a24 November 2012

Graphics programming vs photography

One of my few hobbies apart from photography is computer graphics programming. In the past I worked as a video game programmer and was also developing a number of indie and amateur game projects. One of the things I was (and well sort of still am) interested in was 3D graphics programming. It's pretty fascinating trying to recreate reality, use approximations to create something as similar as possible to what we see in reality. I implemented environmental effects such as clouds, water, grass, sky, etc. Although it might all sound simple in fact each of the things was pretty difficult to do for a few reasons. First of all existing mathematical models are often too complex for current generation of PCs. Another is that not all models produce really realistic results. But the biggest issue is that 3D graphics ages pretty fast. What looks realistic one year, looks old-school just a few years later (take any game 10 or more years old - probably you will be shocked how bad it looks). So you have to still improve graphics code. Tedious work :)

Why I'm writing about all this? Well, I just realized that with photography it's so much easier. Of course in the past, equipment wasn't that excellent. Some old photos might be a little blurry, lack contrast or colour saturation but if the composition or subject of the photos is great, it still is a great photo. With digital cameras it's even easier because contrary to the film, the RAW files (or TIFFs or JPGs) doesn't change with time.

Just a thought :)

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure time: 1/160 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 400
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2 E.V.
Flash used: no
Tripod used: no
Filters used: circular polarizing filter
Software: Photomatix Pro 4.2.4, Lightroom 4.1, Photoshop CS5

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