Everyone’s found themselves in this situation at one time or another: you’re in a picture-perfect setting, but a selfie at arm’s length won’t cut it. You want to be in the picture, so you wait for a friendly looking passerby and ask them to take it. But, now it’s out of your control, and chances are the resulting snap won’t turn out exactly as you’d imagined. Samsung knows you’re too polite to hold the stranger up while you convey your vision, so it has come up with a camera feature that does the explaining for you. It’s described in a recent patent filing, and the gist is that you select the backdrop and take an initial snap that acts as a guide for the next, similar to how some panorama modes work. With a silhouette of the desired scene now showing atop the live view, the designated stranger just needs to let you get in the shot, line the overlay up with the live scene, and hit the shutter release.
The patent application also talks of editing the overlay, such as adding a circle to show the photographer where you’d like your face to be in relation to the backdrop. If you want the passerby to know how well they’re doing, the claims explain an on-screen “composition score” that would rate their lining-up skills. And, if you’d rather trust the final decision to the camera, a ball-in-the-hole scenario is described that’ll automatically engage the shutter release when the live view matches your ideal layout. This is just words and a few diagrams at this stage, mind, but if the patent gets granted, we could eventually see such a feature added to Samsung’s smartphones or Galaxy cameras. Until then, you’ll just have to put your trust in strangers and hope they have at least a basic understanding of the rule of thirds.