The World of Instagram

The World of Instagram

Maybe you know, and maybe you don't, but I am not much for social media. I don't do Facebook or Twitter. I think someone showed me Facebook once, but I never was interested. We all do Linkedin at work, but that is for professional connections and associations. Years ago, I did web support for a game I played and made a lot of internet friends. I have always tried to stay a bit under the radar as far as my own identity on the internet.

But, that was before Instagram - which is a photo sharing app for mobile devices. A lot of people take pictures with their phones and post on Instagram. I use my camera, but I view the app on my iPad. You post a picture to your account and if you add hashtags in the comments, it adds your photo to a specific category. Then, other people can look at that collection. There are collections for just about anything you can think of.

Of course I use my Gustaviatex name there, not my real name. I love posting pictures  and it is inspiring to see what others do. Some of my photos have even won some features! (Those bright red corners come from the service makes these "repost" shots).

Instagram Feature Photos

This one won the Daily Feature and then was voted the winner for the Weekly feature.

This one won the Daily Feature and then was voted the winner for the Weekly feature.

You recognize the Snowy Egret, don't you? This was the first time any of my photos were featured, so I was totally stoked. And feather_perfection is THE best bird award group. When you win all your followers and other admirers congratulate you. And you have to acknowledge and thank everyone. We are a very nice and supportive community.

Awesome Alligator won a Daily Feature

Awesome Alligator won a Daily Feature

Later on, Awesome Alligator was selected for a daily feature, but he lost out on the weekly award to a squirrel and a photo from a safari, if I remember correctly. I was disappointed. But still, wildlife_perfection is cool.

Clapper Rail

Clapper Rail

Earlier this year I got this feature. This is a different group from the Perfection gang. The bird is a Clapper Rail that I saw in Galveston. They are very secretive and shy; a lot of birders never have seen one. So, it was pretty exciting, too, Thanks, fabfaunas!

Sunrise over LP Energy plant

Sunrise over LP Energy plant

And then, the other morning I woke up and sky_captures had featured this sunrise photo. I took this on the way to Brazos Bend for an Adventure I haven't posted yet. I had stopped on the shoulder at a bridge, in a conspicuously marked Do Not Park Here Zone, and hurriedly snapped this out the window of my car in between passing cars and trucks.  I made a note on the post those are steam/condensate plumes, not pollution. Never can tell how folks will interpret industrial photos.

Dysfunctional Chorus Line

Dysfunctional Chorus Line

This photo got a feature, too. These little ducks were in Back to Back Brazos Bend Adventure, but I couldn't put them on Instagram because photos have to be square. Usually that isn't a problem but it was with the gals.  It was going to crop off the sides of the ducks, or worse, a whole duck. Finally, I got an App that allows you to easily resize the photo when you post.

So, I put it up and the crowd went wild. I think it was posted about 12 hours before it was chosen for a feature. Lots of people "follow" these groups, so it gives your photos great exposure to new people.

Instagram Challenges

Recently I got tagged for a 5 Shot Challenge. A friend tags you and gives you a theme. You have to post 5 photos in a row representing the chosen theme. With each photo you post, you tag a friend and give them a different theme. Last time I looked there were over 26K photos with the #5shotchallenge tag. It grows daily and people are running out of friends to tag.

My theme was Feather.

No. 1 Entry - Feather on Pond Scum

No. 1 Entry - Feather on Pond Scum

I had this one in my library. I think it is in the Alligators and Bitterns Adventure and probably in the Gallery as well. All birds have feathers, of course, but I wanted to do something interesting with my challenge. Not just more birds.

I asked some of my co-workers to bring in feather related items, but I was too impatient and went out searching and looking for inspiration.

No. 2 Entry - Feathers in a VAHZ

No. 2 Entry - Feathers in a VAHZ

On my way home, I stopped off at this ... Seriously Fancy and Expensive Accessory Store. They have custom furniture and upholstery, and a lot of expensive artificial flowers. And I found a whole container full of these feathers. I laid some out on tables, stuffed them in flowers but finally just did a close up on the collection. I like the way it turned out and I had my Entry No. 2.

Entry No. 3 - Feather somethings in a basket

Entry No. 3 - Feather somethings in a basket

At the same store, I found what became my third entry. These are way cool feather somethings in a basket they had setting in a bookcase. Maybe they are coasters? or round bookmarks? I have no idea what they are, but they made a nice photo.

Entry No. 4 - Feather left at the crime scene

Entry No. 4 - Feather left at the crime scene

Back home I looked all through my photos and found this bit of feathers and grass. I think it came from the Katy Prairie. Luckily, I kept the photo and it became my fourth entry.

Entry No. 5 - Birds of a Feather

Entry No. 5 - Birds of a Feather

And this one I saved for my final submission. I found this book (with some help from the staff) at Barnes and Noble. They didn't seem to mind me making little vignettes or rearranging their stock to make this picture. I think they were happy to have someone in the store.

This challenge was great fun. Of the ones I tagged to play, one begged off, one played and maybe the rest are saving it for when they have time.
Future Challenges

There are numerous other challenges to enter. I am intrigued by the one based on Colors of the Week. Yellow Monday, Purple Tuesday, Orange Wednesday, Red Thursday, Green Friday, Blue Saturday and Black and White Sunday. I have entered a few, but no luck so far. Will let you know how that turns out.

Photography as Art

One other photo of mine got featured with three others by Ic_water. I thought it would have gotten the main prize, but alas.

Water color

Water color

In any event I was thrilled with the way it came out; it looks like a Monet painting. This has not been edited or filtered. Maybe I should thank the City of Houston for this one. This is standing water on a neighborhood street, plus bright sunlight and a bit of a breeze.

You make art where you can.

Breaking News!

I wrote all this up over the last few days in preparation of posting tonight. But I just have to add this. I got TWO features today!  First off, my iPad was going crazy with alerts (I get those when someone makes a comment with my name).  When I managed to check I found this!

Cute little squirrel from the neighborhood

Cute little squirrel from the neighborhood

underdogs_nature had selected my squirrel for a feature. It is part of a big group and I have no idea why they go by that underdog label. But it was a bright spot in the day. Then after I got home, I found my same little squirrel is hanging out with some nice folks.

Friday feature for Nuts about Squirrels

Friday feature for Nuts about Squirrels

See my little guy in the lower right corner? Two really nice gals run this feature and they look for cute and funny squirrel pix.

You can follow me on Instagram at @gustaviatex. If you want to see all the photos I have on Instagram click the blue button on the right-hand sidebar. Or here.

Do you have an Instgram account? Would you like to post photos on Instagram? Did you know you can follow famous people and see what they are posting? Kim Kardashian has over 5 million followers. Did you know there is a cat found in a shelter that has thousands of followers?

Oh, and if you want to comment it will ask you to log in before accepting the comment. And you can log in with your Facebook or Twitter or even Google ID, but you can click on Guest and then type in a name of your choice. Ignore the fields for email and website, and click Post Comment.

I believe in giving folks an opt out ;-)

The Bird Feeder

The Bird Feeder

Katy Prairie Repeated

Katy Prairie Repeated