Thursday, July 23, 2009

Smiles Captured: A new photo album

My digital camera is very real proof that Japanese engineers are a very crafty bunch. There is a shooting mode called "Smile Detector." Here's what happens: you click the shutter button, and it goes into what I like to call "Smile Capturing Mode." When the camera's face detector detects a face with a little box, it waits until the person is smiling and SNAP! it automatically takes a picture. The "Smile Counter" on the screen increases by one, giving you an exact count of how many smiles you've captured. The amazing thing is that you don't take the picture, it just waits until it seems a smile and captures the moment.

When people hear about this, a short smile/no-smile photo session undoubtedly ensues. A large number of my digital photos are of people with a big, exaggerated, excited, toothy grins on their faces, sometimes with thumbs up, sometimes with eyes closed as they strain to smile, and sometimes with an unenthusiastic look across the rest of their face as they wonder the eff I was talking about when I said my camera could tell they were smiling.

In the camera's settings, you can adjust the "Smile Detection Level" to low, medium or high. I just think of this as setting the "Judgmental Camera Mode" to "open-minded, relatively picky, and severely harsh critic." In all honesty, the Smile Detector is pretty much a gag. Sometimes you don't want people smiling, or you're getting them from the side. For that, you really can't rely on the smile detector.

I have been reorganizing my digital photos on my new computer, and have discovered whole treasure trove of these smile detector photos. To commemorate this discovery, I'll be making a photo album just for these moments of fabricated joy.

Please don't judge the people in the photos too harshly; that's the camera's job.

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