I'm lucky enough to be mixing work with holiday in Slovenia this week. Ljubljana, the capital, is a beautiful, compact city. It's got a young vibe about it - hardly surprising since it hosts so many schools and universities.
Like any beautiful city it has dozens of selfie hot spots. And you don't have to look hard to see the influencer crew mingling in the vicinity of the Dragon Bridge or the Castle to name but two.
Easy to spot? You can usually grade them by equipment and entourage. From the couples (influencer plus Instagram-boyfriend and mid-range DSLR), to the crews with tripods, lighting and make up artists.
Elsewhere, hashtags and social media accounts are more prominent than ever on restaurant menus and cafe banners. Instagram dominates, of course, with Facebook and Twitter joint second.
I know. Not much to see here. So far so social... But sometimes events shake you out of your digital bubble. Back to the cafes. One has decided to cut out the middle man and call itself #Cafehashtag.
I was so stunned by this meta-moment that I almost missed the jewellers next door. The reason I didn't was because the owner and his assistant had set up their work benches in full view of the street. Each sat behind a 'portrait' window, perfectly framed for pedestrians - and photographers - like this one.
I loved the set up. It was at once authentic, original and a knowing wink to our photo-social obsessed culture. Did I take a picture? Of course. Did I post it to Instagram? Naturally. Was I chuckling to myself all the way back to our appartment? Yes, and most of the evening too. Bravo ZlatoRuno.com!
What’s changed is this: The cameras know too much. All cameras capture information about the world—in the past, it was recorded by chemicals interacting with photons, and by definition, a photograph was one exposure, short or long, of a sensor to light. Now, under the hood, phone cameras pull information from multiple image inputs into one picture output, along with drawing on neural networks trained to understand the scenes they’re being pointed at. Using this other information as well as an individual exposure, the computer synthesizes the final image, ever more automatically and invisibly.