I believe Instagram is a great tool to get your pictures out there for people to see and share.

Selvin Cortez asks

I believe Instagram is a great tool to get your pictures out there for people to see and share. At the same time I feel that it’s becoming saturated with self-portraits of “duck-faced” teens that have have a gazillion likes and get featured on the main page. How can a real photographer get his/her images on the main page like these teenybops?

Funny, I’ve noticed some of what you’re talking about. The Most Popular images aren’t always the best images.

While I’ve never been on the Most Popular page, I’ve read speculations about how Instagram determines it. For Instagram, the Most Popular page is like their secret sauce. I don’t think they’ll ever tell us exactly how they do it. It would reveal too much about how Instagram works. And since Instagram is built on Django (an open source software), it would be too revealing.

My best guess is that if you post a pic and X% like it within Y minutes, then you have your Z = making the Most Popular page.

I also read one story about a guy who felt like “my pictures are better than the stuff currently on that page!”. So he emailed Instagram. The story goes that he didn’t get a reply, but several weeks later, his pictures were featured on the Most Popular page.

So, who knows the voodoo that they do.

All we know is how to request whatever it is their system says is popular: http://instagram.com/developer/endpoints/media/

What kind of camera do you use?

“What kind of camera do you use” is a question I get frequently asked.

My answer is always:

I use the camera that I have at the time.

I usually carry an iPhone. When that’s all I have, the iPhone camera is what I use.

Sometimes, I intentionally carry a compact or full size camera with me. Usually, when I know I might need to take pictures.

For the times I know I will be taking lots of pictures, I might take multiple cameras. I’ve found the main benefit of multiple cameras to be lens related. I can shoot with the camera with a 50mm lens, then switch to the camera with a macro lens, and switch to the camera with a telephoto lens, without having to stop and physically take lenses on and off.

This is a screenshot of my photo library. ┬áIt has a list of all the cameras I’ve used to take the pictures in my library.

Keep in mind these are the cameras I’ve used over 15+ years of taking digital photographs.

Looking at the list, I can tell you that I haven’t shot a Nikon camera in a long time. Until recently, I’d mainly shoot Canons.

Recently, my favorite camera is the Sony NEX-5N. I like it because it’s small, light, and fast.