Everyone loves vintage-inspired photo software these days—and now Brooklyn-based writer and artist Matthew Richardson has created the ultimate vintage camera rig. It’s called the Descriptive Camera, and it takes you all the way back to the pre-photographic era by producing only textual descriptions of what you photograph.
Take a moody, washed-out photograph of the cool-looking building outside your office, for instance, and you’ll get back a receipt-like “photograph” explaining that “This is a faded picture of a dilapidated building. It seems to be run down and in the need of repirs [sic].”
How does the “camera” work? It takes a photo, then uses Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing system to send it over the Internet to a real, live person who writes the description. (Writers can be located anywhere in the world, and get paid a small sum, around $1.25, to write up the photo.) The description is then transmitted back to the camera, which prints it out. It’s a fun combination of high- and low-tech. You can watch a fascinating, and dryly humorous, video on Richardson’s website, www.mattrichardson.com.