The Trend Towards Authenticity… Image Authenticity!

Finally! A growing backlash against photoshopped artificial image constructs. Thank you.

I’ve waited a long time. Back in 1999 with the release of the Matrix movie, written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano and others (a very good cast by anyone’s standards) I really thought there would be a widespread recognition that there was a difference between “real” and “alternate” realities and perceptions. It has taken over a decade for people to really start paying attention and noticing that most of the imagery of today is FAKE!

The simple reason is the proliferation of cheap digital cameras and cameras in phones and the massive distribution network of the internet. Just take Hugo Weaving as an example. A quick Google search of “Hugo Weaving photo” yields over 20,000 results! Indeed, millions if your search is less specific. With Google maps you can see practically every location on earth within a few seconds. Click some more and get NASA photos from space. There’s Flickr, Facebook, Fotki, Freeimagehosting… and those are just a few that start with the letter “F”.  YouTube streams billions of videos (yes BILLIONS with a “B”) every week.

All of this instantly available content from every source imaginable means that we now have a growing reference for every image that is created. It is easy to reveal a fake image and this is happening more and more frequently. On my commercial blog: I even show a link to a website dedicated to showing the difference between a “real” cheesburger from Burger King vs. the imagery Burger King uses in their promotional materials. And the poor guy running the website is asking for donations because of all the bandwidth he is needing to handle all of the hits.

So, how does this demand for authenticity grow and gain traction?

Through better and better cameras and imaging technology. It makes for a compelling argument for the adoption of multi perspective imagery and imagery with much higher levels of resolution and detail. For years, I’ve been fussing about with camera systems and printing technology and lens development all for the purpose of creating imagery that reveals in an authentic manner. For me, the holy grail is an image that presents exactly as you perceive what the image represents in real life. I don’t know if I will ever truly achieve it, but each day I get a bit closer.

The time has come for me to step up my camera rig to the next level. Fourteen 21 megapixel cameras just don’t cut it anymore. I am in the process of building my next camera prototype utilizing an array of 60 to 80 megapixel sensors. It is ridiculously expensive, but now that I am able to begin leveraging my knowledgebase with consulting and other endeavors, it makes this transition possible.

I’ll be documenting the details here on my blog as things progress.


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