Category Archives: Photography

Google Pixel introduces post-capture Portrait blur


Now, you can turn a photo into a portrait on Pixel by blurring the background post-snap. So whether you took the photo years ago, or you forgot to turn on portrait mode, you can easily give each picture an artistic look with Portrait Blur in Google Photos.

I’m also pleased to see that the realtime portrait-blurring tech my team built has now come to Google Duo for use during video calls:

Stroboscopic NYC: “A Crowdsourced Hyperlapse”

Prepare for retinal blast-off (and be careful if you’re sensitive to flashing lights).

What happens when everything in the world has been photographed? From multiple angles, multiple times per day? Eventually we’ll piece those photos and videos together to be able to see the entire history of a location from every possible angle.

“I sifted through probably ~100,000 photos on Instagram using location tags and hashtags, then sorted, and then hand-animated in After Effects to create a crowdsourced hyperlapse video of New York City,” Morrison tells PetaPixel. “I think the whole project took roughly 200 hours to create!”

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey gang—I’m working my way out of the traditional tryptophan-induced haze enough to wish you a slightly belated Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you were able to grab a restful few days. Amidst bleak (for Cali) weather I was able to grab a few fun tiny planet shots (see below) and learn about how to attach a 360º cam to a drone (something I’ve not yet been brave/foolhardy enough to try):

Planet PA



Google Earth adds new storytelling tools

I’m delighted to see new ways to pair one’s own images with views of our planet:

With creation tools in Google Earth, you can draw your own placemarks, lines and shapes, then attach your own custom text, images, and videos to these locations. You can organize your story into a narrative and collaborate with others. And when you’ve finished your story, you can share it with others. By clicking the new “Present” button, your audience will be able to fly from place to place in your custom-made Google Earth narrative.

Take a look at how students & others are using it:

Here’s a 60-second-ish tour of the actual creation process:


Bittersweet Symphony: Lightroom improves iPad import

“Hey, y’all got a water desalination plant, ‘cause I’m salty as hell.🙃

First, some good news: Lightroom is planning to improve the workflow of importing images from an SD card:

I know that this is something that photographers deeply wanted, starting in 2010. I just wonder whether—nearly 10 years since the launch of iPad—it matters anymore.

My failure, year in & year out, to solve the problem at Adobe is part of what drove me to join Google in 2014. But even back then I wrote,

I remain in sad amazement that 4.5 years after the iPad made tablets mainstream, no one—not Apple, not Adobe, not Google—has, to the best of my knowledge, implemented a way to let photographers to do what they beat me over the head for years requesting:

  • Let me leave my computer at home & carry just my tablet** & camera
  • Let me import my raw files (ideally converted to vastly smaller DNGs), swipe through them to mark good/bad/meh, and non-destructively edit them, singly or in batches, with full raw quality.
  • When I get home, automatically sync all images + edits to/via the cloud and let me keep editing there or on my Mac/PC.

This remains a bizarre failure of our industry.

Of course this wasn’t lost on the Lightroom team, but for a whole bunch of reasons, it’s taken this long to smooth out the flow, and during that time capture & editing have moved heavily to phones. Tablets represent a single-digit percentage of Snapseed session time, and I’ve heard the same from the makers of other popular editing apps. As phones improve & dedicated-cam sales keep dropping, I wonder how many people will now care.

On we go.


“Sea-thru”: AI-driven underwater color correction

Dad-joke of a name notwithstanding 😌, this tech looks pretty slick:

PetaPixel writes,

To be clear, this method is not the same as Photoshopping an image to add in contrast and artificially enhance the colors that are absorbed most quickly by the water. It’s a “physically accurate correction,” and the results truly speak for themselves.

And as some wiseass in the comments remarks, “I can’t believe we’ve polluted our waters so much there are color charts now lying on the ocean floor.”