“At night for the past few weeks, I’ve been tromping around dark places taking photos using a new mode on Google’s $800 Pixel 3 called Night Sight. Friends in a candlelit bar look like they brought a lighting crew. Dark streets are flush with reds and greens. A midnight cityscape lights up as though it were late afternoon. It goes way beyond an Instagram filter into you-gotta-see-this territory,” Geoffrey A. Fowler writes for The Washington Post. “Night Sight is a super step forward for smartphone photography — and an example of how our photos are becoming, well, super fake.”
“It’s true — you don’t look like your photos. Photography has never been just about capturing reality, but the latest phones are increasingly taking photos into uncharted territory,” Fowler writes. “The iPhone’s “portrait mode” applies made-up blur to backgrounds and identifies facial features to reduce red-eye. Selfies on phones popular in Asia automatically slim heads, brighten eyes and smooth skin. And most recent phones use a technique called HDR that merges multiple shots to produce a hyper-toned version of reality. When I recently took the same sunset photo with an iPhone 6 from 2014 and this year’s iPhone XR, I was gobsmacked at the difference — the newer iPhone shot looked as though it had been painted with watercolors.”
If you’ve been holding on to an old iPhone 6, 6s or 7, I don’t blame you.
— Geoffrey A. Fowler (@geoffreyfowler) October 23, 2018
“What’s happening? Smartphones democratized photography for 2.5 billion people — taking a great photo used to require special hardware and a user manual,” Fowler writes. “Now artificial intelligence and other software advances are democratizing creating beauty.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Fowler asks, “So if our phones are making up colors and lighting to please us, does it really count as photography?”
Well, since photographers have been dodging, burning, and more in darkrooms since the inception of photography, and doing far, far, far more than that since computer image editing tools became available and we still call it “photography,” the answer is: Yes!
Digital Photography Review: Apple’s iPhone XS/Max is a leap forward in computational photography – October 5, 2018
Austin Mann reviews iPhone Xs camera: ‘I’ve never worked with a camera that can balance light like this – not even close’ – September 20, 2018
Inside Apple’s iPhone Xs camera technology that rivals DSLR quality – September 20, 2018
‘Shot on iPhone Xs’ video showcases Apple’s amazing new camera – September 13, 2018
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” and “Corey Krall” for the heads up.]