Autumn Annie

Where does the time go? I opened Google Photos to “22 years since…” and a portrait of my wife from November 2001! She looks great, but—my gosh—two decades doesn’t seem long ago by my memory when in reality it’s a third of a lifetime passed. Yikes!

The Featured Image is presented as captured. The companion is not, and I will get to that in the next paragraphs. Canon PowerShot S20 was my go-to digicam during that era. The compact was among the first over-3-megapixel pocket-size shooters. Vitals, incomplete: f/5.6, 1/125 sec, 6.55mm; 12:34 p.m. EST, November 4.

The companion image is what more modern editing tools can do to an original, even from bygone days. Don’t assume that so-called artificial intelligence enhancements are only for pics taken using your phone.

Compare the two shots. For the second, I used “Blur” to create bokeh effect and “Magic Eraser” to remove the couple; Google Photos provides the tools as part of my One subscription. The software scanned the image and highlighted the pair as likely object to take away. Whoa.

Which do you prefer? The original is my pick. Fall colors, fallen leaves, couple in motion (warmly dressed) are a story—a memory marker. The AI-edit is arguably better portraiture—attention on the subject without distractions—but lacks character and context.

Oh, Annie is as beautiful in 2023 as 2001.