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You can't take photos with this camera, it shows you strangers' instead

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Everyone seems to agree that as a species we've taken Too Many Photographs. But only some people are prepared to do something about it. Parisian artist and engineer SaladeTomateOignon is one such individual, and has created a 'camera' that doesn't show you the photos you take, but similar images it's found online instead. The project is powered by a Raspberry Pi, and there are instructions online on how to make your own.

"Even more imprecise than a blurry polaroid picture."

The camera is called "Le Myope" (as in, the short-sighted person) and is actually a development of an earlier, similar project by SaladeTomateOignon called the "Layer Cam." But while the Layer Cam replaced users' pictures with those found on the web from the same location, Le Myope is intentionally vague, using machine learning to hunt out images "roughly similar" to the ones you've taken. "Even more imprecise than a blurry polaroid picture," says the project's blurb, "Or than a filter-abused Instagram shot."

Some tinkerers have gone even further though. The Camera Restricta project by Philip Schmitt is a prototype device that doesn't let users take any pictures it can already find on the web. Cameras like this are conceptually fun, but of course, who really gives a damn. Like faces, places, feelings, and, well, anything human, photographs can be both similar and unique at the same time. And that's fine.


Raspberry Pi 3 hands-on