Two hilarious photo-related experiences I had recently that I felt compelled to share:


1. Image searches with the Google iPad app

Step 1: Take a picture of someone, something, anything within the Google app.
Step 2: Either be stunned at the accuracy of the results or laugh yourself silly at how ridiculous the results are.

Example: I took a picture of one of my friends, in good light, and this was one of the results:


Too funny.

And yet it’s scary good with products, logos, etc. Like if you take a picture of a container of Clamato or a Heinz ketchup bottle.

Like any young technology, it has fantastic prospects to change our lives, but right now it’s as much amusement as useful.


2. The so-called “beauty” setting with current generation Olympus cameras

Step 1: Grab a relatively new Olympus camera
Step 2: Set it to the “beauty” setting
Step 3: Take a picture with multiple people in it.

According to a photo blog review of one of the Olympus cameras, this beauty mode “is designed to analyse the person in a portrait and it patches over blemishes and spots while the camera swirls the image around to make it look busy.”

But the fun part is that when you have multiple people in the picture, it only chooses a single person – theoretically the person who looks the worst amongst those within the picture just taken.

When my friends and I started playing with this setting over a couple of drinks, this became the most amusing game of “who is the ugliest person in this picture?” resulting in quick verbal bets once the faux shutter sound signaled that the picture had been taken and that resulting hoots of laughter when the camera, after being placed on the table with the display screen face up, finally zoomed in on the face of the poor sucker who some Olympus Engineer’s algorithm decided looked worse than the rest of the people in the shot.

I’m honestly not sure whether this setting was created for an actual purpose of improving the look of some facial shots for amateur photographers or whether its creators were actually a bunch of sadistic product developers who invented the above-mentioned game themselves and liked the idea of making it available to the public. Maybe both.

In any case, thank you. It is hilarious and my friends and I have had a lot of fun with it. Same with the Google app picture search.

Taking photos has never been so fun. I can’t even begin to guess what we’ll be doing in the next few years as technology advances. A “drag queen” mode perhaps? Or maybe an “add N years” app that will show what your friends would look like as senior citizens?

Wait, I said I wouldn’t begin to guess. We’ll have to just wait and see.