Amazon’s Echo Look is Your Personal Fashion Photographer

Amazon has announced a new camera. Called the Echo Look, it’s a hands-free camera that you can use to shoot self-portraits that are triggered by your voice. The product is a combination of having a voice assistant, personal photographer, and fashion consultant. After putting together your outfit for the day, users can stand in front of the Echo Look and say, “Alexa, take a picture.” You’ll be able to see the resulting full-length portrait using the companion app on your smartphone. These photos can then form a personal lookbook, which is then used to suggest new clothing items
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Google Engineer Raises the Bar On Low Light Smartphone Photography

When Google software engineer Florian Kainz showed his friends on the Gcam team a nightscape he captured using his fancy Canon 1DX, they threw down the gauntlet. Take that same photo, they challenged him, but with a smartphone camera instead. He accepted, and succeeded. The results of his experiment just went up on the Google Research blog, and they have photo lovers everywhere salivating at the low light smartphone possibilities. In essence, Kainz applied the same techniques that Google’s HDR+ camera mode uses to take better low light shots… and kicked them up several notches. HDR+ takes 10 frames
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ISO 12,800. Huh! What Is It Good For?

Absolutely nothing? Ten years ago, a Nikon D3 saved me while shooting a gig in a dimly lit club. It’s expansive ISO range of 200-6400 allowed me to shoot with a 24-70mm f/2.8 at about 1/20th of a second. Good enough for jazz as it was. As technology has progressed, ISO has gone from being a huge point of stress for photographers to a secondary thought. Even with compressed dynamic ranges, it’s pretty typical for sports photographers to shoot at ISO 2000 or higher while still extracting solid image quality. At some point, you have to ask what is
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$5,660 Mac Pro Crushed in Photoshop Test by $1,530 PC with AMD Ryzen

AMD’s new highly anticipated Ryzen CPU has shown impressive performance in benchmark tests, propelling the company’s stock price from less than $2 to over $13 in a little over a year. Now a new test has found that a $1,780 PC running AMD Ryzen processors destroys a $5,660 Apple Mac Pro when it comes to Photoshop performance. YouTube’s Tech Guy recently pitted a $5,660 Mac Pro running 8 cores at 3.0 GHz with 64GB RAM against a $1,530 PC with Ryzen 1700 running 8 cores at 3.0 GHz running 16GB RAM. Upgrading the PC to 64GB to match
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Everypixel Aesthetics Uses A.I. to Rate Your Photo’s Awesomeness

The stock photography search engine Everypixel has launched a new web app called Everypixel Aesthetics that uses a neural network to tell you how awesome any photo is. “We trained neural networks to see the beauty of photos the same way as you and I do,” Everypixel tells PetaPixel. “To handle it, designers, editors and experienced stock photographers helped us generate a training dataset with 956,794 positive and negative patterns.” Using the dataset, the service then takes a look at any photo you provide and returns a percent chance indicating the likelihood that the photo is “awesome.” Alongside
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I Spent Two Years Botting on Instagram — Here’s What I Learned

In the world of Instagram, there is a practice known as botting — and I hate it. For the uninitiated, botting is the process of tying your Instagram account to a wide variety of automation software, which charge users small sums of money to juice their profile. At the heart of it, it’s a pay-to-play relationship where you’re paying money to grow your following on Instagram. For this experiment, I used a popular bot called Instagress, which I’ll explain in more detail soon. This is how the folks at Instagress pitch their services:
If you’ve ever wondered how certain
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Adobe Sneak Peek: This is the Future of Selfie Photography

The future is exciting for mobile photography. Adobe just released this sneak peek that shows off some amazing features powered by Adobe Sensei, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to do edits on photos. “Great portrait photography requires the right perspective, equipment, and editing expertise,” says Adobe. “But what if we can tap into the power of artificial intelligence and deep learning to transform bad portrait shots into good ones – all on a smartphone?” Here are some things the future may hold for making portraits look “pro” using only your phone:

Perspective Effect Editing

With a swipe,
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This is What Actually Happens Every Time Your Computer Rotates a Photo

Rotating an image in Photoshop might seem like a pretty simple process: you just… rotate it, right? Not quite. As this video from 2010 demonstrates, one of the ways a computer rotates an image is actually by applying 4 sequential transformations. (Warning: math incoming). For image editing nerds, this demo is pretty fascinating. It was initially created by YouTube user IronMortality because of a limitation in MS Paint: you could only rotate by 90° at a time. To solve for this, he instead broke down the rotation process into its individual parts, and applied each of them one
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This is What Actually Happens Every Time Your Computer Rotates a Photo

Rotating an image in Photoshop might seem like a pretty simple process: you just… rotate it, right? Not quite. As this video from 2010 demonstrates, one of the ways a computer rotates an image is actually by applying 4 sequential transformations. (Warning: math incoming). For image editing nerds, this demo is pretty fascinating. It was initially created by YouTube user IronMortality because of a limitation in MS Paint: you could only rotate by 90° at a time. To solve for this, he instead broke down the rotation process into its individual parts, and applied each of them one
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This is What Actually Happens Every Time Your Computer Rotates a Photo

Rotating an image in Photoshop might seem like a pretty simple process: you just… rotate it, right? Not quite. As this video from 2010 demonstrates, one of the ways a computer rotates an image is actually by applying 4 sequential transformations. (Warning: math incoming). For image editing nerds, this demo is pretty fascinating. It was initially created by YouTube user IronMortality because of a limitation in MS Paint: you could only rotate by 90° at a time. To solve for this, he instead broke down the rotation process into its individual parts, and applied each of them one
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Sony Plans to Release a 150MP Medium Format Sensor in 2018

