Computational Photography and Your Smartphone

PopPhoto started publishing Jeff Carlson’s column The Smarter Image, which covers artificial intelligence and machine learning in all things photo back in January. The first article, Computational photography, explained: The next age of image-making is already here provides a fantastic explanation of computation photography and how we can ‘leverage its powers’. Carlson lays out the terminology (computational photography, artificial intelligence, machine learning, high dynamic range) and brings it all together with a relatable example – a smartphone!

Perhaps the best example of computational photography is in your pocket or bag: the mobile phone, the ultimate point-and-shoot camera. It doesn’t feel disruptive, because the process of grabbing a shot on your phone is straightforward. You open the camera app, compose a picture on-screen, and tap the shutter button to capture the image.

Behind the scenes, though, your phone runs through millions of operations to get that photo: evaluating the exposure, identifying objects in the scene, capturing multiple exposures in a fraction of a second, and blending them together to create the photo displayed moments later.

Read more and learn more about what makes smartphone photography possible in the second article, You’re already using computational photography, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a photographer


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