Skip to main content

This camera trained on award-winning images refuses to shoot a 'bad' photo

trophy camera refuses to take bad photos 53449978  blank canvas mockup with modern concrete interior
Positivtplus / 123RF
Digital cameras make it easy to take a photo with a single button but is the simplicity of modern cameras turning us all into robots? That is what the artists behind the Trophy Camera want to get people thinking about with a custom camera that will not let users take a “bad” photo.

Using artificial intelligence to compare the potential shot to the winning images from over 50 years of World Press Photo winners, the Trophy Camera will only record an image when the view shares at least 90 percent of the characteristics of those award winners. Images that the computer thinks are newsworthy are automatically uploaded to a website.

Dries Depoorter, an artist, and Max Pinckers, a photographer and Ph.D. student, designed Trophy Camera as a statement on how automatic cameras fill the web with photos that all look similar. In fact, the artists designed the camera without a viewfinder intentionally as a statement on how individual creativity has fallen by the wayside. “Cameras are becoming more automatized every day, with capabilities of producing ‘perfect pictures’ with the push of a button,” Pinckers told Fast Co. Design, “which leaves less room for creative interventions within the program defined by machines and technology, and therefore only creates redundant imagery.”

The camera isn’t designed to sell to the masses, but as an art installation held in Belgium last month. The gadget was built with Rasberry Pi, a system designed to teach anyone how to code, along with the HD camera module, a power bank, a small OLED display and a plastic casing that almost resembles a heavy duty flashlight.

“By making this camera,” Pinckers said, “we try to implicitly comment on the current status of photojournalism — which seems to be becoming more questionable in today’s visual landscape — along with the incredibly fast development of computer vision and the relevance of artificial intelligence in our time.”

The camera is designed to get photographers thinking about how modern media has influenced the field, from which photos are published to the way technology is biased toward a certain image standard. Ironically, the images the system selected are typically blurry and included photos of a photo, since the camera was only shot during the gallery exhibition. But the camera serves as a commentary on changes in the industry as well as the influence of technology on imagery as a whole.

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
DJI Mini Pro 4 leak appears to reveal the drone’s specs
A retail box apparently showing DJI's upcoming Mini Pro 4 drone.

DJI appears close to unveiling the Mini 4 Pro, the successor to the Mini 3 Pro that launched in May last year.

First, as a reminder, DJI’s smallest and lightest “Pro” drone tips the scales at just 249 grams, a carefully considered move as it’s just 1 gram below the drone weight category that involves having to register it with the authorities. Sure, that’s no great hardship for most folks, but the fewer hoops you have to jump through to get your bird in the sky, the better.

Read more
GoPro unveils its latest action camera, the Hero 12 Black
GoPro's Hero 12 Black action camera.

GoPro: Introducing HERO12 Black | Everything You Need to Know

GoPro is back with the latest iteration of its popular action camera. The new GoPro Hero 12 Black is the kind of solid piece of kit we’ve come to expect from a company that’s been in the game for years. That’s actually created a bit of a problem for GoPro, with many customers happy to hang onto their current model rather than upgrade. So it'll be hoping the latest version will be attractive enough to prompt a wave of purchases among current owners, while at the same time attracting a bunch of first-time buyers, too.

Read more
How to hide photos on your Android phone or tablet
Google Photos

While modern smartphones are quite secure as long as they remain locked with a passcode or biometrics like a fingerprint, by default those features only protect the front door. If someone picks up your phone while it's unlocked, there aren't typically any barriers that will keep them out of exploring everything from your contacts and emails to your photos.

This can be particularly challenging when it comes to photos, since those are the things we like to show off the most from our phones. We've likely all had those moments when we want to show a friend or co-worker a funny cat meme, so we hand over our phone and trust that they won't swipe right and see the photo of the hairy mole that we sent to our doctor that morning.

Read more