Nancy Macdonell:

“The original Paper Denim look book was done with Polaroids,” says Chantel Valentene, the brand’s creative director. “Instagram is the modern equivalent, so when we were talking about doing the look book for the relaunch, it was a natural step. It fits in with our idea that getting dressed should be easy — with Instagram you can’t retouch, it’s what you see is what you get. It’s the opposite of fussy.”

I like the analogy that Instagram is the new Polaroid, but I think that Valentene is being a bit short-sighted. Even if an Instagram photo is taken with an iPhone, and never leaves the phone, there are still plenty of tools that a person can use to tweak and retouch the image. Not to mention selecting a proper filter can be quite “fussy”.

Still, I think one of the biggest questions that surrounds modern photography (as we move forward) is going to be: what’s real? Some of the more iconic photos of the last 5 years were shot on digital and heavily tweaked in software during editing — are these photos then, not real?

Which photos do we archive as a historical record of our world? Do we care that we removed cellulite and zits? Do we care that everyone looks perfect, unless taken to show how evil the person was?

I wonder if 20 years from now when my daughter is looking at photos of nature from 2010, if she won’t stop and ask: “Dad, why aren’t the trees as green anymore?”

Well, sweety, boosting color saturation used to be the thing to do…

[via Om Malik]

Posted by Ben Brooks