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How Google Glasses might change photography for good

The quality might not yet be able to replicate great photography – and it solves some practical challenges of taking a good pic.

THE BIG COMPLAINT about Google Glass is, why would anyone want to wear them? Your phone has more functions. They don’t look great. Even people who need glasses often prefer contact lenses — or at least something stylish customised to their face.

But after looking at the Google Glass photos of Trey Ratcliff, a New Zealand-based travel photographer, you might be convinced that Glass could revolutionise photography just as thoroughly as smartphones have.

It’s hard to remember now, but back in the 1990s taking a decent picture required skill. Only dedicated hobbyists or professionals reliably produced images worth looking at. Now there are several phones with cameras that take pictures almost perfectly most of the time, even when used by amateurs.

What Glass does is allow hands-free photos to be taken — thus removing all the shake and wobble of hand-held photography. It’s probably one of the defining advances Glass will make in photography: Humans can hold their heads almost perfectly still while taking a picture; we can’t do that with our hands.

Ratcliff says the Google Glass camera is still fairly primitive. The device is in its early days and will doubtless improve over time. But look at how awesome the images are that you can already get from it:

How Google Glasses might change photography for good
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  • His view from the top of CN Tower in Toronto

    Note: Ratcliff is using his hands to hold on safely.
  • Unexpected panorama shot

    Ratcliff: "Google's servers automatically made a panorama out of a bunch of Glass photos I took atop that tower in Toronto... I did not expect that, cool!"
  • Candid street shots

    It's "very handy in the streets when my hands are full". Think how many shots you miss because you didn't have time to reach for your phone or camera.
  • Hacking Glass to produce High Dynamic Range

    HDR means photos like these, saturated in colour.
  • Unsteady hands? No problem.

    Here's the X-factor for the Glass camera - it's head-mounted which means a thousand times more steady than holding a mobile phone camera. This shot is on a hike up to the Great Wall of China.
  • However...

    ...Ratcliff, whose hands you see here holding his regular camera, says "My Glass photography is still not as good as my normal photography."

All images ©Trey Ratcliff/StuckInCustoms

- Jim Edwards

Irish government considers banning drivers from wearing Google Glass>
Is this one of the oldest selfies in existence?>

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