With the metaverse becoming a thing to think about, it’s fun to think and dream about what that would mean for our industry: photography. In this article, I explore a couple of photography-related changes that might occur in the future.
What is the metaverse, in short? Well, according to Wikipedia, it’s:
A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection. In futurism and science fiction, it is often described as a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets.Wikipedia
I was reading ‘Ready Player One’ when thinking of this. After vaguely remembering I liked (or disliked?) the movie, I had bought it in an outlet. So I felt reading the book for a couple of euro’s was worth the shot.
The book is basically about living in a Metaverse and Easter Egg hunting. At some points, though, these broadcasts and events are being described. The events happen in the same way they do in the real world, and it’s just that the participants are virtual.
My corporate event photographer brain started kicking in (never not working).
How would I photograph these events? What would be needed? How would it be different than the formal events I photographed? The metaverse seems to offer some options.
First of all, there won’t be any camera: what you see in the metaverse is already imaging. Photography will capture stills from the moving images that were the virtual event.
Though I can’t imagine it will be as simple as just screenshotting with your VR glasses, it’s going to be more than that.
Photographers will be able to capture the entire event in RAW data. Probably some kind of mad new file format. Or just a .csv, who knows.
Anyway, photographers will be able to take the same type of photos inside the metaverse as they do outside; it’s just going to be a different way of working.
I assume it’s going to go with some elitism too. Digital photographers are looking down on virtual photographers as they were looked down on by analog photographers before them. Who got looked down on by painters, and who in return got looked down…
Anyway: Photography will become more like bookmarking the exact moments in time you want stills from. Bookmarking will be the new shutter clicking. I’m even sure they will use a sound recording of the shutter just as they did on smartphones.
Lightroom will be replaced by some other tool. Probably also by Adobe, and they will probably name it Metaroom or something. Or they will provide a space to develop your virtual photos called The Dark Room. Something silly that people will love.
The editing will be looking at those bookmarks and optimizing the images. From changing the light on the subject, the background, choosing what focal length works the best, and the depth of field is preferred, …
Instead of controlling how the camera captures what is, we will be able to change what is.
Some fun changes that might happen in specific photography niches:
- New and crazy animals in wildlife photography (imagine… Dragons!)
- Portrait photography will include an RPG head builder kind of thing, making Facetune look tame.
- Concert photography will allow the photographer to adapt the stage lighting in postproduction to their wants.
- Events and weddings will become Hybrid: merging avatars and real people into one photo.
- Boudoir photography will allow people to try on different outfits for the same photo. And some dubious people will alter body types.
But now I’m curious: what are your guesses for photography in a metaverse?