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Welcome to TechRadar's Photography Week 2021

Welcome to TechRadar's Photography Week 2021. It's World Photography Day on August 19, but rather than spending just a day celebrat...

Welcome to TechRadar's Photography Week 2021. It's World Photography Day on August 19, but rather than spending just a day celebrating one of the best hobbies on the planet, we thought it deserved a whole week of attention. So join us every day this week for a rapid-fire burst of features and tutorials on everything photographic – whether you're using a smartphone or DSLR.

Photography has changed a fair bit since the first popular form of making photos, the 'Daguerrotype process', arrived back in 1839. Back then, every single exposure took about fifteen minutes. These days, over 1,000 photos are uploaded to Instagram every second.

But that's just the start of the photographic revolution that's taking place right now. Whether you're interested in AI-powered photo editing, computational cameras or in-game photo modes, it's an exciting time to be making images. So we've lined up a series of features that go deep on all these topics, and more, in our look at the future of photography.

Not that snapping's more classic forms are being left behind. If anything, shooting traditional landscapes and portraits has never been more popular, particularly with increasingly capable smartphones. Throughout Photography Week, we'll be publishing a series of guides from pro photographers that show you how to quickly level up your day-to-day photography – just click on the 'improve your photography' tab on the left to find them.

As fun as it is taking your own photos, sometimes you just want to gawk at the inspiring work and exploits of others. So we'll also be celebrating some of the finest work of recent times in our round-up of the best photos of the year so far, as well as a fascinating look at the strangest cameras in photographer Tony Kemplen's huge collection.

Whether you're a casual smartphone snapper or film camera veteran, we hope there's something for you in TechRadar's Photography Week 2021, which runs from August 15-22. And even if you're allergic to pressing cameras shutters, there'll be some lovely photos to look at – and who doesn't like doing that?

  • TechRadar's Photography Week 2021 will run from August 15-21. Here are some of the features you can read now, plus a taste of others that are coming soon...

The future of photography

Photography is entering one of the most fascinating periods in its history. From AI-powered editing to powerful in-game photo modes, tech is twisting the art form into brilliant (and sometimes frightening) new forms. 

In this series of features, we dive into how cameras and photography are evolving and where it's all headed.


How AI animates your old family photos – and where deepfakes are going next

A re-animated photo of Amelia Earhart using MyHeritage's Deep Nostalgia

(Image credit: MyHeritage)

One of the biggest photography stories of the year has been the viral smash 'Deep Nostalgia', which turned our old family photos into moving, animated versions that were equal parts beguiling and unnerving.

We spoke to the makers of the tech, an Israeli company called D-ID, about how it works and where this is all headed. Hint: 'synthetic media' is only just getting started. 


Inside the Alice Camera: why its maker thinks it's the future of mirrorless cameras

Alice Camera

(Image credit: Photogram AI)

The Alice Camera in a fascinating Indiegogo project that's aiming to combine mirrorless camera hardware with the slick menus and connectivity of smartphones. Slot your phone into the back of the camera, and get the best of both worlds – or that's the idea, at least.

The project is progressing towards its goal of launching in October 2021 – in this revealing chat with the Alice Camera's makers, the Photogram AI, we found out why the UK computational photography startup thinks it has the special glue needed to marry these seemingly incompatible concepts together.   


What is a liquid lens? The tech that could revolutionize phone cameras explained

A close-up of a liquid lens in a smartphone

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

If you thought that smartphone cameras had finally hit a ceiling in their incredible evolution, you underestimated tech's ability to make seemingly unworkable ideas real. A case in point? Liquid lenses.

On the face of it, using a small pocket of fluid to direct and focus light onto a camera sensor shouldn't work. And yet, it does – and it could be another huge deal for smartphone photography. In this excellent explainer, we reveal how liquid lenses work and why they're particularly well-suited to camera phones.


A man's face being edited with Photoshop's neural filters

(Image credit: Future)

Why Photoshop and Luminar's AI tools aren't quite ready to kill real photography

AI photo editing is on the rise, so what does that mean for human photo editors? On one hand, tools like Photoshop's neural filters are super-convenient aids. But on the other, they've sparked big debates about what constitutes a 'real' photograph.

After attacking his own face Photoshop and Luminar's AI tools, pro photographer Dave Stevenson gives us his verdict on whether or not the robots are ready to pry the adjustment brushes from our cold, dead hands. 


Coming soon this week...


How Nikon built the Nikon Zfc – and why it thinks the future of cameras is retro

The front of the Nikon Zfc camera

(Image credit: Future)

Traditional camera giants like Nikon are under attack from smartphones and computational photography. How do they fight back? One of their biggest weapons is heritage – which Nikon has deployed with stunning effect on the new Nikon Zfc.

