Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Joe Rosensteel

Is there in communication no beauty?

The Louvre's iconic glass pyramid at night. Green dots from the lens are right above the top of the pyramid.
Oh no! By removing the green dots above the Louvre (left), the very fabric of reality has been rent asunder! (right)

With the new iteration of flagship smartphone cameras comes the new iteration of arguments about reality—and not the “fun” kind that you strap to your face. Google’s Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro offer a new generation of AI editing tools, and Apple’s iPhone 15 and 15 Pro integrate the latest round of Apple’s Photonic Engine1 and Deep Fusion to process every last detail.

What we should really be talking about when we talk about these cameras isn’t some representation of “reality,” but communication. What a person shoots with any camera is not truth, but a timed amount of light from a selected angle shining through a lens focused onto a recording medium. Even without any editing tools, you can produce a photo that is real but isn’t true entirely in camera at the time it was shot.…

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