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July 5, 2012

The Future of Photojournalism — Robots?


Vucci, I know you’re in there!


We call it “the drone-cam.”


Today the Olympics, tomorrow the White House.


…But then, there’s always new markets.

Via Robo-cams go for Olympic gold at the (nostalgically named) Reuters Photographers Blog.

  • BooksAlive

    Of course, it takes humans to install them, and  zoom lenses will be operated by someone at a joystick. 

  • black_dog_barking

    Drone helos fitted with decent cameras will enable virtual vacations to places we’re we’d like to see but aren’t likely to go to the trouble, expense, and discomfort of actually traversing 3-space. For me that list includes the bottom of the Grand Canyon, rural Iceland, and maritime Russia. Sure there are some issues to work out like insurance, control software the gives me control but doesn’t let me crash into stuff, etc. These gadgets have a bright future.

    • Wayne Williams

      There is nothing like being there, but this is the next best thing, and I get to do it.  Why?  I couldn’t stop shooting on my own, just have to be there and to up the process to make it match the new technology that’s out there…delivery in HD on Wide Screens.  There is still an art to it all for me anyway.

  • LanceThruster

    A lot of times it seems the choices made by the editors on what to print and what to ignore is nothing short of “robotic” (i.e. acting only in accordance with their puppetmasters).

  • Scarabus

    Couple of related thoughts here. First, way back in the medium’s early days photographers were told there was no “art” in what they did, right? It was just a matter of pushing the button on a machine? Any mouth-breather with a pinky up his or her nose could do that?

    One response was to emphasize the control actual human persons exercised: choose the film/process, set the lights, choose the angle, choose the lens. and so on. That’s all still applicable, in a sense, though in this robo-setup more of the choice is pushed up toward editors.

    But wait! There’s more. On a microlevel, our granddaughter’s annual elementary school photos were terrific. Why? Not just because the photographer knew how to choose a set, put the correct lights at the correct angles, etc. What really mattered what this this photographer understood kids and knew how to interact with them.

    Same on a larger political level. Remember Karsh’s famous portrait of Churchill? with the “stare-down frowny-face”? Karsh said that he got that look by insisting Churchill remove his infamous cigar from his mouth. What do we lose when that connection vanishes?

  • Stan B.

    When ya can’t outsource to South Asia… robots.

  • gmoke

    Bruce Sterling gave a short talk on the future of the camera in which he posited a device he could put on a tabletop that would record everything in the area, including sound and possibly other non-visual signals with algorithms that allow 360 and 3D modeling to fill in what isn’t directly recordable, like the back of heads.  What happens when the tech makes media automatic is the editing hand, eye, and brain and perhaps that will be all of us at once (in some circumstances).  

  • Pingback: Attack of the Robot Cameras! Should Photojournalists Fear This Mechanical Invader? | Isaiah Brookshire

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