Microsoft's Photosynth Deepens Digital Photography
Three times yesterday, I had co-workers ask me to show them one of the "synths" I'd created at Microsoft's Photosynth site, the subject of today's column. I understand why they asked; both the way this application assembles these interactive, 3-D collages and what it's like to explore one take a fair amount of explanation, and I'm not totally confident that today's piece does the job.
So if you're still confused -- and if your computer is running Windows XP or Vista, and if you've got the time to download and install the Photosynth application, and if you've got a Windows Live ID to sign into the site -- have a look at some synths I created while testing Photosynth. Here, for instance, is one assembled from photos shot from washingtonpost.com's Arlington headquarters, while this one lets you walk through the Post's newsroom to a particularly slovenly reporter's cubicle.
I did those two after reading the advice in Microsoft's Photosynth photography guide (PDF), which offers such practical hints as this delineation between good and bad architectural subjects:
Many unique details make it synthy (Photosynth loves Venice)
Repetition and shininess are bad (Photosynth hates the Seattle Public Library)
For a look at what you're more likely to get out of Photosynth on a first try, see the other synths I uploaded. With far fewer pictures linked, they don't offer nearly as much to explore. You may think these overlapping assortments of photos do nothing more than make a poetic visual statement of how poorly any human record can align with reality.
I'm not sure that I will be creating many synths on my own time; taking a panorama shot takes less time and leaves you with something that's far easier to share. The Photosynth site, as I noted, also still suffers from some performance issues (that Arlington-and-D.C. synth took two tries to upload yesterday evening) even if it's vastly improved since it crashed in its public debut last week.
But -- given further progress in both Photosynth's reliability and compatibility -- I can easily see artistically-minded photographers vying to explore this medium's creative potential. I can also see business-minded realtors, travel agents and resort operators using synths to provide walkthroughs of properties.
What about you? Does Photosynth leave you intrigued, interested or just bored?
August 28, 2008; 11:15 AM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Microsoft Previews Internet Explorer 8
Next: What Did You Not Do (Online) For Your Summer Vacation?
Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Lawrence | August 28, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Robert C. | August 28, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Amy Hengst | August 28, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mmrudy | August 29, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Norm | August 29, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Friend of Jake's | September 3, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.