One time I drove five hours out of my way on a road trip to Monument Valley, only to be devastated when I arrived. Instead of the bright red buttes I’d envisioned against a clear blue sky, a grey haze had settled into the valley, rendering the landscape flat and lifeless. My photographs could have been saved by a new app that can add sun and light to images with simple text commands.
A new algorithm developed by researchers at Brown University allows you to alter the weather, time of day, or season in outdoor photos. The program has a database of 40 different attributes which are all assigned to basic phrases. So take a sunny photo and type “more rain” to add dismal stormclouds on the horizon. Type “more winter” to suck the chlorophyll out of the trees.
Now how is this different from, say, the Valencia filter on your Instagram app? Well for one, this allows you to control many different variables, not just stick with one predetermined look. But the real beauty here is that instead of having to learn a complicated Photoshop-level editing suite, most photos could be transformed with a series of simple word commands. Does it look realistic? I’d need to see more examples, but I like that this hands over some basic editing tools to a wider audience so they can play around with it. [Brown]