Ever wonder what the brainiacs at Microsoft are up to? One emerging technology we should see soon out of the company’s Live Labs experiment is Photosynth, a collaboration between Microsoft and the University of Washington. According to the Live Labs website, “Photosynth takes a large collection of photos of a place or object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed 3-Dimensional space.” The starting point is a collection of digital photos. Each photo is run through computer algorithms that define hundreds of distinctive features in the photo, which are then linked to other photos that share that feature. The end result is a 3-D model comprised of the original photos that you can zoom in and out of. “Imagine a slide projector placed at each camera position, aimed where the camera was aiming, and projecting the picture that camera took,” the website explains. “A screen is placed in the 3D environment at an appropriate distance from the projector. As you move around in the Photosynth environment, projectors turn on and off, giving you a changing perspective on a world built entirely out of the original photos.” Cool as it sounds, all of this is just a tease for now. The Photosynth software hasn’t been released yet, so in the meantime you’ll have to satisfy your curiosity with the videos and blog.
The 13th issue of Blueeyes, the online magazine devoted to documentary photography, is now online, with new essays by Jon Lowenstein, Davin Ellicson, and Michael Brown. Editor John Loomis writes, “Through the incredible images of [Lowenstein, Ellicson, and Brown], I believe we see the pivotal difference between documenting what a place looks like, to going deeper and recording a personal, and much more illuminating, impression of what a place actually feels like. The ability to see the line between looks and feels is what often separates great photography from everything else, and underscores the absolutely crucial role of personal vision in doing successful project work. To put it more simply, if you ask me, objectivity is dead.”
New York City gallerist and blogger Jen Bekman is now accepting entries for the Summer Edition of Hey, Hot Shot!, the quarterly photo competition aimed at exposing up-and-coming artists. Ten photographers will be chosen for a group show in Bekman’s gallery and will have a chance to be represented by Bekman for the coming year. The entry deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 6p.m., and submissions must be made online at www.heyhotshot.com. Winners will be announced Monday, Aug. 21 at noon.
Through an RSS feed we subscribed to we’ve been alerted to a number of new slideshows on Time.com. One examines recent developments in the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, and another looks at the sweltering heat the U.S. has experienced this summer (global warming anyone?), but one we found most interesting was “Hot Wheels,” a compilation of photos taken through the years that show how skateboarding has evolved from its quaint and homespun origins in the ’60s to a billion dollar industry. The photos are great, but Time.com’s Flash-based slideshow is clunky and slow. Still, lots of good stuff to explore at www.time.com/time/photoessays.