Do we need photographers any more?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by loz, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. loz

    loz
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    Digital camera technology is becoming mindboggling.

    Not only do we have face tracking and even smile recognition, now we have "automatic" self timer, that waits till it recognises the face of the photographer in the scene, and then activates the self timer automatically. :eek:

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0801/08011504facetime.asp

    Won't be long before I just download some GPS data to my camera, and an outline of the sort of images I want, and I can just send it off by itself to take the pictures, and wire them back in real time, whilst I just sit comfortably in the study. :smashin:
     
  2. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    Its a very interesting point.

    I was talking with Nikon about this recently and was advised that the current technology such as face detection, scene detection etc is going into compacts as a test market for high end DSLR's.

    In maybe two generations time, you will have cameras like a Nikon D5 that have pre loaded face detection technology. Example - an agency may pre load Premiership footballer data and the cameras will track faces based on the said data within the machine, ergo track Wayne Rooney - and the camera will automactically write exif data again based on the face recognition. This will expedite the wiring of images to base.

    Also, expect DSLR's with interchangable backs. Example, perhaps a D5 for sport/journalism with a 11 fps rate and 10mp, whilst you could add a 25mp back to the same camera if you wanted to use it for studio - much like your Leaf and Hassleblads.

    Pete.
     
  3. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    Judging by the very poor results i've seen from some people with the most up-to-date kit available, I'd say... yes. Plenty of work still left for the Pro's.
     
  4. stevegreen

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    Now there is a loaded comment if ever I saw one :D
     
  5. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    Runs away.
     
  6. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    It wasn't aimed at anybody :eek:, I was just suggesting that having advanced features doesn't mean you'll get advanced results.

    I suppose a time will come when you have so much resolution to play with you'll just be able to crop your composition, and RAW will get to a point where you don't need to worry about getting your exposure 5 stops wrong, 30fps on an 80GB flash card will do away with timing. hell, why don't we just wave our HD camcorders around randomly and make frame grabs.
     
  7. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    Reading the way some US papers are giving HD camera to journos and dropping snappers entirely you might not be a million miles away.
     
  8. stevegreen

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    :laugh: I went fishing this morning and caught me a Liquid ;)

    That is a very good point. I have read (fleetingly) about a camera that will shoot 60fps and thought......isn't that just simply a video camera :rolleyes:
     
  9. salubrious_k

    salubrious_k
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    Some fair points are being made here.

    But I'd say the one area that is safe is artistic photography (be it portraits, landscapes or even sport). Even considering your point about waving a camcorder about, either the photographer has got to take time and effort taking the right shot, or a digital imager (?) has got to sit through hours of footage selecting the most artistic frames.

    Of course, once they create a decent (aesthetically tuned) AI, then we're all screwed. But by then we'll probably be worrying more about the robot armies that the AIs are using to take over the world!!!!:eek:
     
  10. stoo31

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    Camera manufacturers often load camera up with the most up to date technology but how useful can stuff like face recognition be really?

    The point about using it for football is ridiculous seeing as I think it'd be hard pushed to recognise someone running around the pitch from a number of different angles.

    There is also no way you'd get interchangeable backs on what is a semi pro DSLR, the cost of buying another back would negate the point of having bought the DSLR cheaply in the first place and secondly you'd have all kind of problems with the way an SLR is designed, that is why interchangeable backs are still used on medium format cameras that use high quality lenses.
     
  11. Liquid101

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    I'm still trying to get the hook out my mouth.
     
  12. inkinoo

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    Even if that works exactly how you describe, if you put 100 people with cameras on the touchline I'm sure they would all get Wayne Rooney in the photo; I doubt however it would be as good as one taken by a pro photographer.
     
  13. Liquid101

    Liquid101
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    I think the point Pete was making was not improving the quality of the image or getting better photographs, just tagging the image so that it was easier for editors to seach for shots of players etc.

    Imagine you had 500 shtos from a game, and you want a good one of Rooney - this kind of technology could allow you to search the images for him, without actually looking at every image.

