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Trail: DigitalPhotography

DigitalPhotography

ElegantMedia photography

Problems

  1. Digital photography is too beholden to past paradigms
    1. the framing and outcome look just like analog photograps formally
    2. settings, speeds metaphors and holdovers from analogue photography
  2. Digital photograph taking is too predictable
    1. Some people love to have ‘in the moment’ picture taking without knowing what the image will look like in the end.
      1. Lomo/Holga/Diana photographs
      2. Polaroid manipulations/transfers
      3. Cross processing
      4. Early techniques: Dagerreotype, Calotype
      5. Accidental imperfections: Dust, noise, scratches, bokeh, light leaks

Solutions

  1. Make the camera more unpredictable by building in realtime “filters” which can be created (in processing/max/pd) and uploaded to the device. The act of picture taking becomes a collaboration again between you and the camera. Rather than emulate historic techniques one can create unique digital effects that can be controlled, possibly by physical interaction with the camera.
    1. the element of surprise!
    2. people often post process their digital photographs to acheive the effect of accident in their photographs, this device would allow them to have it in real time and output a full resolution image.
      1. emphasis on beauty of the final image. an image which looks both possible and impossible. but very much something beautiful (if you’re lucky ;))
      2. but each image is unique and you only get one shot.
  2. Allow picture takers to choose proportions/shapes of their images.
  3. Also allow technical perameters which may seem contradictory in traditional photography, but which in this case lead to fascinating bending of reality.
    1. Is there a way through filtering to enable in realtime picture taking effects which are not possible in analog photography?
      1. tricks with depth of field.
      2. allowing one to view the real world in realtime in unreal ways with a portable device.
  4. I want it to still have dials and knobs and buttons to interface with the device,like a normal camera. but you don’t always know what fiddling with things will do.
    1. interchangable lenses (possibly)

Precedent

  1. Apple Photobooth software
  2. countless experiments done in processing by various artists involving manipulation of a realtime video signal.
  3. maybe some parallels to sound recording softwares?

Links

I think you’re remembering “Buttons: A Blind Camera” [1]

I think another very similar project is Katie Paterson’s
Earth–Moon–Earth” [2] Where she bounces “Moonlight Sonata” – in morse
code – off the surface of the moon. Only some of the notes return, and
those are played back via Disklavier. I’m very interested in this sort
of intentionally lossy/semi-predictable/collaborative recording and
communication.

Digital cameras aren’t always predictable. I’ve dropped mine many times
in the last 5 years, and if I record video and put pressure on a certain
point, the frames will re-arrange themselves! If you look on Flickr
there are a ton of examples of digital imaging gone awry [3]. In a way,
these are the digital analogues of dust, noise, scratches...

For your device, I could imagine it going either way: emulating the
aesthetic of traditional camera interaction and photographic
imperfections, or being more overtly digital and going the induced
glitch/“glitch-alike” direction of Vade [4]. I’d like one too :)

  1. http://www.blinksandbuttons.net/buttons_en.html
  2. http://www.katiepaterson.org/E.M.E/eme-info.html
  3. http://www.flickr.com/groups/glitches/pool/, http://www.flickr.com/groups/iphonecubism/pool/page2/
  4. http://001.vade.info/
  5. http://www.juliusvonbismarck.com/fulgurator/
  6. http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0000M7&topic_id=1&topic=Ask+E.T
    #http://flickr.com/photos/duchamp/2643457119/in/set-72157605106384679/