In this episode, Chris explores a unique twist on street photography, discusses the challenges of auto white balance in wildfire conditions. He also delves into the world of AI with Uncrop and a quick GAN. There’s news from Nikon, a treat for Lego and Ansel Adams fans, a look at the viral AI-“Camera” Paragraphica, and an exploration of storytelling through exposure.
- [COOL] Street Faces and AI : Street photography ethics has always been a hot potato but photographer Hubert Napierala might have found a good solution. He has used artificial intelligence (AI) to hide the identities of his street photography subjects. Napierala believes that if the face replacement does not impact the overall impact of the photo, it is acceptable. So, what’s your take on this? Chris is a bit conflicted. Share your thoughts at tfttf.com/hi
- [COOL] Fires and Color : Last week, we witnessed an extraordinary event where wildfires in Canada produced a thick smoke that blanketed New York City and other places. As a photographer, we should always be curious about the accuracy of colors in photos during such phenomena though. Here’s a brilliant video showing the great idea to film the surroundings in their deep orange glory, while simultaneously filming a color card in the same frame. Genius!
- [COOL] Clipdrop Uncrop : Stability AI, the company behind Stable Diffusion, an AI image generator, has released a new tool called Uncrop. If you’ve played with the latest Photoshop beta and its built-in image generator, this might look familiar to you. Uncrop allows users to adjust the aspect ratio of images by dragging the crop perimeter. Yep, you can just change a panorama to a portrait aspect ratio. Or you can make a tighter shot more wide-angle. This is powered by Stability AI’s text-to-image model, Uncrop uses AI to analyze source images and generate visually plausible representations to fill in the blanks. It can be used to improve photo composition or fit images into specific social media aspect ratios. Of course, the results may not always be accurate, especially with images that have extensive missing content. For this, uncrop gives you four different results to choose from. There’s a free version that will give you a taste and a paid version at $7 per month. And of course if you have the tech chops and the according hardware or online platform skills, you can do this uncrop thing at home too.
- [COOL] The DragGAN Edit : Fixing closed eyes in a portrait or softening skin has been fairly simple. Now imagine your job is to edit a photo of a person to rotate their head towards the camera or to change someone’s frown into a smile. Researchers have come up with a new image manipulation system called DragGAN that employs generative AI to provide users with exact control over elements such as pose, shape, expression. Not quite a product yet, but it’s just a matter of time until you can attach drag handles to anything in a photo and change it without 10 years of photo editing training.
- [NEWS] Nikon Z9 Camera Trap : Nikon has released an impressive firmware update, version 4.0, for the Z9 camera, introducing the noteworthy Auto Capture feature, essentially transforming the camera into a smart photo trap. This feature empowers the camera to automatically take photos when set criteria like movement, distance, or subject recognition are met. This innovation is especially beneficial for professional photographers needing to set up multiple cameras in inaccessible areas, eliminating the necessity for remote controls or network connections. Additionally, the firmware update enhances the Z9’s user interface and video capabilities, making it a must-check out for Nikon Z9 users.
- [NEWS] Paragraphica “Camera” Gone Viral : A few weeks ago, a peculiar camera named Paragraphica, created by designer Bjørn Karmann, garnered global attention. Unlike traditional cameras, Paragraphica doesn’t use a lens; instead, it implements location data and stable diffusion to mirror the real world, albeit imperfectly. Built on a Raspberry Pi 4 with a 3D-printed design, the camera’s striking feature is a non-functional, mole-inspired red detail on its front. The technology behind it involves API calls and stable diffusion. Despite this not being a ground-breaking leap in terms of technology, it has managed to go viral, which prompts the question: if you’ve shared it, what drew you to do so? I invite you to share your thoughts at tfttf.com/hi
- [THEMA] Exposure Story Telling : A recent article on fair.org, a progressive platform that examines bias and inaccuracies in media, argues that photo exposure — traditionally viewed as merely a corrective tool — can be strategically used for manipulation. Illustrating how some media outlets allegedly underexpose photos to purposefully create a sense of gloom, this article brings attention to the potential misuse of exposure as a tool to influence perceptions by altering visual narratives. It comments on the ethical implications of such strategies and demonstrates that adjusting the brightness of these underexposed images could portray a completely different, brighter and mor positive narrative. This topic prompts a deeper consideration of the power of exposure in photography as a tool for nuanced storytelling. Please share your insights at tfttf.com/hi
- [COOL] Ansel Adams Lego Set : “The Landscape Photographer”? is a proposed LEGO set that pays homage to the legendary Ansel Adams, and it’s making waves on LEGO Ideas. This set, crafted by LEGO builder and photographer Nick Micheels, aka LobsterThermidor, encapsulates the spirit of landscape photography with a photographer perched on a vintage wooden panel station wagon, snapping away with a large-format 8×10 analog camera. If it gets 10,000 votes, the official LEGO team might just bring it to life. Ansel Adams is a name synonymous with black and white landscape photography, especially of the American West. This LEGO set not only embodies his work but also celebrates the art of landscape photography.
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