In 2010 I made some predictions about technology and photography. Some of them have happened but others, maybe due to these larger companies not reading my blog, haven’t . I’ll have to have a talk to them about that :)
So what’s next now that we even have animal eye detection by Sony [the most popular comment on that story being “this feature will be useful when photographing the mother-in-law”] added to the list of technological advancements? As per my previous blog I’m not saying any of these enhancements are necessary but will repeat what someone said to me nearly 20 years ago “as long as the technology is available people will find a use for it”. That was after asking a sales attendant how many people needed a 7 channel home theatre system. And as long as manufacturers can add these enhancements to devices they will have a selling point to entice people to buy the latest and greatest - and other manufacturers follow suit not necessarily because it’s a good idea but rather to keep up so their product “also has that feature”.
I see the future cameras using their connectivity, tied in to their “face detection” “smile detection” “blink detection” ”animal eye detection “ etc etc - to connect to social media and access all your contacts.
Do we need this? No, but as long as the technology is available people will find a use for it right? And perhaps for some it will be a selling point. “I bought this camera thinking I wouldn’t need the social media feature but after logging in to it just to try it out I photographed a wedding and the camera sent me a notification in the morning telling me that the bride had just left the hairdresser and was on her way to the make-up artists” - based on cellphone tracking which the bride and groom agreed to when they accepted your friend request and “limited date allocated social media connectivity via camera” clause. Of course there will be the bloggers who milk it and simply put up a controversial post about the feature to get more clicks [clears throat].
Meanwhile we stop to get a coffee on the way to the venue. After all the camera was sitting in its 12v car mount, recharging while acting as a gps and a minute ago the bridal car slowed down and stopped at the public toilets - that should allow a little time for a caffein recharge for those who don’t sleep too well the night before a wedding.
When the Nikon D300 was released with wireless connectivity between bodies I imagined it being useful at an event, the camera sending thumbnail images to a remote laptop while someone monitors them and negotiates sales of the images with customers watching the images pop up on the display “That’s a good shot of my son, I’d like to order a print!” [swipes credit card and pays for image before it’s even downloaded at full resolution from the camera]. Now imagine two or three photographers at a wedding after you have done a “share contacts for 24 hours” function between the cameras, and you all have the same information. The second shooter takes a picture of a group of people, grumpy looking man with psychological condition approaches and mumbles “I told them I would only attend on condition no images of me are published!” - photographer shows him the image on the screen which has automatically blurred his face in the image “I know, facial recognition has excluded your face from the image as requested by the groom. Don’t worry, any images of you will immediately be blurred, every time your face appears on the screen with a red hue which tells me you are on the excluded list and it is automatically blurred or if it is far enough in the background the camera over-rides my settings and chooses a shallow enough depth of field for it not to be recognisable!”. Grumpy man nods his head and wanders off, then squints his eyes trying to work out how it recognised him when he didn’t think anyone had pictures of him…..
So, what about downloading a wedding shot list to the display then you can flip through them and get some ideas? BORING! This new camera will analyse the images you take through the day and pop up tips and suggestions as it recognises various scenes, and once it recognises the bride now has her dress on and is ready for the trip to the venue it will suggest shots you could take - based on geotagged data of wedding photos it googled while you were at the location, it will pop up the gps and show you a ‘suggested spot’ used 17 times previously at this particular location, which is worth checking 50m around the corner, an archway next to a fountain you didn’t know existed a minute ago. The same with the ceremony location - it researched photos with the most likes and pinterest links at that location and they all seem to have been taken from the right hand corner of the venue - possibly the lighting is better from there, or the background? Worth checking out when we get there I suppose.
After the ceremony we head off to another popular spot chosen by scouting out the location ourselves of course, after turning the camera off to walk there and fully expecting the camera to say “I was about to suggest this!” after it was turned back on. But as we set up the scene and preview the image on the display everything gets darker since the camera has a suggestion.
“A more dramatic image can be created by exposing for the sky and adding flash from the left side at 45 degrees to the couple. Sam Jones and Robert Smith have been standing doing nothing behind you for 10 minutes, ask one of them to hold the flash which will automatically go into wireless control mode when you remove it from the hotshoe”
Oh well, it was worth a shot….