on advanced software camera lenses

This is cool. Hipstamatic released a bunch of new lenses. I got a notification on my phone last night, and grumbled something about camera apps spamming me with ads. Then forgot about it. This morning, I see a post from Nick, referring to the official Hipstamatic blog post on the lens:

The Tinto 1884 lens uses facial recognition to recreate a very shallow depth of field unique for each photograph. This is similar in some ways to what some apps do with tilt-shift or radial blur effects, but Hipstamatic's effect is more customized for faces. Notice, for instance, that it will leave eyes and mouth unaffected, while blurring out the nose and forehead. If the app can't detect a face, it just switches into a radial blur.

A software camera with a software lens that does more than just compositing grunge effects layers and vignettes onto the photo. It's actually manipulating the transformations in (near) realtime, based on code within the software lens. In this case, facial detection is used to direct the application of blur. How awesome is that? Check out the first sample photo I shot with the new Tinto lens:


The possibilities for software-enabled realtime transformation are interesting, too. What about a lens that uses your geolocation to tint a photo (similar to the Breaking Bad "New Mexico is brown and Mexico is yellow" tinting). Or based on who is in the photograph, and their relationship to you. Or based on time of day. Or how many messages are waiting in your inbox. or how fast or far you've traveled recently, etc...

Anyway. This is the first software lens I've seen that does something more interesting than just pasting a few layers of gunk onto a photo and calling it vintage. You may not like the aesthetic of the end result, but the process is absolutely fascinating.

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