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Monday, July 24, 2006

Tourist Remover

I really have no idea if this is a joke, or serious, or not a joke but just funny....

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON with thanks to D.R.

Featured Comment by Ken Tanaka: A bit of a gimmick-cum-come-on, perhaps aimed at folks who enjoy creating different digital versions of their images ( ;-> Sorry Mike, couldn't resist.) but don't know photo software. It's cute.

Related story;
Several years ago two guys with a pocket-change budget but great patience and talent created a short film called 405: The Movie. It's an astonishing, and hilarious, bit of indy filmmaking that's worth seeing (the link leads to an online version).

At one point in the movie they show what appears to be an evacuated 405 freeway (near L.A.). Clearly this would have been impossible, even with a much larger budget. So how in the world did they do it?

Basically, the same way as the folks above. They set up their video camera and filmed the freeway for a period of time (presumably while traffic was actually moving). Every spot on the freeway was vacant of cars at some frame in that footage. They re-assembled the frames of the footage, collecting all of the car-vacant spots, to create footage that makes it look like the freeway was evacuated. Very clever and extremely effective.


Blogger Randy Cole said...

That's a clever idea, and very easy to implement once the images are all aligned. Each pixel must be unblocked in at least one shot, of course.

Maybe the next version will save the removed people and put them into shots that need a human element...

10:39 PM  
Blogger david mantripp said...

I'm sure it's real. FutureLab is a Swiss company. You don't get much more serious than that.

But what happens if the photo was taken by a tourist ? Does the tourist disappear in a puff of logic ? What happens if Tourist A is taking a photo whilst Tourist B is removing Tourist A from her photo ?

This could have unforseen side effects :-)

4:32 AM  
Blogger Olaf Ulrich said...

It's no joke, it actually works. Those who read German may also look here:

The same basic principle can be used to remove moving objects, or to add them together.

However the name, 'Tourist Remover,' does add a bizarre note ...

5:39 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Do they have a litter and pigeon remover for use in the UK?

Judging from the image of the snapper on the right they have a 'reverse your images' filter :)

5:52 AM  
Blogger Pete Vagt said...

The old fashioned analog way used by architectural photographers was to use appropriately long time-exposures. Also required: a tripod to keep the camera view unchanged and multiple nutral density filters so that exposures can range from minutes to hours as needed.

Unless the "tourists" are immobile for a significant portion of your exposure, they will disappear.

10:45 AM  
Blogger JoeM said...

If you go to you'll see that Atta Kim achieved the same effect by setting a camera on 57th street in New York for 8 HOURS (!!) (I assume he used a camera with a VERY tiny aperture). All you see of street traffic is a blur.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"you'll see that Atta Kim achieved the same effect by setting a camera on 57th street in New York for 8 HOURS (!!)"

If that's an 8-hour exposure, how come the main light shows only green, hmm?

Anyway after a while, additional exposure time doesn't matter all that much. An 8-hour exposure is barely more than a 4-hour exposure because of failure of reciprocity effect.


4:10 PM  

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