Most of us should be pretty familiar with the basic mechanics of the self-timer feature on cameras. At the most basic level, it allows the photographer to set a timer before the photo is taken. Professional photographers when taking photos with long exposures or when taking a scenery tend to favor the self-timer as it allows for a shot to be taken minus accidental blurs due to the photographer accidentally moving while taking the shot. Well when it comes to taking photos of people with the photographer included, that’s when things start to get tricky, which is where Apple’s recent patent comes in.
The company has recently filed a patent for a self-timer feature with a note saying that it could be tied into iPhoto in the future, and basically what this patent describes is that the photographer will take a photo of themselves first to indicate that they are the photographer. This photo will then be used as a reference by the camera’s software to detect when the photographer is in the photo, which means that the shot will not go off until the camera has detected that you are in the frame. This saves photographers the hassle of making a mad dash into the frame of the shot before it has been taken.
Granted there are more elegant methods to getting a self-timer photo done right, i.e. remote control or a shutter release cable, this feature will be built into the software without the photographer having to purchase additional gear, nor will they have to go look for a camera with better self-timer controls. However since it is only a patent, we have no way of knowing if Apple plans to integrate this feature into future iPhoto updates, but we will be keeping an eye out for it anyway! So photographers, what do you think?