Thanks to Facebook and Flickr, our lives are now available for all to see in our pictures. As we've become a society of burgeoning photo journalists, it's no surprise that even as amateurs we've become a bit more ambitious in our documentation styles. We'd love to enroll in a Saturday afternoon photography class at the ICP, but who has the time? In the meantime, here are some of the latest high tech photography trends we've been noticing.
Panorama Modes: It wasn't long ago that Gen Xers were using their Canon Sure Shots
to capture sweeping landscapes by laboriously pasting a series of shots together and matching the edges across their dorm room walls. Thankfully, advances in software
have made the craft of photo collage a rewarding creative pursuit rather than merely a means of unartfully displaying Grand Canyon vacation shots, as the ability to capture the span of a private beach cove is being built in to digital cameras. With Sony's Sweep Panorama
mode, users need only press the shutter and sweep the scene; the camera continually shoots images and then automatically stitches them together. Indeed, a clever way to capture immersive crowd shots, whether at a stadium concert or a high school football game, panoramic photography could become more than just a passing novelty in this era of wondrous visual experiences
Voracious iPhone app collectors probably are attuned to this one already, but we felt it was worth calling out due to its sudden ubiquity in our Facebook feeds. As far as apps go, this one really merits two Trendcentral thumbs up. Living up to its name, the app executes the nostalgic analog aesthetic so prevalent in the current wave of style blogs
. Hipstamatic offers users the ability to customize all components, including lens, flash and film, of each photo's look. Pre-designed HipstaPaks are dedicated to fashionable locations from around the world. For example, the Williamsburg HipstaPak includes an oversized Helga Viking lens, a black-bordered Pistil Film, and a color-tinting Primary Gel Pack. Our favorite Hipstamatic option is probably the Dreampop Flash: Although it evokes images of the flashcubes that were thought to "ruin" photos during their heyday in the '70s, its effect now looks more like dreamy California sunshine than unwanted overexposure.
The latest in computer art is laptopograms, which are digital images created by placing photo-sensitive paper onto a computer screen and then flashing an image in front of it. These are similar in method to photograms
, though laptopograms require a darkroom, as the paper must be developed. Due to the technical experience required, we're not sure laptopograms will be supplanting that timeless face/butt art fashioned on the office copier, but the medium should have more art students-cum-technologists experimenting. If you want to give it a go, the shutter script is found here