the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

A Month of Instagram

In the last month, I’ve taken over 300 photos of my neighborhood in Queens and around the New York City, and posted them on Istagram, which is a Twitter-type app on the iPhone for photography.   I’ve also greatly enjoyed seeing the photos of other bloggers also using this iPhone app.   Instagram is an interesting place to visit, a mixure of professionals and amateurs from around the world, all putting up random photos of their lives in an never-ending stream.

I rarely take photos, even on vacations, but during the last month of photo-taking, I’ve learned some interesting tidbits about myself, the creative act, and YOU, the viewer.   Maybe I’ll talk about these insights during my next post.  This exercise has been a lot of fun, even a little sexy.   Life is interesting, and colorful, so why not capture it in images?

Writing is a different animal.   Words frequently fail me when I try to recreate the real world on the blank page.   I hide behind the words.  But the real world loves the camera.   It doesn’t play games.   It begs for our attention, like a spoiled movie star in a low cut dress crying, “Take my photo!”

I suggest you take some photos this weekend, throw some filters on top of them, and publish them on your blog.  Visual art energizes a different part of the brain.

I don’t know how much longer I will be running around town taking photos, or whether LA will inspire me in the same way, if I end up returning there.  I like that there is a little story behind each photograph, even when the subject is the most ordinary.  Especially when the subject is the most ordinary.  That makes it even more intriguing.  It’s an important lesson to remember for writing.  The other photos are on Flickr.


  1. Elisa Camahort Page

    Thanks for writing this. As a fellow word person and bad photographer, I can appreciate that you are scratching a *different* creative itch with this. I do occasionally take pics and list to my twitter stream, but can do it natively in the Twitter app I use, so something is not clicking for me.

    But I do love your photos above. The last one is a perfect example how something as ndane as a phone booth (didn’t realize NYC even still had them!) can become art.

  2. sizzle

    You do have a great eye for capturing the feeling of NY. I’ve loved seeing this side of you!

  3. Diana

    I so wish they’d either release instagram for other phone platforms *cough* palm *cough* or Sprint would pick up an iPhone contract already! Love your pictures, Neil.

  4. Amy B.

    These are really, really, REALLY good.

  5. wench

    I dig what you’re sayin’ brother!

  6. flutter

    as I have said to you several times now, you have a great eye

  7. Twenty Four At Heart

    I love that you have gotten bit by the photography bug. I also really enjoy your photos on Instagram. Can’t wait for you to come out here!!

  8. Irish Gumbo

    You are doing great with words and images, Neil. I think they play off each other, in a mutually beneficial positive feedback loop.

    These are good.

    And for some reason I want to run around shouting “I’m Batman!”

  9. amiee

    You know, I thInk because you work with words your Pictures tell stories in ways another eye would not. and LA would look interesting too so I hope you come back. You are missed. 🙂

  10. Stasha

    I have told you before how much I like seeing Queens through your lens. Keep the photos coming…
    Story can be told in many different ways.

  11. Bridget

    I had to take a leave-of-absence from Twitter. The hoopla had gotten to be too much. But instagram? I’ve fallen in love. Your stream is by far my favorite. Oh, how I miss the city.

  12. Lisa Golden

    Oh man, my case of iPhone envy just flared up again and there’s no salve for it!

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