A recent article in Video/Imaging DesignLine mentioned a new digital still camera feature that some DSP designers were working on that will prevent a picture from being taken unless everyone's eyes are open in a group photo. Combined with other aspects of image processing that can remove blemishes from people's faces, whiten teeth, eliminate red-eye of course, and yet-to-be conceived refinements that might add smiles, fix crooked teeth, or otherwise make people look "more perfect" in digital photos, one can't help wonder: Is something being lost with all these image processing "improvements"?
Whatever happened to laughing at the goofy-looking photo? Red eye might not have been the best thing for the family photo on the holiday greeting card, but it sure was good for a laugh. Who amongst us hasn't been ridiculed at some point for having their eyes closed, or looking the wrong way, or some other photographic snapshot transgression?
Cameras that promise "perfect photos every time" have marketing appeal, so it's no wonder designers keep developing new and improved ways to deliver on that promise. I know you can't fight progress -- but if I might make a suggestion to camera designers, it would be to include an "off" switch for all these image-enhancing features.
Happy New Year (and may all your holiday photos look perfect)!