Sony recently updated their sensor roadmap for 2017 and 2018, and there’s some exciting news for medium format shooters on it. Not only will cameras like the Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D get a 100MP option, Sony is also developing a 150MP sensor for larger cameras like the Phase One 100XF. The news first broke as part of an interview, but it didn’t take long for people to track down the official roadmap. Published by the Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation, it shows several sensors in the works, including a Backside Illuminated 100MP 44 x 33mm sensor—the same size as
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This AI Can Convert Paintings Into Photos and Summer Into Winter

A team of researchers at UC Berkeley have revealed an ‘Unpaired Image-to-Image Translation’ technique that can do something really interesting: it can turn a painting by Monet into a ‘photograph’… also, it can transform horses into zebras and summer into winter. The AI/algorithm/whatever-you-want-to-call-it is yet another addition to the photo style transfer research that it seems like everybody is working on—from the basic tech behind apps like Prisma that transform photos into paintings, to the incredible style-transfer tech from Adobe and Cornell we showed you last week. What the team at UC Berkeley developed is a little like both of
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Canon Working on ‘New Lens Tech,’ Will Let You Shoot ‘New Type of Photo’

Here’s a juicy research & development tidbit straight from the executives at Canon. In an interview with Focus Numerique at the Utsunomiya L lens factory in Japan, Canon said they’re working on a “new lens technology.” We don’t get much more than that, but here’s the full sentence, translated from French:
Without being permitted to tell you more, we are developing a new technology that will bring real added value and will allow to take a new type of photo.
We could speculate all day about what this “new lens technology” might be. Maybe it has to do with
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Impressive Adobe Algorithm Transfers One Photo’s Style Onto Another

Two pairs of researchers from Cornell University and Adobe have teamed up and developed a “Deep Photo Style Transfer” algorithm that can automatically apply the style (read: color and lighting) of one photo to another. The early results are incredibly impressive and promising. The software is an expansion on the tech used to transfer painting styles like Monet or Van Gogh to a photograph like the app Prisma. But instead of a painting, this program uses other photographs for reference. “This paper introduces a deep-learning approach to photographic style transfer that handles a large variety of image content while faithfully
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Apple Patent Shows an iPhone Turning Into a MacBook

Want to process your iPhone photos for Instagram on a laptop without having to transfer any files? In the future there may be a crazy new way you can do so. Apple has patented a new “accessory” that transforms a cell phone into a full-fledged laptop. Filed in September 2016 and published on March 23, 2017, the patent is titled “Electronic Accessory Device.” “The present application describes various embodiments of systems and methods for providing internal components for portable computing devices having a thin profile,” writes Apple product designer Brett W. Degner. “More particularly, the present application describes an
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How to Find the Best ISO for Astrophotography: Dynamic Range and Noise

ISO is one of the three major exposure settings in the exposure triangle of a digital camera — shutter time, f/number, and ISO. Of the three, it is ISO that is probably most misunderstood. Even more so than f/number. In fact, it is a common misconception that higher ISO settings will cause images to be noisier. In fact, the opposite is often true. Wait, what? That’s right, higher ISO settings alone do not increase image noise and higher ISOs can even be beneficial to low-light photography. In this post, I talk about the craziness surrounding ISO settings, how ISO actually
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Adobe’s New Algorithm Makes Super Difficult Selections a Cinch

Adobe Research has been working on some pretty interesting photo and video editing features, but their latest research might just revolutionize photo editing as we know it. Imagine if Photoshop could automatically cut out complex subjects in seconds, no matter the background… no pen tool required. Adobe’s selection tools have caught a lot of flack—especially the new Select and Mask environment—but this research intends to silence all the naysayers. 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
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Marathon Runner Busted for Cheating Thanks to Finish Line Photo

Jane Seo, a professional food blogger, dashed through the finish line to clinch the Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon in an outstanding 1 hour and 21 minutes back on Feb 19th, beating thousands to win the 2nd place with an impressive 6:15-per-mile pace. However, she was soon revealed as a cheater by a sharp-eyed sleuth who found proof in her finish line photo. “Suspicions arose almost immediately after Seo, who is 24 and writes regularly for The Huffington Post, crossed the finish line in the 13.1 half-marathon division Sunday,” the Miami News Times reports. “Race timer
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Google’s New Algorithm Makes JPEGs 35% Smaller Without Hurting Quality

Google has just released a brand new, open-source JPEG encoder that can do two very neat things. First, it can decrease JPEG file size by 35% without a noticeable decrease in quality, and second, it can increase the quality of an image without increasing file size at all.
Editor’s Note: The image above is an illustration, not a demo of the encoder.
The new algorithm is called Guetzli (Swiss German for “cookie”… if you’re curious), and interested photographers can already download it off GitHub and give it a shot. “Guetzli is a JPEG encoder for digital images and web
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This is the Camera Tech Used to Film Animals in Pitch Dark for Planet Earth II

Wildlife photography and videography is more incredible today than ever before, thanks in large part to the last decade’s amazing leaps in camera technology. This behind the scenes look at the cameras used by the BBC to shoot Planet Earth II shows you how advances in camera tech have allowed us to see the creatures of the night in ways never before thought possible.

The Vox video dives into the challenges nature documentaries like Planet Earth used to have back in the days of film, and then advances rapidly through the decades until we reach the jaw-dropping footage shot for

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