915 A Cambrian Explosion

We’re at the verge of a truly fundamental shift in creativity. AI is seeping into a lot of visual fields, including visual medicine. Also Sigma’s good old Foveon sensor is seeing some new life and we’ll have a look back at the birth of a truly remarkable instant camera, the Polaroid SX-70.

Topics:

  • [NEWS, PHOTO] Foveon Alive and Kicking : Sigma has made some great advances on its new Foveon sensor. Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki recently said that they are almost done with the prototype of a new version.
  • [NEWS, AI] Autonomous X-Ray-Analyzing Ai Cleared in the Eu : A fully autonomous system is now allowed to evaluate X-rays for unhealthy changes. Doctors will see only those that the system deems questionable. All others will never be seen by a human.
  • [PHOTO] Eames Polaroid Ad : Chris is a great fan of the engineering, design and aesthetics of the Polaroid SX-70. The revolutionary device defined instant photography for entire generations. Charles and Ray Eames produced this wonderful film introducing the camera, its uses and its technology.
  • [AI, PHOTO] SD Is Bringing a Creative Cambrian Explosion : Within the first week of the release of the open source image generator StableDiffusion, the community has begun creating a cambrian explosion of new creative tools.

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914 The Willingness to Lie

Chris is back from the Eastern Europe Photo Road Trip Scouting Tour (EEPRTST 😄) and if you haven’t watched his vlog about the tour, what are you waiting for?

Today’s episode includes the re-issue of 1 Hour 1000 Pics – Supercharge your Lightroom Workflow, some deep philosophical (and very meta) questions about deep fakes, a disruptor in the field of AI and a general look at what is now possible in computer vision.

Topics:

  • [PHOTO] 1 Hour 1000 Pics (free download) : Just a quick heads-up: Chris’ ebook 1 Hour 1000 Pics – Supercharge your Lightroom Workflow (free download) is still around and can still help you organize a lot of photos quickly. Even in times of AI.
  • [NEWS] Mojo Lens – AR Right in Your Eye : An AR contact lens with a display, gyroscope and battery, all right in your eye. A few months ago, this looked like vaporware to me. Now Tested.com had their hands on an actual prototype.
  • [PHOTO] About the Willingness to Lie : Hat off to Randall Munroe, maker of the xkcd comics. In #2650 he not only touches on a deeply philosophical point regarding visual fakes, he also adds in several meta layers and a ton of nerd humor, right down to the Cottingley DeepFakes.
  • [AI] : Just a couple of weeks ago everyone was talking about DALL-E, but now Stable Diffusion has taken its place. Stability.ai have open-sourced their models, which are as good if not better than what DALL-E can produce. And yes, you can run all that on your own GPU at home now.
  • [OTHER, AI] Autonomous Drone Racing Using Cameras Only : The drone in this video repeats a parkour several times at break-neck (or break-propeller) speed. It doesn’t do that on a pre-programmed path though, it does this by using computer vision.

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913 Epic Episcope

As Chris is on his way to Transylvania (you can follow him on his vlog), he talks about face fixers, an amazing photo and headline combo, re-dubbing movies and if your job as a photographer is safe from our new A.I. overlords.

(Episode artwork: DALL-E 2)

Topics:

  • [NEWS] Scouting Eastern Europe : As you hear this episode, Chris is on his way to Transylvania, crossing Eastern European borders and exploring Prague, Budapest and places in Central Romania for the upcoming 2023 Eastern Europe Photo Road Trip. Follow along on the Scouting Tour Vlog.
  • [PHOTO, AI] Face Fixers : Generating photorealistic faces in DALL-E can be hit or miss. They generally look really good, but sometimes the eyes are a bit mismatched or misshapen. Face Fixers to the rescue.
  • [PHOTO] Autofokus : What a wonderful example of storytelling using photography. And meta levels involving the headline too. This photo shows a German politician who just had a bit of a scandal regarding his mingling with parts of the German auto industry, specifically the CEO of Porsche. So the German paper ZEIT ran a story about this scandal. So what did the photographer do? Focused on a car behind the politician, with really shallow depth of field. And then they titled the article “Auto-Fokus” – Simply brilliant!
  • [PHOTO, AI] The Champion re-dub : In some countries, movies in a non-native language are subtitled. In some they dub movies to the local language. Germany is one of those and while the majority of Germans seem to be just fine with it, some people (including Chris) find it quite jarring because either lip-sync isn’t perfect, the voice doesn’t fit the actor or the voice performance doesn’t feel right. Here’s a new (and a bit mind-blowing) AI-based method that solves at least the lip-sync issue.
  • [AI] Tipping Points – Ash Jafari : Since DALL-E can now be used commercially, and as it’s improving, you will see more and more businesses wonder if they want to a) pay a graphic designer or photographer for 3 hours of work or b) write a prompt, iterate a couple of times and end up with a good enough result for their purposes. Within minutes and for just a few dollars. Ash Jafari makes the convincing point that we will see those tipping points sooner rather than later.
  • [COOL] Episcope Lens : Back in the 90s, the small-sensor DV cameras had the issue that all small-sensor cameras have: too much depth of field. There were several adapters on the market that allowed 35mm lenses to be used on DV cameras by means of projection. Here’s a DIY project that does the same but on a totally new level.

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