirge today, I asked the intrepid members of my Lighting Essentials Flickr group to come up with a list of photographic cliche’s and terms that they were also tired of.

I did not edit them, nor did I censor any of them… 33 different pet peeves by 33 photographers.

Now, you may believe some of them should be on the list, and others may piss you off.

Good…. that means it is a great list.

So without further comment:

1. Blowing out the Ambient
2. Creamy/Dreamy/Delicious Bokeh
3. Use the Histogram to _________
4. Gangnam Strobist style
5. Beating the sun
6. Stofen/Fong make soft light.
7. Capture
8. It’s only a phone camera
9. its a little hot
10. iPhoneography
11. “Capturing life’s precious moments”
12. it’s a little soft
13. “put it on the thirds”
14. ‘Clicking’ a picture
15. The “Dave Hill Look”
16. What triggers do I need to buy?
17. Photoshopped
18. I coulda done that better
19. Capture an image
20. Its fine I’ll fix it in post
21. Spray and pray
22. RAW or JPEG?
23. Lost detail
24. tog/photog
25. Signature (Don’t tell Missy)
26. Just tie some knots in a piece of string.
27. Chimping
28. Momtographer
29. Never use hard light
30. That’s an expensive camera, it must take great pictures
31. pixel peeping
32. Light Depth of Field
33. If you use P you suck.
(Bonus 4 – don’t never say we don’t give you free stuff…)
34. HDR
35. TTL sucks
36. “Editorial ”
37. Document the Experience

If you want to add your single most annoying phrase or term for photographers, add it in the comments. NOTE: arguing with the list is pointless: I didn’t write it, and I do not remember who said what. So if your Ox got gored, consider it for what it is. It’s just for fun.

Direct all hate mail to “ScooterPie@soyouthinkIreallycare.org”

(And you really SHOULD read Ash’s post… it will get you thinking about the words you use.)

Photography, I Hardly Knew You…

Photography, I Hardly Knew You…

“…you’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you, don’t you, don’t you…”

Well, yeah.

You see the problem with that grand lyric was that obviously the song WAS about ‘him’. That mysterious beguiling playboy that Carly Simon sang about. I must admit I would always say, ‘well, yeah its about him… duhhhh’ when I heard it. Insipid pop music was the bane of my existence back then.

Simon may play the coy approach, but in the end we all knew it was her that was hurt, and trying to be passive aggressive in the take down of the cad who dumped her. Yeah, I read Oprah… I got that psychobabble shit down, don’t I?

(NOTE: This is a long post… and it rambles on a bit. Just warning you. If reading things over 200 words is a challenge, this is probably not the post for you. No problem, all’s good. Just a heads up.)

Why was she surprised by the protagonist in her little melodramatic ditty? He was as he always was… she couldn’t change him. Why bother trying.

I guess I feel a bit that way toward photography. A couple of instances these last few weeks have set me thinking about what I am doing, how I got here, and the most challenging question… where will I go from here.

No, not giving up photography or the teaching of it. I still love making photographs.

Although somethings have changed. And it is causing me to think and re-think what I call photography.

Rodney Smith, a photographer I so much admire, had a post at his blog that should have gotten a ton more interest than it did. Here is a quote:

On occasion if the subject being photographed is special, wonderful things can happen, but for the most part the use of artificial light and the seamless help the photographer hide behind a veneer of professionalism. But in this process nothing has been risked, nothing has been revealed and your mask is in tact, exposed only to those who care to look deeper.

 

And lastly, now comes Photoshop, which is changing photography from an interchange with life into a studio experience in one form or another. If you don’t like the background, change it. If you don’t like the expression, change it. Change everything. Change the colors, the light, the clothes, etc., until photography is on its merry mechanical way of being a form of illustration.

 

So photographers have slowly lost control under the guise of getting more. They have slowly given up the great gift of a meaningful and spiritual interchange with this glorious world, for consistency, ease, control, and most importantly a fear of failure.

