“Fake It Until You Make It” to Outer Space?

A popular idiom in English is “fake it till you make it”, but, if you’re Samsung, it sounds like it might be part of a marketing campaign – at least to show off your smartphone’s moon-capturing abilities.

The phases of the moon are red and black.
The phases of the moon are red and black. Photo by Zoltan Tasi

The Verge brings today’s story from Reddit from all over the place claiming that Samsung put the famous moon shot through a lot of processing to achieve the dynamic look we see in the marketing photos.

“Space Zoom” is one of the more well-known features of Samsung smartphones, and the amount of detail that this capture often shows is impressive indeed. But does that warrant a “fake” label? The Verge points to the explosion of artificial intelligence imagery and how it blurs the lines between reality and fakery that has led publications to question whether these so-called “Space Zoom” photos are really real. After all, using processing to achieve a certain look with images is nothing new, but when does it cross the line?

Here, too, we have a question of capability: Any photographer of value can tell you that it’s unlikely that a smartphone can capture detailed images of the moon without any assistance. And while there are plenty of cameras out there capable of photographing the moon, the debate seems to be whether or not computer assistance changes the authenticity and provenance of an image.

The Reddit user who came across this and created the post uses a simple demonstration to illustrate his point. He shows one image of the moon, blurry as expected, and then snaps a picture of it with his smartphone. The image was later enhanced with additional detail that was not present in the original image it took, showing how computational assistance made “Space Zoom” feasible.

For their part, Samsung engineers offered a fairly simple explanation of what was going on, stating that the feature “effectively removes noise, and maximizes lunar detail to complete a bright, clear moon image.”

Of course, any thoughts you may have about capturing the moon with the help of a smartphone computer are most welcome in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to check out our other photography news at this link.

[The Verge]

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