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Photography


Alice Camera is a clever blend of AI, high-quality optics, and smartphone intelligence

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For spontaneous photography, the best camera for the job is the one you happen to be holding. For the overwhelming majority of casual photographers, that camera is the one in your smartphone. The very first cameras appeared on commercial mobile phones around the turn of the century (although as ever with tech milestones, there are multiple claims to the title of pioneer). The early work of companies like Kyocera, Motorola, Samsung, and even Apple, opened the floodgates to what is now best called'computational photography'; relatively small sensors and lenses, paired with massively sophisticated algorithms and processing to deliver the kind of images that even the best DSLR cameras would struggle to match. One company believes that mobile photography could be better.


Adobe plans to make Photoshop on the web free to everyone

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Adobe has started testing a free-to-use version of Photoshop on the web and plans to open the service up to everyone as a way to introduce more users to the app. The company is now testing the free version in Canada, where users are able to access Photoshop on the web through a free Adobe account. Adobe describes the service as "freemium" and eventually plans to gate off some features that will be exclusive to paying subscribers. Enough tools will be freely available to perform what Adobe considers to be Photoshop's core functions. "We want to make [Photoshop] more accessible and easier for more people to try it out and experience the product," says Maria Yap, Adobe's VP of digital imaging.


Sea lion carcass being devoured by starfish off the coast of California winner in photo competition

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A haunting image showing a sea lion carcass being devoured by at least a dozen color starfish on the seafloor of Monterey Bay in California has won the'Aquatic Life' category in a photo competition. The eerie picture was captured by wildlife photographer David Slater, who submitted it to the California Academy of Science's Big Picture Competition. The bright orange, pink and blue starfish are bat stars - known scavengers of the ocean - which are turning the lifeless body into energy and nutrients that is returned to the marine food web. 'I knew this image was special when I first published it but words cannot even describe how I feel taking first place in such a prestigious contest,' Slater, who resides in Monterey, shared in an Instagram post. The Big Picture Competition includes several categories, all with a wildlife theme, and the grand prize winner is an image of bees swarming together in a mating ball.


Could Artificial Intelligence Replace Photography?

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With technology continuing to move on at a swift pace, there's been plenty of recent discussion as to whether digital renders can truly ever replace product photography. Taking this one step further, is it possible that one day, artificial intelligence could simply create images without needing any input from a photographer or digital artist at all? As photographers, we often marvel at how amazing modern technology can be, how magical that new "must-have" camera feature is, or how smart the image-processing software has become. I don't consider myself to be especially old, but when I think back to using a manual-focusing 35mm SLR (because that's all we had to use, not because I'm a hipster) and compare that experience to the incredible face detection or eye detection autofocus on modern mirrorless cameras, it's hard to believe these huge technological advances have happened within my lifetime. Even the act of sitting in my living room, controlling the lighting and home entertainment with my voice, or video-calling a friend in another country on an iPad are literally things that my child self would have considered science fiction.


Microsoft facial recognition tool is no longer able to read emotions

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Microsoft is retiring a controversial facial recognition feature that claims to identify emotion in people's faces from videos and photos. As part of an overhaul its AI policies, the US tech giant is removing facial analysis capabilities that infer emotional states, like surprise and anger, from Azure Face. It's also retiring the ability of the technology platform to identify attributes such as gender, age, smile, hair and makeup. Microsoft's Azure Face is a service for developers that uses AI algorithms to detect, recognise, and analyse human faces in digital images. It is used in scenarios such as identity verification, touchless access control and face blurring for privacy.


Artificial intelligence in photography? What happened to the ordinary kind?

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Machine learning is, by implication great, because it means we don't have to do any learning ourselves. Deep Learning is the new alternative to us actually doing it, and Neural Networks are an incredibly technical alternative to what our brains do in their sleep. All this, just to save us from thinking. In photography, AI is used for everything from selecting objects to choosing a preset, from working out what to focus on to optimizing the camera settings to suit a scene. It's about making a machine do something so that we don't have to.


Pixy drone hands-on: A flying robot photographer for Snapchat users

Engadget

Drones are everywhere these days, filming dramatic reveals and awe-inspiring scenery for social media platforms. The problem is, they're not exactly approachable for beginners who have only ever used a smartphone. Last month, Snap debuted the $230 Pixy drone exactly for those people. It requires very little skill and acts like a personal robot photographer to help you produce nifty aerial shots. You don't need to pilot the Pixy.


Microsoft Edge taps AI to make grainy images look nice and crisp in your browser

PCWorld

If images begin to look sharper on Microsoft Edge compared to other browsers, there's a reason for that. Microsoft is building in what it calls a "Turing Image Super Resolution engine" into Microsoft Edge, "upscaling" low-resolution images with higher fidelity. In effect, Edge will create a higher-resolution image using artificial intelligence, where it didn't exist before. Upscaling isn't new; Adobe Lightroom's Super Resolution allows you to upscale a 12 megapixel image to 48MP, for example, to print larger prints. TopazLabs' Gigapixel AI is a dedicated, paid tool to do the same, and there are other free services available on the Web that will perform the same services with varying results.


Welcome to the age of the 'ultra-realistic' art robot

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For Meller, these questions are the whole point. Last month, Ai-Da launched her first exhibition in Venice, to coincide with the 2022 Venice Biennale. Over five connected spaces at InParadiso gallery, she presents holographic video art, sculptures, poetry, and paintings created on-site. The reaction so far has been overwhelmingly positive. "People love the spectacle," Meller tells Dazed.


Record-breaking camera keeps everything between 3 cm and 1.7 km in focus

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In photography, depth of field refers to how much of a three-dimensional space the camera can focus on at once. A shallow depth of field, for example, would keep the subject sharp but blur out much of the foreground and background. Now, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have taken inspiration from ancient trilobytes to demonstrate a new light field camera with the deepest depth of field ever recorded. Their visual systems were quite complex, including compound eyes, featuring anywhere between tens and thousands of tiny independent units, each with its own cornea, lens and photoreceptor cells. One trilobyte in particular, Dalmanitina socialis, captured the attention of NIST researchers due to its unique compound eye structure.