 

All those appurtenances you have added to your toolbox so you would not fail have in fact failed you in the end. What has been lost is a way to succeed naturally. I am fearful some photographers have lost their way.

 

If you risk a great deal and you expose your hidden self by your experiences and your reaction to the world you encounter, you will be telling all those who care to look and listen the small truths that are hidden inside you.

You should indeed read the whole thing. It will make you think.

And I could care less if you agree with him – or me- or not. It is an exercise in thinking beyond the edges.

There was a time, when I entered photography, that the challenge of making an image was foremost a matter of skill and bravery and choices and difficulties to be met at every turn. The amount of time spent working with chemistry to perfect that incredible negative was profound. It wasn’t automatic, it wasn’t foolproof. It was fucking hard work.

I have on my shelves countless books in photographic technique: The Ansel Adams “Camera/Negative/Print” series, books on darkroom and film developing, books on alchemy and the magic of selenium toner when combined with hot Dektol… I could go on.

But what would be the point.

That entire shelf of books is worth entirely nothing now.

The information contained within is no longer viable, no longer of interest to anyone but a few.

Something indeed was lost.

And other things were found… you see with any closing of one door, another door gets bashed open by a wrecking ball and throws shards of glass all over the walls and floors, endangering all who linger in the mourning of the closed door.

“Photography” is about 140 years old. In the grand scheme of things it is a pretty young art form. There are no known photographs of Bach, or Michaelangelo, or Genghis Khan. The camera didn’t exist. The likenesses were created with pen and brush.

By highly skilled pen and brush image creating folks.

When the camera came about, you should have heard them scream. In fact, you can still hear luddite statists discussing whether photography is art or not. It is, so STFU.

Now we have entered the digital photography dimension or era or time… whatever. I have a prediction… it won’t last another 140 years. You can bet your Mayan calendar on that.

Change is growing exponentially… and what we are seeing now is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Photography, as I learned it, is practically no more.

Digital changed everything.

Hey, I’m not whining, I am pointing out that when the bar of entry changes, the output changes with it.

If every young girl in the world had her own thoroughbred horse, what would the world look like? Would ‘horse racing’ or ‘dressage’ still exist? If everything was as good as everything else, what would be the point?

In my own work I have come to quite a different place than I was even a few years ago. I now question the ‘legitimacy’ of every image I shoot. Does it need to be made? What will the making of that image mean to me? If I do not take the image what will be lost?

In the commercial part of my business the answers are self evident. I need to make this shot and do a great job at it because that is what I am hired to do, and what makes me a professional. Obviously there is a need for the photograph, and thank heaven they called me to fill that need.

But I am referring here to the personal work. The stuff that I seek out. The ‘real’ images that have always helped me see my place in the world.

I have been asked why I photograph and the answer has always been ‘because I must’. Not just because I want to. There has always been a deep need to fulfill the request from my mind for a singular image, a point in time that will never be again captured and saved. I still love it so.

However, the excitement that I felt when meeting challenges of ISO, light, negative development, printing and presenting my work is now different. Oh, it isn’t gone… but it is different.

Digital has removed so many choices that once were so important – wiped them clear off the table. I mean, they are simply gone.

When I would think of a photograph, I would first consider the format. This shot felt right for an 8×10, that one was gonna be on 35, and the one tomorrow was 6×7, no doubt in my mind about that. I had a wide variety of cameras and formats that all felt different in my hands. I didn’t photograph with my 4×5 as I did with my 35. Even the way the camera was interfaced with me was such a complete and radical difference.

Then the task of narrowing down the film choices… and processing choices… and print choices.

Each choice impacting all the other choices… ahhh… heady times.

Now photography is for the most part shot on the 35MM type of camera. No waist viewfinders, no gridded screens and built in tilt-shift. No bigass 8×10 chromes that jump off the light table and make you catch your breath for a split second.

I miss that.

But I do not despair in the here and now either.

Digital has made the love of the still image something everyone can be involved in. I think that is grand.

