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Photography’s Cubist (and Remote) Moment

Yesterday’s announcement from Canon about wireless hookups with their cameras:

“The new Camera Linking function enables photographers to link up to 10 “slave” cameras wirelessly to one “master” camera and fire all eleven cameras simultaneously for multiple images from various vantage points.

“Imagine being able to capture the crowd’s reaction while shooting the play on the field, or having a camera capture the view from the stage while shooting the event from the pit; with Canon’s new easy camera linking function the way a moment is preserved may never be the same.”

Or imagine doing the same at a photo opportunity or other staged event, with one camera at the side of the event to expose all the manipulation that is going on.

Or how about covering events from which photographers have been excluded (assuming that one can hide a camera somewhere):

“The new WFT Server mode, previously called HTTP mode on legacy WFT units, allows up to three users to remotely connect to a camera via any standard Web browser for global access of images in real-time. Canon’s WFT Server mode allows for multiple connected users to download both images and video files from a camera, as well as view still images, see a remote live view of the camera’s rear LCD screen and remotely fire a camera all through the Web. The ability to initiate remote capture to a compatible personal computer while viewing the Live View display from either a computer terminal or mobile device such as a netbook, iPhone, or iPod Touch is an exciting and extremely useful feature that can be performed from within a local network or from across the globe over most web browsers. Multiple photo editors can now have instant access to a photographer’s images, or photographers can remotely control a camera and transfer images to a compatible computer from the comfort of their mobile devices.” (boldface is mine)

This could be advantageous in certain situations–such as photographing wildlife without disturbing their habitat, icebergs over time, or events from which photographers have been excluded (like a street demonstration, assuming one can hide the camera). But it also is yet another potential source of unwanted surveillance, somewhat reminiscent of 18th century theorist Jeremy Bentham’s “Panopticon,” the jailer who can see all. Not only can art directors and photo editors (those that have kept their jobs) snoop on what a photographer is seeing through the viewfinder, but he or she can actually take the picture for the photographer (who only has to set up the camera) from thousands of kilometers away. And what we used to think of as “travel” photography can be accomplished from a distant iPhone–a passport no longer necessary. It is a brave new world.

Thanks to Cate Fallon for pointing this out.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. Антон Павлович on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    “Imagine being able to capture the crowd’s reaction while shooting the play on the field, […….

    Я думаю, что Вы ошибаетесь. Могу это доказать. Пишите мне в PM, пообщаемся….

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