In an exclusive chat with Nikon's designers, we find out how they designed the Zfc, their favorite design features are and why they decided to make a retro mirrorless camera in 2021. (Coming during Photography Week, August 15-22).


How Season on PS5 is taking gaming photo modes back to the future

A screenshot from Season on PS5 showing a boy holding a camera

(Image credit: Scavengers Studio)

In-game photography has never been bigger, with huge games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Spider-Man – not to mention innovative indie titles like Pupperazi – featuring increasingly sophisticated photo modes.

One of the most exciting snapping-themed games, though, is the forthcoming Season on PS5, which combines camera-based exploration with Studio Ghibli-style visuals. In an exclusive chat with its makers Scavengers Studio, we find out what inspired the game and how it's planning to take the photo mode to immersive new heights. (Coming during Photography Week, August 15-22) 


My dream mirrorless camera runs on Android, so why has no-one built a good one yet?

The rear screen on the Yongnuo mirrorless camera

(Image credit: Yongnuo)

Mirrorless cameras have come a long way in the last decade, but their interfaces and connectivity still feel they're from a pre-smartphone era. So why has no-one made a killer Android camera yet? 

A frustrated TechRadar photographer vents about their experiences with the near misses of almost-modern cameras, and their undying hopes for something that genuinely moulds smartphone usability with powerful camera hardware. (Coming during Photography Week, August 15-22)

  • Plus more features on the future of photography

Improve your photography

Smartphones are the best point-and-shoot cameras ever made. But they're also powerful creative tools, if you're prepared to wander away from the well-trodden path of your phone's default camera app and settings.

In this series, we badger pro photographers for their best smartphone photography tips, whether you're shooting portraits or pets. Got a DSLR or mirrorless camera? We'll also be publishing separate guides with more advanced tips on improving your landscape and portrait snapping. 


How to take epic landscape photos on iPhone or Android (according to the pros)

An iPhone shooting a landscape photo in black and white

(Image credit: Future)

Landscape photography is synonymous with heavy-duty tripods, week-long exposures and baffling phrases like hyperfocal distance, but it doesn't have to be so intimidating. 

Your smartphone is capable of taking some stunning, creative landscapes – for this guide we asked two professional photographers for their best landscape photography tips for smartphone snappers.


How to take professional portrait photos with your iPhone or Android phone

Two smartphones with portrait photos

(Image credit: Damien Demolder)

Portrait photos, they're easy right? Well, smartphones have certainly made them a lot simpler, thanks to their ever-more-powerful Portrait modes. But a pro-level face shot demands more than just a beaming face and some lovely bokeh.

In this guide to smartphone portrait photography, two professional snappers give us their best tips for taking people shots with your phone. With their insider knowhow, you'll get people asking which DSLR you've just bought.


How to master the Lightroom app for next-level smartphone photos

A phone screen with a Lighthouse in the Lightroom app

(Image credit: Future)

The Lightroom app is one of the best photo editing apps around, particularly if you're already familiar with its desktop sibling – but how should you go about adding its tricks to your muscle memory?

Our in-depth guide to the Lightroom app takes you through the workflow of editing a photo, whether you're on iOS or Android. We also fill you in on how to create your own Lightroom presets.


More photography guides...

Come back this week for more guides on ways to level up your snapping skills, including:

  • How to take tasty food photos with your phone
  • How to recreate any DSLR photography style with your phone
  • How to take amazing dog and pet photos (according to the pros)
  • 26 essential landscape photography tips
  • A beginner's guide to film photography
  • The 20 best portrait photography tips for beginners
  • How to get started with your new DJI drone
  • And more

The world's best photography

The best photos of the year so far – and how to take them

A man in Kenya trying to scare away a swarm of locusts

(Image credit: Luis Tato)

What better way to celebrate World Photography Day on August 19 than with the best photos of the year so far. 

In this epic piece of photographic eye candy, we'll be rounding up all the winners from this year's most prestigious photography competitions – and talking to the photographers about how they shot them.

  • Plus more features on the best photos in the world (and how they were taken)

Extreme photography

Long shots: the 12 strangest cameras I own (as a camera collector)

The Kalimir Action Shot 16 camera on a pink background

(Image credit: Future)

The golden age of film produced some gloriously varied and eccentric cameras – and no-one has a bigger collection of curios than collector Tony Kemplen, who has used a different camera every single week for the last decade.

In this trip to the outer edges of camera design, Tony Kemplen picks out the 12 weirdest cameras from his huge collection, from the sniper rifle-shaped Zenit Fotosniper to the James Bond's bino-cam from 'For Your Eyes Only'.   


Come back this week for more photography features, including:

  • From gigapixels to 12-year exposures: these are the world’s most extreme photos
  • The world's best camera accessories
  • What is a liquid lens? The tech that could transform phone cameras explained
  • And more

  • Just looking for a camera recommendation? These are the best cameras you can buy right now


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