The Trophy Camera is equipped with AI to judge the framed shot against award-winning photos before capturing it

The Trophy Camera, created by photographer and Ph.D. student Max Pinckers and media artist Dries Depoorter, uses artificial intelligence to judge the image you want to take against award-winning photos—and only takes the picture if it determines your frame to be of similar quality.

“Press photography appears to be becoming a self-referential medium dominated by tropes, archetypes, and pop-culture references,” Pinckers told Co.Design. “What implications does this have on how we learn about the world through the images we are being shown?”

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Made out of a Raspberry Pi computer, a full HD camera module and a tiny OLED screen that reads out what the algorithm sees, the camera is a commentary on the state of photojournalism, rather than a market-viable product. Its lack of a viewfinder or preview screen gives users even less control over the photos they take, showing how little creativity photographers need to have nowadays.

Pinckers and Depoorter trained the camera by analyzing every World Press Photo winner from 1955 to today. They divided each shot into simple categories based on what was being portrayed, including people, soldiers, weapons and other objects. In order to take a photo, the correlation between what the camera sees and the collection of award-winning photos must be 90% or greater.


The camera was commissioned for the Braakland exhibition at the Foto Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. The photos it takes are automatically uploaded to its dedicated website.

Trophy Camera

The Trophy Camera, created by photographer and Ph.D. student Max Pinckers and media artist Dries Depoorter, uses artificial intelligence to judge the image you want to take against award-winning photos—and only takes the picture if it determines your frame to be of similar quality.

“Press photography appears to be becoming a self-referential medium dominated by tropes, archetypes, and pop-culture references,” Pinckers told Co.Design. “What implications does this have on how we learn about the world through the images we are being shown?”