PhotoViz is a book by Nicholas Felton, the guru of data visualization and the the inspiration behind Facebook’s timeline. PhotoViz reveals the artistry behind photo visualization, technology that combines data visualization and photography as an optical technique to reveal complex, fascinating stories about images.

Ok, I know, I know. Say whaaa? Let’s take a closer look.

Photo-viz happens where  data visualization and photography intersect.  Fittingly, it’s easier to show you than to explain it.

Author Nicholas Felton states that photo-viz is “visualization created without layers of abstraction, because every data point in an image is really just a photon hitting your camera sensor.”

photoviz-gymnastics

www.seattletimes.com

In the last Olympics, exposure stacking and high speed cameras were used to create single-frame sequences of events that allowed viewers to take in every part of the athlete’s participation.

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We can also see these techniques being used with Photoshop frame stacking.

photoshop-framestacking

www.youtube.com

The visualizations are so moving because the combination of several photographs, one subject shown over time, or the use of other photo visualization techniques can tell a story and create an emotional connection. As humans we are naturally intrigued by stories – especially the stories of how an image evolves in time.

How to use photo-viz to own Instagram

Photo visualization doesn’t have to be just for professionals.

Imagine how you could use photo-viz in social situations to actually tell the story of a night or a vacation, rather than just taking a snapshot of a brief moment in time.

  • Instagram already has filters and effects that can be used to add a personal touch to images that you share with the world. But imagine the possibilities of using photo visualization in your pictures.
  • This is groundbreaking technology that will allow you to add another dimension of creativity and artistry to the images that you share. Imagine the increased number of followers you’ll get when you craft a PhotoViz masterpiece that gets liked and shared by people all over the world.
  • You could use photo-viz at happy hour to create Instagram pics of the flow of friends coming and going, the emotion and vibrancy of the room, or even your tacos.

Of course there’s an app for that

photo data visualization

There are data and photo visualization apps that exist right now. For example, Google’s Auto Awesome feature allows you to add effects to your photos and videos, and even turn them into animated GIFs.

Try using Google Auto Awesome to turn several group pics into one great picture with everyone’s best pose.

What’s Next: Photo-viz eliminates writing completely 

In the future, photo-viz will be used to convey concepts and ideas in the business and educational world using photography.

Very talented people must work to create pie, bar, and line graphs to help individuals understand complex data. However, photography and visualization are so natural and human that representing these data points and concepts visually will change the face of data interpretation and human communication as we know it.

Reports and long-winded documents will be replaced with visual data, which you’ll be able to create quickly and easily using apps on your mobile device.

We’re only at the tip of the iceberg with this technology and the possibilities are truly endless.

What’s your take?

What are some photo visualization techniques you have used before? Which photo-viz apps do you use and love?

Let us know in the comments below.

 

Featured image credit: farbspiel-photo.com 

Image credit: Google Blog

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