Predicting the Future of Photography

Camera Lens by Anna Henryson

For a while now I’ve been contemplating a future where you can find a photograph of almost anything at a certain time.

Meaning, in some future version of Flickr you would say (literally) “show me a photo of 20 Heckscher Drive in Huntington, NY from last week” or “what did Trafalgar Square look like in 2014?” and you’d get the image.

This vision was turned into a tool for the evil information overlords in the Dave Eggars novel The Circle. In that dystopian future, The Circle — think Google and Facebook merged — uses the organized information of the world to promote its own ruthless agenda.

Anyhow, while watching a guy take a photo of a mural this morning I wondered “how many times has this photo been taken?” This then lead to leap to “maybe in the future cameras won’t actually ‘take pictures’. They simply record the date, time, location, light conditions, etc and construct the image from known sources.”

Like the way iMovie has an “automatic Ken Burns” mode, maybe you camera asks you to select Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz mode.

Perhaps I should reach out to the Lytro people. Or maybe start a business creating these non-photography cameras. They’d be pretty small and easy to carry around…

Photo of Camera Lens by Anna Henryson