State of the Art: A Round-Up of Technology That Will Be Changing Photography

By David Schonauer   Thursday April 20, 2017

Photography today is not the same as photography a decade ago.

And photography tomorrow will look different from how it does now: Technology begets technology, moving the state of the art forward at an ever-increasing rate. Today we round up a number of stories looking at where photography will be headed tomorrow … and the day after tomorrow, from developments that are right at hand to those that are still merely the promises of new research, such as an algorithm that transfers photorealistic effects from one image to another and tech that turns paintings into images resembling photos.

1. Transferring Photo Effects from One Photo To Another

Researchers at Cornell and Adobe have come up with a new twist on post-processing efficiency by a creating a method to transfer photorealistic effects (including lighting, time of day, and weather) from one photo to another. “This could open up a whole new world of possibilities for 'lazy' photo editing,” notes DP Review. “Say you snapped a photo of a rock formation in the middle of the day, but you'd rather it had the orange glow of golden hour. With this method, you could apply the textures and colors of a reference style image, i.e. some other rock formation at sunset, to your own image.”

2. Bentley’s 57.7-Gigapixel Image Is Most Detailed Ever

We also noted recently that Bentley Motors has raised the bar for advertising photography with a 57.7-gigapixel image showing off its Bentley Flying Spur W12 S. Bentley has used gigapixel tech before: Last year the company made news with a 53-gigapixel image of the Golden Gate Bridge. But the new image, a shot of Dubai constructed from 1,825 photos, is now officially the most detailed landscape ever, notes DIY Photography, which explains how it was made.

3. Adobe’s New Algorithm Makes Super Difficult Photoshop Selections a Cinch

Adobe Research’s latest breakthrough might just revolutionize photo editing as we know it, declares PetaPixel: Imagine if Photoshop could automatically cut out complex subjects in seconds, no matter the background, and with no pen tool required. Using a two-part process that involves a “deep convolutional encoder-decoder network” and a “small convolutional network,” Adobe can cut out any subject from in front of any background with ease and accuracy. DIY Photography  wonders if this will put an end to green- and blue-screen techniques.

4. Canon Is Working on Lens Tech That Will Let You Shoot a “New Type of Photo”

Canon executives recently disclosed that they are working on a “new lens technology” that that will bring real added value and will allow to take a new type of photo. Unfortunately, that’s about all they said. “We could speculate all day about what this “new lens technology” might be. Maybe it has to do with this patent  for a lens with a mount on both ends, or maybe a radical redesign  of the optical image stabilization system,” mused PetaPixel.

5. Apple Patent Shows an iPhone Turning Into a MacBook

One day you may be able to process your iPhone photos for Instagram on a laptop without having to transfer any files, thanks to an idea from Apple. The company has patented a new “accessory” that transforms a cell phone into a full-fledged laptop. While the processor and data storage functions would be handled by the iPhone, the laptop dock could provide support in other areas — Apple suggests it could provide a graphical processor and other resources that “support the functions of the portable computing device,” reports PetaPixel.

6. These Tech Innovations Will Keep Photo Prints from Dying Off

While the number of photos snapped daily is increasing, the number of photos being printed is quickly dropping. But, notes Digital Trends, as the printing industry shifts toward digital dominance, Nations Photo Lab founder and CEO Ryan Millman suggests that innovation will shift the dynamics of the industry, keeping printed photographs alive. Software powered by artificial intelligence will be part of the future.

7. Use HSS and TTL with Different Flashes and Camera Systems

Photographers using Cactus‘ new V6 II and V6 IIs wireless flash transceivers are about to get a huge update: Cactus is launching a series of free brand-specific firmware upgrades that will allow you to mix and match camera and flash brands without losing TTL or HSS. “In other words, you could use your Canon flash with your Fujifilm camera, and thanks to Cactus transceiver and this firmware update, you’d still be able to use TTL and HSS no problem,” says PetaPixel.

8. Sony Plans to Release a 150MP Medium Format Sensor in 2018

Sony recently updated its sensor roadmap for 2017 and 2018, and, notes PetaPixel, there’s exciting news for medium format shooters: Cameras like the Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D will be getting a 100MP option, and there is a 150MP sensor for larger cameras like the Phase One 100XF now in development.

9. A Panoramic Photo Rig Made of 6 Nikon DSLRs

Here's some innovative tech that's strictly DIY: At PetaPixel, Cape Town, South Africa-based photographer Paul Bruins describes why the panoramic photo rig he made with six Nikon DSLRs is awesome. “I am hopelessly addicted to panoramas. It has now been 48 hours since my last fix. If I don’t shoot up at least one fresh panorama per week, I start to experience severe withdrawal symptoms,” he writes.

10. “Reverse Prisma” AI Turns Paintings Into Photos

Photographers (like Ben Lowy) have figured out some interesting ways to use the popular Prisma app, which uses AI and neural networks to turn photographs into painting-like images. Now, notes DIY Photography, a team of researchers at UC Berkeley have come up with a system that does the exact opposite of that. It looks at paintings and turns them into something that resembles a photograph. It does some other freaky things too, like turning winter into summer.


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