Category Archives: Photography

Animation: Cutout LeBron flies in the real world

Artist Rudy Willingham has developed a clever, laborious way of turning video frames into physical cutouts & then overlaying them on interesting backgrounds. Check it out:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Rudy Willingham (@rudy_willingham)

I think I like this set even more:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Rudy Willingham (@rudy_willingham)

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Inside iPhone’s “Dark Universe”

As a kid, I spent hours fantasizing about the epic films I could make, if only I could borrow my friend’s giant camcorder & some dry ice. Apple 💯 has their finger on the pulse of such aspirational souls in this new ad:

It’s pretty insane to see what talented filmmakers can do with just a phone (or rather, a high-end camera/computer/monitor that happens to make phone calls) and practical effects:

Apple has posted an illuminating behind-the-scenes video for this piece. PetaPixel writes,

In one clip they show how they dropped the phone directly into rocks that they had fired upwards using a piston, and in another, they use magnets and iron filings with the camera very close to the surface. One step further, they use ferrofluid to create rapidly flowing ripples that flow wildly on camera.

Check it out:

Photoshop’s new Smart Portrait is pretty amazing

My longstanding dream (dating back to the Bush Administration!) to have face relighting in Photoshop has finally come true—and then some. In case you missed it last week, check out Conan O’Brien meeting machine learning via Photoshop:

On PetaPixel, Allen Murabayashi from PhotoShelter shows what it can do on a portrait of Joe Biden—presenting this power as a potential cautionary tale:

Here’s a more in-depth look (starting around 1:46) at controlling the feature, courtesy of NVIDIA, whose StyleGAN tech powers the feature:

I love the fact that the Neural Filters plug-in provides a playground within Photoshop for integrating experimental new tech. Who knows what else might spring from Adobe-NVIDIA collaboration—maybe scribbling to create a realistic landscape, or even swapping expressions among pets (!?):

Photoshop’s Sky Replacement feature was well worth the wait

Although I haven’t yet gotten to use it extensively, I’m really enjoying the newly arrived Sky Replacement feature in Photoshop. Check out a quick before/after on a tiny planet image:

Eye-popping portraits emerge as paint cascades down the human face

Man, these are stunning—and they’re all done in camera:

First coated in black, the anonymous subjects in Tim Tadder’s portraits are cloaked with hypnotic swirls and thick drips of bright paint. To create the mesmerizing images, the Encinitas, California-based photographer and artist pours a mix of colors over his sitters and snaps a precisely-timed shot to capture each drop as it runs down their necks or splashes from their chins.

You can find more of the artist’s work on Behance and Instagram.

Photographic downfall: “Tsunami from Heaven”

This is lovely—especially from a safe, dry distance:

PetaPixel writes,

A couple of years ago, adventure photographer and Visit Austria creator Peter Maier captured a stunning rainstorm timelapse titled ‘Tsunami from Heaven’… It was captured from the Alpengasthof Bergfried hotel in Carinthia, Austria, and shows a sudden cloudburst (AKA microburst or downburst) soaking an area around Lake Millstatt

Google & researchers demo AI-powered shadow removal

Speaking of Google photography research (see previous post about portrait relighting), I’ve been meaning to point to the team’s collaboration with MIT & Berkeley. As PetaPixel writes,

The tech itself relies on not one, but two neural networks: one to remove “foreign” shadows that are cast by unwanted objects like a hat or a hand held up to block the sun in your eyes, and the other to soften natural facial shadows and add “a synthetic fill light” to improve the lighting ratio once the unwanted shadows have been removed.

Here’s a nice summary from Two-Minute Papers:

https://youtu.be/qeZMKgKJLX4

Interactive Portrait Light comes to Google Photos on Pixel; editor gets upgraded

I have been waiting, I kid you not, since the Bush Administration to have an easy way to adjust lighting on faces. I just didn’t expect it to appear on my telephone before it showed up in Photoshop, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Anyway, check out what you can now do on Pixel 4 & 5 devices:

This feature arrives, as PetaPixel notes, as one of several new Suggestions:

Nestled into a new ‘Suggestions’ tab that shows up first in the Photos editor, the options displayed there “[use] machine learning to give you suggestions that are tailored to the specific photo you’re editing.” For now, this only includes three options—Color Pop, Black & White, and Enhance—but more suggestions will be added “in the coming months” to deal specifically with portraits, landscapes, sunsets, and beyond.

Lastly, the photo editor overall has gotten its first major reorganization since we launched it in 2015: