the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Instagram Video Trilogy

I hope you enjoyed my Instagram Video Trilogy this weekend, consisting of my first three fifteen second Instagram videos. It was quite cathartic, a personal passive-aggressive nod at how much I dislike the inclusion of video into the previously photo-only Instagram app.   Sadly, only I will truly understand my own joke.

Why am I so against it?  I know, I know.  I can shut off the auto-play of the videos in the stream.  But it has less to do with YOUR dull videos, than with my own temptation to use video for MY own nefarious purposes.

I could write you a long thesis, with quotes from famous authors such as Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes, explaining the differences between photography and “motion pictures,” but I’d rather be as concise as possible — in my opinion, photography and video go together as well as a corned beef sandwich and mayonnaise. A photo captures a moment in time. A video is about movement in time. What strikes me as interesting as a photo — a street scene, a skyline, a person smoking a cigarette on a park bench — is not what I look for in a video.  In one swoop, Instagram ruined the gentle creative flow of the photo stream.

What am I talking about?   Why do I care so much about this shit?  Am I just weird?

Yes, I am weird.  Case in point — the completely unexpected Instagram discussion on the first video about my life-long technique of taking a shower.

Great video but one question.  Who gets into a shower without turning it on first!

Really, @lillyhollow? I had to fake the washing a little so the iPhone didn’t get wet, but I ALWAYS go into the shower and then turn it on. Have I been doing it wrong all my life? I adjust the temperature from inside.

Yes @neilochka that’s wrong 🙂 In fact I hate hotels where the door is such that you have to get in to turn it on.

Others then jumped in, calling my shower technique a “troubling one.”

Yes, I am so WEIRD that I even take my showers WRONG.

That said, I will probably delete these videos from Instagram tomorrow.  The style of humor in the videos doesn’t blend in with what I have created on Instagram during the past few years.  I have been proud of finding a place online where I can be less a personality driven narcissist — always about me, me, me  — and focus on observing the outside world, like a bystander.   It’s been a very enriching experience that I would rather not destroy.


  1. Alison

    Wellllll, you’re wasting less water, the way you shower. So there’s that. I think most people turn on the water first to let it warm up.

    I guess you can edit the videos in Instagram based on what I saw from you?

  2. Alexandra

    “Yes, I am so WEIRD that I even take my showers WRONG.”

    I am praying right now that I will always always always know you.


  3. Kat

    I was wondering if the truly talented photographers of instagram would be annoyed at this new development. I think most will continue to use it as photo sharing app with video sprinkled in occasionally. And by “most people” I just mean “me” because I really have no idea what most people intend to do with their own profiles. Keep doing your think Neil…just…maybe less sex with puppets?

  4. Kizz

    I have a fear response to cold. The very idea of adjusting the temp while freezing to death makes me cry. But, yeah, your way is much more environmentally sound. Do you take “navy showers” too? The kind where you turn it on to get wet, turn it off while you soap, then turn on to rinse?

  5. m

    I completely agree with this assessment of the video function in IG. Once in a while I come across something okay but mostly it’s a WTF moment.

  6. Lisa

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