    Sounds like a great idea, and one that has a use in the real world. Imagine being able to search your photographs for trees, buildings, pebbles :rolleyes: as well as different people - without having to manually tag each one.
     
  14. Member 79251

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    The likes of facebook already allow you to tag people in pictures and I think yahoo has now worked out some clever way to read/search text from images.

    Now take the both features and add them into your camera, how cool would that be. ;)

    Pete is spot on regarding helpful features, but thats all they are....features. I am with Liquid you still need to know what your doing in order to make something stand out more from the rest
     
  15. thefragile

    thefragile
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    Just like the leica has currently? It has interchangable backs, 35mil and digital ones available for it.

    Whilst a machine may be able to recognise faces, get the perfect exposure, plot the GPS of where it was shot and make you a cup of tea, it will never be able to make concious and subconcious decisions about the image it is taking.
    Every photograph we take has semiotics involved, these are decisions made by the photographer conciously or subconciously, semiology portrays a point of view in the image, something which the camera itself cannot do.
    A realistic photographic representation of subject matter is non existent, you only have a limited space of which you can photograph, therefore cannot portray truthful reality within an image, this is where the role of the photographer comes into play as they are the first edit of an image, and however good machinery and electronics becomes it will never be able to photograph with emotion or compassion as it is a machine pure and simple. (Read some Roland Barthes and Susan Sonntag)

    I believe that the future of photography will develop much more heavily in post production rather than production. We have had development in the production side of things for the last few years with more people using tethered capture and a very sudden influx of workflow programs that were only available in a very basic form. I think technologies such as photosynth and the use of metadata from an image will come to the forefront of camera technology in the immediate future.

    After all leica have interchangable backs for SLR's, Security cameras have face recognition, all cameras pretty much are able to calculate exposure and there is already a photographer in canada shooting images on a 102 megapixel camera that was developed by the canadian airforce for high altitude surveillance photography, its all been done before. What has only just been done and will be developed is the ability to seamlessly browse photographs, link photographs and develop 3D maps from photographs, thats where I think technology will head next.

    If you dont know what photosynth and seadragon is, click this
     
  16. loz

    loz
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    I discussed this a while back with some Microsoft researchers in Cambridge. They were showing me some of the interesting imaging software technology they were working on. They said it was very difficult to do reliably. But no doubt it will come to fruition in the future.

    I don't know if you have noticed, but the latest version of PhotoShop elements has face recognition built in - so you can point it at your directory of images and it will find and sort all the pictures with faces in them - and produce an icon of just the face. So if you have a group photo - it produces an icon for each face in the group.

    It also does a similarity indexing, so it will group "similar" photos. The idea say that if you had a picture of the eiffel tower, it would find other similar pictures. Of course that would mean you will also get any pictures of Blackpool tower, and any photos of a tall thin guy with this arms by his side and his legs apart. :)
     
  17. onefivenine

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    Wow scary Big Brother stuff.
    When the police/FBI/your employer hook into this they'll know you've been playing golf and called in a sicky if someone uploads a photo to flickr that you happen to be in the background!
    Maybe they'll find Lord Lucan... and don't plan on pretending to be dead and hiding in South America for 5 years spending the insurance!
     
  18. LeeC

    LeeC
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    I think it is the human ability to see things incorrectly that still work in a photographic manner, that will keep the photographers safe. Technology is usually trained to provide the ideal output of a given situation but photography is about seeing beyond that. It's about pulling the artistic vision out of the ordinary view around you.

    I work as an artist and to me, it's like giving a person a £2000 PC, a Wacom Cintiq and a copy of Photoshop CS3 or Corel Painter. They wouldn't be able to draw any better even though they had all the tools there to help them, because half of the skill is what goes on, before any pixels get placed on the screen.

    I have no doubt that technology will allow people to take better quality (technically) shots but whether that quality is on a photographic level, I'm not so sure.
     

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