The tale of the picture that did not exist yet


Thirteen years ago I visited the US for the first time. I was not into photography the same way I am now, but I had a digital camera with me. It was a Nikon Coolpix 5000, equipped with a 5Mpx sensor, quite a big deal, considering that DSLRs were not popular yet.

Passing through the Death Valley on my way back from Vegas to LA, I took a few snapshots, and those pictures ended up getting stored in my archive for more than thirteen years.

A few days ago I decided to give a spin to Google Photos. So I synchronised all my private collection of snapshots, and the magic started. After a few hours, when the whole batch was processed, Google Photos started spitting out interesting digital creations.

A few creations are just obvious: little collages of similar shots and cheesy videos with retro filters. But at some point, there were interesting things coming up.

The pictures I took at the Death Valley, for instance, they were just a few landscapes, at what we consider now a medium/low resolution (1600 x 1200 px). I never thought they had any visual appeal. Until Google Photos made up a panorama.

This picture was taken in 2002, remixed in 2016. Until now it was just sitting in a folder, now it’s a beautiful artefact. What will be possible to achieve in the future of image manipulation? I don’t know, but it’s an exciting journey.

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