But it is different.

The “Photograph” capitol P, is now the rarity. Photographs have become ubiquitous and so widely disseminated that the taking of an image is in many cases an afterthought.

Jorge Colberg recently wrote on Conscientious:

Photographing an event one is looking at might just be a natural consequence of that compulsive looking. Of course, one is likely to share the images with friends or whoever else will look at them (as I did). Photographing results from a desire to communicate, and modern technology has made it possible for people to achieve that very effect usually instantaneously (this is one of the reasons why articles such as Jones’ are so misguided).

 

But I believe there is more. Often enough, the photographs we produce are not very good photographs. Mind you, I’m not talking about the idea of beauty here. I’m talking about simple image quality. Cell phone and digital point-and-shoot cameras are pretty good, but most photographs by bystanders are pretty bad. They might be blurry, or the camera might have trouble getting the exposure right, or the fact that digital cameras almost always have very wide-angle lenses results in the event being quite small in the photograph. Interestingly enough, reduced image quality usually means increased believability – if it looks too good, it might be fake (as if it were impossible to fake blurry images).

 

So there’s that then: We photograph almost as compulsively as we look when something is happening (even if it’s just the breakfast appearing under our noses), and since the photographs don’t look too perfect, that only means they’re more real. And we share, because that’s what photographs are made for (only very, very few photographs are made for the walls of galleries or rich collectors, or to give pleasure to art critics).

Pretty compelling reading, and I do hope you read the whole article. It will make you think. And thinking is our friend.

I look at the ways photography is being discussed on forums and around photographers of all levels and am struck by how little the images are involved in the dialog. There is a fascination with the tools and the presentation and the ‘cool’ factor that has little to nothing to do with why that image exists, why it was made, and to what end it will be left.

In the world of Instagram, those are not things we discuss.

My daughter (15) has a point and shoot camera with ‘all of her pictures on it’. I mentioned that I would take her card out and transfer the photographs to her computer so she could make more photographs. “You can print up the ones you like,” I told her.

She heard: “Imvo platigroassy imo uitvllvy…”

“Why would I make a print,” she asked?

“And why would I want the pictures on my computer? I want them on the camera so I can show them to my friends. And most of them are on Facebook already…”

Well, OK then.

I replaced the 4GB card with a 16GB card, moved her pictures over to the new card and got a great big hug… “thanks daddy”.

Photography has become an event, a sport, a past time much as the way of golf… wait, nothing is as boring as golf. (Yeah, now I will get hate mail from golfers who think this is about them…)

There are some photographers who think that Instagram is the devil, Flickr the ruination of all that is artistic and G+ as a place where photographers shout “look what I did, look what I did.”

Well, they may have a point about G+, but seriously… nothing could be further from the truth.

Photography, capital P Photography, is still here. It exists in digital, and it exists in those still using analog.

It has little to nothing to do with Instagram or 500PX or Yahoo or Facebook or Twitter or whatever. That is something new… a shared visual experience, a connecting device with little regard for exposure or ‘the rule of thirds bullshit’ or any of the things we bigP shooters are thinking about.

But maybe we should think about it a bit more.

Maybe we should think about where this is all going, cause I think in another ten years we may not recognize much of what we think Photography should be. (Yeah, there’s that ‘should’ word again… scary.)

How about this… maybe we damn well better start thinking about it. Digital changed a lot of things about our art, our business, our personal relationship to the image and more.

Much, much more.

We could go running around worrying and fretting and getting all angst ridden like this insufferable whimpering elitist

When did my photophobia begin? When I realised that I was buying into the same delusion of grandeur as everyone else. I have a decent camera and it can take lovely pictures. It has a close-up focus that can capture perfectly crisp images of a flower petal or a bee up close. So I think the moment it all went wrong was on a visit to Kew Gardens. There I was, having fun snapping water lilies, when I realised that about a hundred people were doing the same thing. Grannies, kids, babies, all with cameras and a sense of being artists. I am waiting for dogs and cats to get their own photo-sharing site for their genuinely beautiful snaps.

