With the wide reach of the Internet, vast improvements in camera and imaging technology, combined with an immense increase in the number of photographs taken, photographers are trying to distinguish their photographs by making them look "different". Using one of many filters, either built in or add on to editing software, online services like Instagram, and effects produced with much manual labor are all results, and possibly response to the changes in the photography scene. Years ago, John Szarkowski said that there were "more photographs than bricks in the world". Now, the number of bricks probably cannot serve as a yard stick any more. The apparent mechanical simplicity of capturing a photograph, even from the early days of the medium, gave the impression that "any idiot can do it." The question is "do what?" When thinking of "photography" I would like to envision a body of work that can stand as a whole. The Instagram-processed photographs attempt to be different from all others, but by virtue of the process, they probably fall fairly close. The reason we may not see this is a matter of exposure to different sharing sites and ways in which we filter content. So at a particular Web site, person A's Instagram may look really different, but what does that really mean?
One need not consider this "sameness" only to images that benefited from a technique or technology. Do a Google search on "Bass Harbor" and take a look at the resulting images.
I sometimes think that we are taking photographs because we can rather than because we want to say something. The vast history and tradition of photography is generally neglected, ignored, or considered irrelevant.