Computational photography is responsible for most of the amazing strides our smartphone cameras have taken in the last decade. Here’s how it works, and how it makes our photos so much better. The Magic of Computational Photography Computational photography uses digital software to enhance the photos taken by a camera. It’s most prominently used in smartphones. In fact, computational photography does the heavy lifting to create the great-looking images you see in your smartphone photo gallery. The rapid improvement in smartphone cameras over the last few years can largely be attributed to improving software, rather than changes to the physical camera sensor. Some smartphone manufacturers, like Apple and Google, continuously improve the photo-taking capabilities of their devices year after year without ever drastically changing the physical camera sensors. Why Does Computational Photography Matter? How a camera digitally captures a photo can be roughly divided into two … [Read more...] about What Is Computational Photography?
If you’ve thanked someone online, there’s a good chance that they responded with the initialism “NP.” We’ll tell you what it means and how to use it when chatting with your friends. “No Problem” NP stands for “No problem.” It’s usually used as a replacement for “You’re welcome” when thanks is offered. “No problem” can be abbreviated in both lowercase (np) and uppercase (NP). The lowercase variant is more common in personal messages. You’ll frequently see it online when people are thanked for helping others for things such as giving useful advice or providing answers to a question. NP is frequently used on its own without being put into a longer sentence. The acronym already creates a complete sentence when used as a response to someone else. Another popular way to truncate the phrase is by saying “No prob.” “No problem” is synonymous with the idiomatic expression “No big deal” and its acronym NBD, as well as “No sweat.” The History of NP Like most internet acronyms, … [Read more...] about What Does “NP” Mean, and How Do You Use It?
You can’t believe everything you read—or see. Social media is rife with manipulated or “Photoshopped” images. Here are some telltale signs you’re looking at an altered image. Airbrushing Is Easy to Spot Have you ever seen an image that just doesn’t look right? Trusting your gut might not be the most scientific approach, but you’re probably better at spotting a fake than you realize. If you see an image that sounds alarm bells, you might want to look a bit closer. You’ll probably spot some telltale signs that it’s been manipulated. Airbrushed images often fall into “ uncanny valley ” territory. Even if you have perfect skin, most light sources cast small shadows on fine wrinkles, pores, and other slight imperfections. When these imperfections are digitally removed, so is the appearance of natural lighting. Professional retouchers often strike a balance between perfection and realism, but amateurs and mobile apps rarely do. Apps, in particular, depend on existing skin tones … [Read more...] about How to Tell If an Image Has Been Manipulated or Photoshopped
When it comes to smartphone cameras, it’s not all about the hardware anymore. Modern smartphones automatically use “computational photography” techniques to improve every single photo you take. Using Software to Improve Your Smartphone Camera Computational photography is a broad term for loads of different techniques that use software to enhance or extend the capabilities of a digital camera . Crucially, computational photography starts with a photo and ends with something that still looks like a photo (even if it could never be taken with a regular camera.) How Traditional Photography Works Before going any deeper, let’s quickly go over what happens when you take a photo with an old film camera. Something like the SLR you (or your parents) used back in the ’80s. When you click the shutter-release button, the shutter opens for a fraction of a second and lets light hit the film. All the light is focused by a physical lens that determines how everything in the photo will … [Read more...] about How Computational Photography Improves Smartphone Photos