 

How can you fool yourself about this? For every wacky picture you take and upload, a million just as wacky are being taken. Dogs, flowers, fairy lights … each one as gorgeous as the next. On Instagram every passing moment has a pseudo-Baudelarian beauty. Random shots of ordinary things are touched up for instant allure. It is so easy with these technologies to believe you are Baudelaire’s “painter of modern life”, the ironic flâneur capturing the passing life of the modern world, or a latter-day Atget, but really you are the servant of a computerised eye. Instagram’s apparent claim of ownership of every image on its site would actually be a logical next step, for the reality is that no individuality exists in the creation of digital images.

Well, I hope not. There is so much bullshit in those two paragraphs that I could devote an entire week taking this apart. Dude… if you can’t find anything to make a photograph of, just STFU and go write poetry.

Instagram is not the enemy… complacency and ignorance are.

Photography is alive and well, and the fact that so many people love it is cause for celebration. Understanding that the world of our art is changing takes personal education and engagement.

It means we will have to find our way through uncharted territory… a place where cameras mounted on hats, full range cameras with no need to focus until after the image is taken, 3-dimensional captures to 3-dimensional prints, images that ‘speak’, blurred images that are recovered to perfect sharpness, and so much more.

So many new and exciting things coming soon… I wish I was 30 again to witness all these amazing things.

And adopting the new doesn’t mean tossing the old. I am shooting some tintype now on my beloved Deardorff 8×10.

And I look forward to shooting on my new Nikon V1 to be delivered today.

So photography, an art form of less than a century and a half is being changed and altered and manipulated and morphed right in front of our very eyes.

Are you on board? And if you are, where do you think we will be in a couple of years?

I cannot wait to find out.

Pogoplug: Now This is Useful AND Cool

Pogoplug: Now This is Useful AND Cool

I just set up my Pogoplug.

I plugged it in, turned it on, set it up and went to work

Took about 2 minutes. Tops.

Wait… you may not know what a Pogoplug is.

Now this thing is cool. Think of it as a network drive / personal cloud sort of thing. With a very cool set of tools that let you actually USE the thing. Keep your photographs on there securely, and pull them up as a slideshow from your iOS or Android. Keep your music on a drive and access it to play from any device. Share files with clients and family. Automatically backup your files or photos.

Amazing.

And they have an online cloud for additional, easy storage.

The device is very small, taking nearly no space at all. And that is a big deal for me. My router is in the living room and having too many devices taking up too much room can create wifely harrassment.

The device hooks into your router, and you hook a hard drive mechanism to the device in one of many ways. In fact, you can hook multiple devices up to the Pogoplug and have different ways to store and share files.

You can see the footprint here as well as the USB drive in position next to my router and Network Drive. These things make working away from home or office a far less painful experience.

You can use a 2.5″ HD, a USB HD, a Flash Card, or any kind of memory that can hook into a device. I chose a 500GB USB Drive that I had for backing up my music. It has lots of room left, so I hooked it into my Pogoplug and started moving files around. I first set it to automatically copy over my iPhone/iPad files and images so I don’t have to even think about it.

Cool.

I then downloaded the iPad/iPhone apps and logged in. Don’t worry, they are free. The files then began downloading to my Pogoplug. I can play my music from my devices, or my laptop, or use the Pogoplug for sharing files with clients that may be too large for email.

And… it worked right out of the box, right away. Simple, easy and totally simple application. (Well done, Pogoplug guys…)

I have a couple of extra Pogoplug units for you, the readers of this blog. I haven’t decided yet how we will give them away. I am sure some sort of contest will be forthcoming, so watch for it.

I am thrilled with this thing, and some of the cool things I have already identified some important business uses for it.

You can see more at their website, and they also have a cloud storage system for those who only want to use it online. The Pogoplug device is the tool for sharing, backing up, and more.

Watch for the contest coming next week. Win one of these things and have a blast with it.


