Above: Wheel of a Wiesmann Roadster. Credit: Dietmar Rabich.

Google Night Sight

The Night Sight function on the Google Pixel 3 smartphone uses HDR tech to "capture an equal amount of light over a burst of many photos that are dark but sharp, by merging this burst, Night Sight prevents motion blur and brightens the photo, giving you a bright and sharp photo." Fine, sure. But what was the original urge that the developers had? The YouTube advert makes it clear: it's basically offered as an alternative to flash (which very often tends to crush-and-annihilate the atmosphere in a scene replacing it with a brutal-unforgiving lighting) and/or very dark photos.

My issue with Night Sight is that I love both very dark photos and night-flash photos. For me, very dark photos are desirable and I find Night Sight to be a crass gimmick. I don't actually want my night photos lightened up. If I went through the work of Robert Frank and Brassai, lightening the photos up, would they be improved? No. Of course not. Capturing the essence of night is a fine art in a photo. Equally, I love flash. Night-flash may be unloved by snappers, but it is absolutely loved by some of the great photographers like Nancy Goldin, Mark Cohen, and Martin Parr.

Can't the dudes at Google come up with something a little bit better than Night Sight? I mean, these are supposed to be the most intelligent people in the world working for this company.

(9 January 2019)