Tag - pix

Instagram, where are you online?

I guess all of us in the industry are pretty familiar with the mobile-first development philosophy prevalent these days.

However, as mobile-optimized everything and not-so-plain-old-web just kinda seem to get closer and closer week by week, I’m not so sure that mobile only is a great strategy. Last I checked, Facebook had a website.

I’m talking, of course, about Instagram, the mobile social network based on photos. The official blurb is:

A fun & quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo, then choose a filter to transform the look and feel of the shot into a memory to keep around forever.

I’m really not sure about the “forever” part, and I don’t do a ton of filters … sorta preferring reality to be filtered by my perception of it rather than my machine-aided reinterpretation of it … but I love using Instagram. It’s a great way to take and share pix you snap throughout the day.

I’d just so dearly love to be able to have a place to point to online where all my Instagram photos live. And there ain’t no such animal.

You can do precisely 3 things on Instagram’s website.

One
You can visit the home page. Yay.

Two
You can visit an individual photo, lonely and proud in its isolation:

Three
You can click through to iTunes and download the app.

. . .
. . .

But actually, #3 is cheating because it’s not really on the Instagram website. So there’s only two things you can do.

So the question becomes: when is Instagram going to take all that wonderful, beautiful, socially-related content and post it online?

One would thing they are missing some opportunities here, even if they are mostly pre-revenue. And one would think they could provide a better user experience for Instagram devotees.

Agree?

Japanese art

I recently spent a week in Japan and while there had the opportunity to visit the national gallery in Ueno park, in Tokyo.

The visit was wonderful and I had the chance to see amazing 500-year-old pottery from all over Asia, including this Ming bowl. That, of course, was one of the younger pieces as the gallery has many older pieces, including this incredible 400-year-old jar from the Manjiayoo culture of ancient China:

After touring the Asian sections of the gallery, I went to the Japanese art section, featuring paintings on huge screens or panels – where I was not allowed to take photos. This was fascinating and enjoyable, but … confusing.

I’m used to Western art. While I’m not an expert by any means whatsoever, I can “read” it to a degree … understand it … appreciate it. Japanese painting, on the other hand is very different … in many ways I cannot read it and do not understand it.

Japanese art, especially traditional Japanese art, seems to almost be more about what is not there than what is. In my limited understanding, this does not appear to be negative space in the western architectural sense, though. Rather, the landscape and objects that are not there are not omissions – they are not removed. Rather, my sense of it is that it’s more of a fading away … a merging with the background which is not background but is also foreground.

Later Japanese art from the 20th and 21st centuries seems more detailed, more western. It employs more tricks of perspective to spatially place objects and scenes in a more “realistic” way. It’s more accessible to my Western eye.

Perhaps next time I go to Japan (if I go) I’ll read up on traditional Japanese art and be able to understand it better.

I did notice, however, that other sections of Japanese art, including sculpture and carving, were far more accessible – though I’m certain that I’m missing many things when viewing these as well.