Ok, so I was reading this article on a swedish photographer who had his photo in the top 5 in some Red Bull photo contest. The photo had had some manipulation done to it so as to look like the focus plane was shifted, with a really shallow depth of field as a result. This makes the focused objects look really small, as if they are miniatures. You can read the article about the photo here, if you are interested (it’s in swedish).
The interesting thing wasn’t the photo as such but rather the discussion it raised, and whether or not you should be able to manipulate photos or not. In this particular contest the category allowed for manipulated photos so there was nothing to worry about. I really appreciate both non-edited photos where the photographer is doing all the work himself, but I also admire the people who are able to turn a regular photo into something amazing in the digital lightroom. What this discussion ended up leading to was a link to a camera called the Lytro Lightfield Camera. I had no idea about this product until yesterday but it’s really, in a way, reinventing photography. It’s evolving it at least.
What the camera does is capture the entire lightfield (according to the homepage, I’m not really sure what this means) which means that you will later on be able to decide where you want to place the focus point. Usually in images when you have a shallow depth of field you’ll have to focus on the object you want to actually be in focus. Quite obvious, isn’t it. But using their camera it actually captures the image without any depth of field at all and you can, post-photography, edit how you want the focus to come out. You can also, slightly, change the perspective of the photo. It’s a really neat effect and I’m somewhat interested in buying this product. It’s just a bit too expensive and not as available here in Europe as one would like but yeah. Definitely cool! Check it out on the link below!
And here’s an example of what a photo can look like!
And while we’re onto cool things, watch this video as well! It’s about a technique where you combine the video feed from several cameras into one, using information about depth of field and stuff, and actually make a 3D scene that you can freely move around in. Amazing what people and technology can pull off together.