I'm not going to put a dog in this fight one way or the other (regarding the OP and his glass house), but I will say this:
As an actual part-time photographing enthusiast (read: paid for my work), the single biggest Instagram pet peeve of mine...beyond all the vignetting, old-film yellowing, and hdr over-processing...is the rampant, and hilarious, misuse of the tilt-shift DOF filter by people who clearly have no idea how the actual native, analog lens effect is intended to be used. This would be the 2nd of the 5 pictures that Stohlen just posted.
People just throw it on their photos, like blurring the top and bottom of a photo is just going to automatically make sense. It ends up just being a visual contradiction for your eyes because that's not how things should focus, and outs it as a clearly mis-applied filter.
The intended effect is to force and manipulate a very shallow depth-of-field to be in focus, which has the effect of miniaturizing the captured image. It does this because we typically only ever naturally see such effects from macro photography of the very small, so our mind is tricked into miniaturizing something as large at a sports stadium or city block. This effect can be awesome, but it needs to be utilized properly, and that not only means focusing the right subject matter at the right angle in the composition, but also only using it with a photo that has enough depth in it to make any sense in the first place. (It also has architectural photo purposes, but that's not important right now).
These would be some good usages of the effect (apologies to the original artists, don't know who they are to give credit):
Edit: eesh, sorry for being so long-winded; got a bit carried away there. I guess I don't have many other outlets for my Instagram PSA. I'll get off my podium now.
Last edited by stopper; 11-06-2012 at 07:26 PM.