The Camera That Won’t Let You Take Photographs


The Camera That Won’t Let You Take Photographs

Yup, it actually exists. A camera that looks through your viewfinder; compares the image to millions of others. If its algorithm decides this viewpoint has been taken too much, it won’t let you take the picture.

Not sure how big a market there is for it but it is useful to consider the premise; to ask yourself a key question:

Is viewpoint really unique or is it just a same ol’ same ol’?

Consider this, most images are taken from the 5.5 foot to 6 foot height with a standard lens with the background in full focus.

This is because most people take their shots standing up with the lens the camera (or smartphone) came with, usually a 50mm. For the smartphone it is a little wider. The default is a greater depth of field putting backgrounds in focus.

Thus a lot of images seem very familiar, giving you a sense of déjà vu.


To make your images memorable, to have snap, to stand out you just need to be different. The viewer of any image wants Broca to be surprised. Broca is the area of the brain that craves to be surprised.

Go low or go very high. I mean really low, lay on your belly, bring your subject down with you or shoot up. Stand on something shoot from 8, 10 even 12 feet up. It is a fresh perspective that will be exciting.

Change your lens. A friend went on an excursion a bit back, he left his go to lens at home, out of reach. He brought the lenses he rarely used. Wow was he nervous but determined. He brought back the most exciting images. Be bold, go to extremes, push your comfort zone.

Change your proximity to your subject. Get in very, very close. Pull way back, let the environment ooze into the image, let it become a character that influences the mood. Let it be a comment on your subject. Move in to remove all of that background, find the one critical thing, like a caricature artist, that defines your subject. That makes them interesting. Exploit it. Find the beauty in it.


Change what happens in your background. Work the depth of field; go so shallow only an inch is in sharp focus. Pick your inch very carefully. Make it a void of black or some fuzzy bright or even dull color that supports your image’s vision. Make it explode with colors, razor sharp everywhere, do it in a way your subject still pops out.

Be challenged with your choices. You don’t stand out by looking the same as everything around you.

Then get really diverse, mix all these different approaches up. Like a Rubik’s Cube searching for the perfect combination.

It will make you uncomfortable, even a bit scared as you explore the unknown. Step into the abyss of the different and exciting. You will make a whole lot of horrible images; get comfortable with that because when you are done you will have something great. Images worth pausing at, sharing. Heck even buying.

Maybe you do need a camera that won’t let you take picture that has been done 1,000 times before. Pretend that yours does already, become unique, different. It will be refreshing, trust me.


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