935 Spy Stuff

Chris dives into a legal battle as music photographer Alec Byrne sues Getty Images, explores a nifty DIY Game Boy Mini Camera, unravels how AI reconstructs 3D scenes from eye reflections, geeks out on physical camera simulations in Blender, marvels at a super-sensitive camera changing art conservation, ponders National Geographic’s layoffs, and discovers a trendy selfie technique, all in this jam packed episode.


  • [NEWS] Getty Sued : Music photographer Alec Byrne is suing Getty Images for copyright infringement, alleging they sold his photos, including a 1974 ABBA shot, without his consent. This comes as Getty Images is also suing AI image generator Stable Diffusion for copyright infringement.
  • [COOL] Cool Project: Gameboy Mini Camera : The Game Boy Mini Camera is a fun DIY project. This compact device is a shrunken version of the original Game Boy Camera that uses the original ROM and an iPhone XR lens.
  • [NEWS] Blade Runner Enhance: Eye 3D : An AI-powered method developed by the University of Maryland that can reconstruct 3D scenes from the reflections in a person’s eye. This technology, using neural radiation fields, could change photography and raise intriguing questions about privacy.
  • [COOL] Nerd Level 10k: Blender Camera : Blender is an open-source 3D software that can do physical simulations, including light. A photographer has used it to create a virtual camera, simulating optics, lenses, and even film layers, resulting in stunning images. Awesome!
  • [SCIENCE] Science: FLIM Cam : Scientists at King’s College London have developed a super-sensitive camera using macroscopic fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) technology for art conservation. This camera accurately differentiates centuries-old varnish from paint and canvas, revolutionizing the precision and preservation in art restoration.
  • [NEWS] National Geographic Layoffs : National Geographic, renowned for its photojournalism and wildlife photography, has reportedly laid off its last staff writers and other employees, hinting at a potential decline. Despite these changes, the magazine insists it won’t impact their storytelling quality, marking a significant shift in the landscape of photojournalism.
  • [TRENDS] TFTTF Trend Watch: Screenshotting : TikTok influencer Liliana Madrigal has popularized a new selfie technique: screenshotting the image on the front-facing camera instead of taking a photo. This method, she claims, results in better lighting and overall quality, highlighting a shared frustration with the iPhone’s AI computational features. About 4 million people seem to concur.

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929 No Drama in Photo Land

Today we’ll touch on the Adobe content analytics issue, a bit of Flickr pro drama, big movies shot on film and a really interesting firmware from Canon.


  • [WORKSHOPS] Almost Full: Eastern European Photo Roadtrip : The September Eastern European tour is filling up. The Sep 2-11 leg has one spot left, the Sep 14-23 leg has two spots left.

    On these tours we’ll touch Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Transylvania with lots of Eastern European culture and history and great photography over the course of 10 days. Don’t delay, let me know if you have questions.

  • [PHOTO, NEWS] Adobe Denies AI Training With Your Pics : Recently, there was a suspicion that Adobe uses data from its customer’s cloud pictures to train its AI models. In TFTTF 927, I talked about that. Petapixel reached out to Adobe for clarification. Adobe responded that they had that policy in place for a decade and that they do not use any data stored on customers’ Creative Cloud accounts to train their experimental Generative AI features.
  • [PHOTO, NEWS] Flickr Pro Ads or Not? : Photographer and long-time Flickr user, Thomas Hawk, posted on Twitter about his disappointment over the introduction of ads on Flickr Pro accounts, despite their policy stating ads should never appear on Pro member’s accounts. Alastair Jolly of SmugMug responded quickly by saying that the ads were the result of a bug while introducing new features. Drama averted!

    On the note of social media, you can find Chris on Mastodon:
    @[email protected]
    @[email protected]

  • [PHOTO] Film Is Magic. Hollywood Agrees : Film photographer Isabelle Baldwin posted a Twitter thread about Oscar-nominated movies shot on Kodak film, highlighting the advantages of shooting on film over digital, including the unique look and feel it gives to the final product. And Chris agrees. Shooting on film changes the approach to photography, some of it is because you make decisions on film stock and sensitivity at the beginning of the workflow, freeing up the photographer’s focus on the creative aspects of taking the picture. Also the limited number of shots per roll of film increases the perceived value of each shot.

    Nice little side effect of Hollywood shooting on Kodak Film: It’ll help them keep making film for photographers.

  • [PHOTO] R6 II Stop Motion Animation Firmware : This one slipped under Chris’ radar: Canon makes a special firmware for stop motion animation that is specifically supported by Dragonframe with the Canon EOS R/RP/R6 Mark II. The firmware increases live view resolution to full HD, adds focus peaking, has aperture lock and focus programming. Plus a couple of side effects.

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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.


  • [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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