No foolin’

I was thinking of a good story that I could concoct for an April Fool’s Day joke. One that that would sound preposterous yet at the same time somewhat believable and at the end I could say a hearty “April Fools!” The first idea was that of a merger of camera giants Canon and Nikon and an announcement that they will be abandon all of their DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras to manufacture nothing but cellphones cameras. Then I thought of an idea of announcing the find of a rare collectors photograph of George Washington (photography was invented around 30 years after Washington’s death). Then I thought that there are so many incredible real things in the realm of photography that there was no need to make something up.

Never having enough hard drive space to store digital pictures and not knowing how long they will stay archived have always been concerns for photographers. But Researchers at EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute have encoded digital information in a sequence of DNA. While the technology is in its infancy, the implications are you can store tons of information in a small space and it is said that it can last for thousands of years.

Assignments like check-passings and ribbon-cuttings are the bane of most photographers’ existences. They tend to be a bit mind-numbing with very little reward. Researchers at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis tackled this problem by making a photo-taking robot .
Using face recognition software and some basic compositional rules they built a rolling kiosk-like looking machine (a little too close to Dr. Who enemies the Daleks for my tastes) that roamed events and autonomously took pictures of the attendees. The photos were well-exposed if a little basic but they were good enough to get a photographer out of some everyday grunt work.

The Photojojo website carries all kinds of little photo-related tchotchkes. Most are pretty cheap little gizmos and attachments for your smart phone camera while some others are souvenir type items. Recently I received a birthday gift bought from the site.
My wife bought me a coffee mug in the shape of a Nikon lens, a 24-70mm lens to be exact . The resemblance to the real thing is uncanny. They’re about the same size (thought not weight) and the only thing missing from the cup are the Nikon badges. If you saw it sitting on a table you’d swear it was the real thing, up until someone removed the lens cap and took a swig from it. My boss Craig Sanders also got me one as well only this time it was a Canon 24-105mm lens, er, cup. It’s bit ironic that while my work equipment is Nikon, my boss got me a Canon-like cup and my personal stuff is Canon but my wife go me Nikon-esque one.

Even on April Fools’ Day the truth is still stranger than fiction.

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