Why the world will never look as good on Instagram as it does in real life

A classic example of a photo which really doesn't live up to how it did in real life.
A classic example of a photo which really doesn’t live up to how it did in real life.

Have you ever been out on a beautiful day, seen an amazing view, taken a picture and then looked at it and been disappointed? I’ve always thought this was down to my photography skills, or lack thereof. But this week I heard an eye-opening talk about colour theory.

Cambridge Marketing Meet-up held a series of lightning talks this week. It’s always a good event to go to but lightning talks is a format I really enjoy. I like the variety and that I will always learn something new or hear ideas which stay with me afterwards. This month’s Meet Up clashed with Cambridge PechaKucha which excels at lightning talks which stand or fall on keeping people interested and entertained. I highly recommend getting along to both events if you can. But I digress…

Jon Parsons from Mobas spoke at Marketing Meet-Up about colour theory. He started by asking which medium shows more colour: digital or print?

Another attempt at capturing the colours of this tree against the background of The Backs, Cambridge
Another attempt at capturing the colours of this tree against the background of The Backs, Cambridge

My Instagram feed is pictures inspired by architecture and nature. It’s just things that take my eye when I’m out and about and think: “that looks pretty.” Trees, flowers, the seaside. You can tell I’m a bright, sunny day kind of Instagrammer! So the issue of not being able to capture a view which looks amazing right in front of me is something I find frustrating. I love the effects you can get with filters but I can’t be bothered to sit and tinker with my pictures to create those popping colours. It’s all about capturing a moment and posting for me.

Jon’s talk explained clearly why I can see something wonderful but not do it justice on camera. Your eye sees far more of the green colour spectrum than can be reproduced on digital. And when you print your beautiful woodland photograph, the number of greens on show decreases even more.

Instagram is a beautiful place full of wonderful pictures of the world but put your camera down and enjoy the natural beauty. No matter how hard you try, your eye will never see it again as well as it does in real life.

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