PERFECT PHOTO PIXELS

ALL ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOMINIQUE JAMES

Archive for the ‘Lens’ Category

Fireworks photo tips

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Just in time for the 4th (in the US) or the 1st (in Canada), Dave Johnson of PC World (syndicated over at Macworld), came up with a very nice basic set of 6 tips on shooting fireworks. To this, I’d like to add a 7th: Practice.

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Written by dominiquejames

June 29, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Pentax Q

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The camera has evolved:

Introducing the PENTAX Q, the world’s smallest, lightest interchangeable lens camera with a tiny body and a 12.4 megapixel CMOS image sensor that carves out an entirely new camera category.

Tim Moynihan, PC World (syndicated on Macworld):

The world of compact interchangeable-lens cameras continues to grow–and shrink. Pentax is the latest big-name company to throw its hat into the mirrorless ring with the Pentax Q, a 12-megapixel camera that’s smaller and lighter than anything we’ve seen thus far in the interchangeable-lens category.

Hmmm … this is mighty interesting.

Written by dominiquejames

June 23, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Surveillance?

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About the technology of light field photography using a handheld plenoptic camera from a Stanford University Computer Science Tech Report 2005-02 written by Ren Ng, Marc Levoy, Matthieu Bradif, Mark Horowitz and Pat Hanrahan of Stanford University with Gene Duval of Duval Design:

This [is] a camera that samples the 4D light field on its sensor in a single photographic exposure. This is achieved by inserting a microlens array between the sensor and main lens, creating a plenoptic camera. Each microlens measures not just the total amount of light deposited at that location, but how much light arrives along each ray. By re-sorting the measured rays of light to where they would have terminated in slightly different, synthetic cameras, we can compute sharp photographs focused at different depths. We show that a linear increase in the resolution of images under each microlens results in a linear increase in the sharpness of the refocused photographs. This property allows us to extend the depth of field of the camera without reducing the aperture, enabling shorter exposures and lower image noise. Especially in the macrophotography regime, we demonstrate that we can also compute synthetic photographs from a range of different viewpoints. These capabilities argue for a different strategy in designing photographic imaging systems.

So, what is this light field photography good for?

Written by dominiquejames

June 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Perfectly hocus-focus

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The magical science of Lytro’s in-camera technology called light field photography aims to bring your photos alive and interactive by being always in perfect focus at any point you want:

The way we communicate visually is evolving rapidly, and people’s expectations are changing in lockstep. Light field cameras offer astonishing capabilities. They allow both the picture taker and the viewer to focus pictures after they’re snapped, shift their perspective of the scene, and even switch seamlessly between 2D and 3D views. With these amazing capabilities, pictures become immersive, interactive visual stories that were never before possible – they become living pictures.

As exciting as adding one more technological capability to the camera may be, such as removing the pesky element of perfectly directed focus (which can be done with Lytro in post-production), it seems this will not be helpful to all. I see this technology as a new tool to help make great photographers take even greater pictures more quickly and more easily. But sadly, this new technology might not be as helpful to all other photographers.

Focus happens to be only one of those things in the entire art and craft of photography, not the only thing. This technology might help get the perfect focus on any part of the picture, but it will not help sharpen the focus of one’s vision.

Written by dominiquejames

June 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Shoot first, focus later

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Kai Wong of DigitalRev on Lytro:

I don’t feel much excitement about this product at all photography is not just about these technological wonders, it’s primarily about the image. The image quality matters most: whether the lens is good, the processing, the hardware, etc. I couldn’t care less if a car had a good GPS system in it if it drives like diarrhoea and, likewise, if the images that come out of the camera look awful then what’s the point of being able to choose focus after you’ve taken the shot?

And then he asks: What do you think – great invention or dumbing down of photography?

UPDATE: Yes, people all over the world are beginning to take note. Everyone, it seems, is talking about it.

Texture

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20110622-020512.jpg

A picture of patterns, textures, tones, lines, swirls and forms such as this keeps the eyes looking in every which way. With nothing exactly to fix on, the image becomes merely an impression. We see it even if we don’t really focus on it.

[Photography by Dominique James. Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved.]

Is a new picture revolution truly upon us?

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Something is going on in the field of photography. A new kind of science in the magic of visuals, both in principle and philosophy, is about to come out of a lab and into your hands. It will be in the form of a new camera that can do what is being touted as the “digital light field photography.”

What is the science of light field photography?

The light field is a core concept in imaging science, representing fundamentally more powerful data than in regular photographs. The light field fully defines how a scene appears. It is the amount of light traveling in every direction through every point in space – it’s all the light rays in a scene. Conventional cameras cannot record the light field.

What can light field photography do for you?

The way we communicate visually is evolving rapidly, and people’s expectations are changing in lockstep. Light field cameras offer astonishing capabilities. They allow both the picture taker and the viewer to focus pictures after they’re snapped, shift their perspective of the scene, and even switch seamlessly between 2D and 3D views. With these amazing capabilities, pictures become immersive, interactive visual stories that were never before possible – they become living pictures.

Ren Ng, Founder and CEO of Lytro on turning the concept of light field photography into reality:

We have something special here. Our mission is to change photography forever, making conventional cameras a thing of the past. Humans have always had a fundamental need to share our stories visually, and from cave paintings to digital cameras we have been on a long search for ways to make a better picture. Light field cameras are the next big step in that picture revolution.

If your head isn’t spinning yet, and you’ve grown marvelously curious in drilling into the core science of it all, you can download and peruse the awesome dissertation from a direct link at Lytro’s website that Ren Ng submitted in 2006 to the Department of Computer Science and the Committee on Graduate Studies of Stanford University “in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.” Clearly, this is where the new imaging science had its genesis.

And now, for that all-important question: What is the art that this science is making possible?

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