Tag Archives: polaroid

What Your Favorite #Instagram #Filter Says About You

Normal — You’re an actual photographer. Just kidding. You actual have #NoFilter, brah.

Amaro — Your nostalgia is European, a supercool pretentiousness that’s incomparably aloof, just like that great regard you hold for places that you’ve never been.

Mayfair — You like it when people consider you an artist, and lucky for you, you’re smart enough to realize that a little added shadow and saturation looks dramatic enough to half-do the job for you.

Rise — You refuse to believe that any good music has been released since 1978, even though you yourself weren’t born until 1987.

Hudson — You’re self-conscious because you’re worried that your friends are going to figure out that all you do is use the Mayfair filter, so you feel the need to switch it up.

Valencia — You own a different flannel shirt for ever hair in your beard, which is one for every song ever written by the Decemberists.

X-Pro II — You listened to more rap metal growing up than you’re comfortable admitting, which is why you’re still a sucker for anything with a totally awesome “X-” in front of it.

Sierra — You have a dog, or some other pet that you won’t stop taking photos of.

Willow — You feel like you’re supposed to be using Instagram for things but you’re too self-conscious and afraid that you’re not doing something right simply because you don’t “get it,” so you default to black-and-white so you feel like you’re doing something (even though you’re not).

Lo-Fi — Garage rock bands and the Elephant Six Collective were just as good to you in art school as they are today.

Earlybird — You’ve lived your entire life basking in sun-soaked sepia, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sutro — You care less about pictures and more about telling the world about the totally cool concert / restaurant / tourist trap vacation spot you’re currently at.

Toaster — You’re a Cylon.

Brannan — You’re a challenge-seeker, always looking for something new, so congratulations, you got this far in the filter list, instead of settling for the moderately-less-shadowed Mayfair. So maybe you’re a little darker, too.

Inkwell — You’re trying even harder than that Willow guy to figure what the hell this whole Instagram thing is supposed to be about, so you dig deeper into the filter list, hoping that later filters are cool like deep album cuts.

Walden — You still quote Transcendentalists in your Facebook profile.

Hefe — You’re the boss. Of Instagram, anyway.

Nashville — You’ve never been down South, and you’ve never owned a Polaroid camera, but you think it’s cool when other people have.

1977 — You don’t even care that punk’s not dead, you just want find a filter that no one else is gonna use ’cause you don’t wanna be like all them other poseurs.

Kelvin — You’re rough around the edges, enough that you probably do things like write lists of What Your Favorite Instagram Filter Says About You when you’re not already busy bitching about Thought Catalog.

Redaguerrotyping

She had tattoos of photographs. It was the first thing I noticed. And they weren’t Polaroids either. But her body art was framed like pictures, mostly in landscape, collage’d across her calf like a scrapbook. Frozen slivers of light and time, divided by the rule of thirds. You could tell that whoever took the originals knew a thing or two about composition. Or was it the artist who arranged the images in just that way? I thought perhaps that they were photographs that she had taken as a child with a cardboard Kodak camera. The pictures came out sloppy, clumsy, but the memories were true. In this way they were immortalized with the Lichtensteinian precision of a needle by a steady hand. These instants that once left their scars within her, now scarred her from without. Sure, the details of the moments may have changed as she looked back at them, but they were frozen now the way she knew them, the way she wanted them to be. If the pictures changed in the translation from celluloid to ink, did the moments change, too? Did her memories, or more, like a butterfly in time? Did the essence, or the purpose of the pictures change? Once they were honest and real, specific instants of light, captured and kept and then brought back to life in a chemical bath. Now in this new medium, they had become something else entirely. Did the tattoo artist play the role of translator, or adaptor? Both rely heavily on interpretation — it becomes his perception of her moments, of her memories. Of her life. The back of her leg had become a strip of film, unrolled and exposed, and I couldn’t help but wonder where the negatives were, and what they looked like in their sepia tinge. I tried to read their story the way that I read comics, a sequential narrative postulated in the panels, but she walked away too quickly and so the page was turned. I finished my lunch and went back to work.