OK, Now I’m Hungry… the Food Photography of Michele Drumm

OK, Now I’m Hungry… the Food Photography of Michele Drumm

Michele Drumm is a photographer in the Washington DC / Fredricksberg area of Virginia. Her work ranges from still life to environments, but one of her great loves is shooting food.

From meticulous studio shoots to on location editorial work, Michele brings a bit of whimsy and fun to each project she takes.

She has been a Project 52 member for two years and is now a Project 52 PRO, working on getting her book out and into the world.

We love her work and her commitment to making the image exactly as she sees it. Only problem is that every time I review her work, I gain a pound… heh.

Waygu Beef Burger

Highland Park Diner

Don

Blackened Shrimp Saute over Sweet Corn Pudding and Mache Salad

Turkey legs at the fair

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

portabella mushroom

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

You can see more of Michele’s work at her Flickr page. Just click on any image above and it will take you to her images.

Thanks for coming along today, but I gotta run off now. It’s lunch time!

Instagram… it is Not the Devil (or is it?)

Instagram… it is Not the Devil (or is it?)

Instagram was a tiny app that grew at an amazing rate. Hipstagram is another app that has grown faster than most, and Snapseed was just purchased by Google.

What does that mean? Is it, as one of the articles below suggests, the end of photography? Or is it a new, and very cool little tool that will grow into something amazing and a part of the arsenal of professional photographers.

I use all three, and really enjoy their quirky twist on the image. But there are detractors as well. I thought it would be interesting to see what others think about the photo sharing tool everyone loves – and some love to hate.

“I became very, very quickly addicted,” says Reid, who works primarily as a web designer. “It’s a fascinating phenomenon, unlike anything. Something like Twitter — that’s a community, but its not such a happy community, where people are all sharing their art and talking about it, like [Instagram].”

Thousands of people like Reid have used Instagram to meet other photographers experimenting with the medium, and even selling their photos on sites like Instaprints. Reid’s own “DCEmmy” Instagram account now has almost 5500 followers, and she has exhibited her work in mobile photography shows across the country.”

Read more at Huffington Post.

David Harry Stewart has a short little rant about Instagram.

I get asked all the time if I feel threatened by this new wave of iPhone bearing Instagramming photographers. Why would I possible feel that way? I think everyone, every single person on the planet should be Instagraming and we would all be better off.

This post at Forbes shows how far reaching the formerly little app has grown; “Google Challenges Facebook And Instagram With Snapseed Buy”

“One reason we can presume Google wants to integrate Nik’s technology into its social network: the acquisition was announced by the man behind Google+ himself, Vic Gundotra, on a Google+ post. “We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone,” he wrote.

The same post also talked about the growth of Google+ users, saying the network now had more than 400 million signups, with 100 million of them “monthly active users.”

At the Guardian, there is this; “Is Instagram ‘debasing photography’?”

“It’s not just Instagram – other software produces the same effects: Hipstamatic, Snapseed and of course the big boys: Gimp, Photoshop and Lightroom.

For me, these filters spoil pictures: they get in the way of the image and they distort the story the picture is telling. It jars to see a picture taken a few seconds ago, in the summer of 2012, that looks like a picture from my childhood (I’m a 60s baby).”

Over at Bloomberg Business there was this interesting article on pro photographers using Instagram.

“Following the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook, Businessweek.com asked several prominent photographers, editors, and other photography professionals about Instagram. For many of them, the simple app has changed the way they shoot and what they choose to share with the world. Here are their replies, in their own words.”

“8 PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM TOP INSTAGRAMMERS” has some gorgeous imagery and some good information.

“Rather than just snapping drunken shenanigans with pals, some Instagram users are creating mind-blowing pics with just a few taps on their iPhone. Want to know how some of the most popular users do it?”

So what is your take on Instagram?

Or for that matter, what is your take on Snapseed and the acquisition by Google?

For me it is simply a lot of fun, and a great way to amuse myself.