Sunday , October 2 2022

How the software changes photography – Digital: Multimedia


A few weeks ago, the so-called Beautygate has put social media in turbulence. Some believed that the people in their pictures were just too beautiful. In particular, the images on the iPhone XS and XS Max skin displayed unnaturally smoothly in some scanned people. Immediately, the business cycle arose, it can be an exaggerated algorithm at work. Or is that the intention behind it? Will Apple make iPhone users more beautiful than they really are?

The hypothesis is not out of thin air. For example, Samsung has installed "Beauty Mode" in its camera. It not only makes the skin blotches, it also subtly changes the proportions of one face: it makes the cheeks narrower and the eyes bigger. And also: Skin contaminants are eliminated digitally. This mode is enabled by default for the selfie camera. Samsung probably wants to show only the new possibilities for technology. Or is there more behind it? For example, the idea of ​​increasing users' enthusiasm for their new phone with a particularly good self-portrait?

That's what I look like in 3-D!

Anyway, some users are upset: Melissa Wells is an influence that knows how to put in the right light in her photos at Instagram. She took good care of leather: "Thanks, Samsung, for this confidence!" She would rather keep her frills and imperfections, she wrote to her more than 60,000 followers: "That's what I look like in 3-D, and that's how I know my friends!"

In Apple, the heavily smooth skin turned out to be a mistake, which was eliminated with the next update. But even with iPhone, a photo is not just the result of light falling on a sensor. In the case of iPhone XS, an artificial neural network processes data before it is saved as an image. On the processor is the so-called neural motor, which makes millions of calculations for each image on each pixel. For example, for the Smar HDR function: It compensates for brightness differences. In very bright and very dark areas, image information is retained, lost in classical analog and digital photography.

The perfect of the algorithms photography is unstoppable. Google also drives computational photography on the new Pixel 3. Smartphone (which only exists in Switzerland only as a gray import) has Night-Sight mode, which "does night-to-day" that tears rage about. Under low light, images that are only achieved with tripod and long exposure times are created. But Pixel 3 also perfects images from your hand by recording the camera's movements first and then weggerechnet. The phone takes up to 15 pictures, which are then combined to form a finished image.

The impossible becomes possible

Portrait mode for iPhone simulates the effect of large cameras and expensive lenses by simulating their limited depth of field. Smart phones let the role models look old: To enhance the image effect of the SLR and camera cameras, created by the optics and is unchangeable, it can be changed to your liking on the phone: The user can later adjust the aperture on the recording or Adjust the focus point. It is also possible to exclude individual areas from blur when it earns the image effect. Physically this is impossible, but for the software a breeze. Even the background can be calculated and replaced by a beautiful nature.

Of course, this resistance provokes. "Is still photography?" Recently, a writer asked for the big photo log Photographers feel the competition through the algorithms: Amateurs achieve professional results thanks to smart technology. Nevertheless, there are hardly any votes that would basically reject Computational Photography. Photographers are aware that images have always been trimmed to effect and manipulation is not an invention of the digital era. In the darkroom you have custom sections, optimized contrasts. Even more extensive changes are possible analogously: Techniques for this include: exposing several negative to a photograph, overexposing unwanted areas without recognizing or retouching things.

Eternal dispute by the photographers

Computational Photography wants to put a stop, however, the American Association of Press Photographers (NPPA). John Long, head of the Ethics Committee, says there have always been conflicting positions: those who need a photo to reflect exactly what the camera recorded – and the others who postulate it as "truth" a picture is more important than the actual recording. Nevertheless, these new methods of press photography are unacceptable: "It feels like a fraud, a fake of the moment the camera has triggered."

However, most photographers accept that more and more software spreads within their area of ​​activity – some with an enthusiasm for the new opportunities, others reluctantly. Perseverance slogans are in the headlight of photoblog craft and creative skills will remain crucial. A perfect picture can be incredibly boring if the photographer does not understand the composition: "At the end of each photograph, everything depends on whether you've produced something that you can show the world."

(Editors Tamedia)

Created: 27.11.2018, 18:14 clock

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