Even Leica loves “computational photography”

What I hate about news is that there is too much of it, and most of it doesn’t matter. So instead of writing about the regulation of Google’s monopoly or moral ambiguities of Facebook, I decided to focus on a topic that makes me excited about the future — computational photography, which is simply capturing and processing digital images using computation instead of more traditional optical processes.

I had a somewhat slow weekend — spent poring over research I have accumulated for my book on photography and camera culture titled The Third Eye. It has been slow going, mostly because understanding the social, cultural and ethical impact of cameras everywhere. It started out as a straightforward exercise, but I have found myself tangled in the thick weeds of morality and humanness. And yet, there is a sense of delight that modern camera — a visual sensor, really brings to mind. Continue reading “Even Leica loves “computational photography””

Vincent Laforet on visual web & future of news

Photographer and filmmaker Vincent Laforet has climbed to the top of the Empire State Building. He’s shot night aerials of New York City from 7,500 feet high. But when I talked with him earlier this year, he wondered, “Is there such thing as a real event?”

You’d think the crazy winds at high altitudes might have convinced him of their reality, but that’s not exactly what he meant. “Is a press conference real, is a press photo op real?” he continued, describing what it’s often like to be in the media these days. “When people take selfies, that’s not real either. It’s all fake, yet it represents something….Everyone produces media these days. We all have iPhones, smartphones and cameras.”

That can be both good and bad. For photojournalists, it means that as skilled as they are, they can’t ever “compete with someone who was there at the moment [an event] happened.”

But so many citizen journalists and new platforms can also provide a powerful new way to communicate. After shooting his aerial NYC photos for a magazine, Vincent decided his job wasn’t finished. He uploaded them to Storehouse, and they went viral. Vincent says photojournalists need to think in creative ways like this. “People will always gravitate toward quality content,” he said. “Storytelling is as old as cave drawings. That’s not going away.”

Continue reading the complete interview with Vincent on Pi.co

Standalone camera: Shot (Dead) By iPhone

It is hard to miss Apple’s “Shot on iPhone 6” advertising campaign. It is pretty much everywhere in San Francisco, not surprising that Apple is gearing up for the launch of its brand new Photos app. The company is spending a considerable amount of resources hyping the iPhone 6 and its capabilities ahead of the new application.

While walking to work, I was wondering if they are just saying the obvious. It is pretty clear that the iPhone 6 (and 6-plus) have become a major disrupter in the world of photography. It has already become the second most popular camera being used to upload photos to FlickrIn a previous post, I had pointed out that: “The ultimate beauty of iPhone — it has made photography not scary. It has removed technology and made it just an act of creation.”

Photo courtesy of Vincent Laforet

Continue reading “Standalone camera: Shot (Dead) By iPhone”