Category: Misc

Stuff I may or may not want you to know but I feel like saying out loud.

Light Field Camera by Lytro

Lytro just released the first consumer light field camera. For the end user a light field camera means a photographer can select focus after the camera records the image. But this is only the beginning. Light field technology essentially allows photographers to capture the depth of a scene without the need for two cameras.  Here’s an example from Lytro’s gallery.  Click with the image to adjust the focus.

This first version of Lytro’s camera uses the image data captured to translate into determining the focal point of the image.

PC Magazine did a pretty good job of explaining some of the technical details of the Lytro camera.  You can read the article here.

Being able to record depth information with a single camera will completely change the way filmmakers create 3d stereoscopic movies.  Currently there are only two effective

 ways to create a 3d image, either shoot with two cameras or perform a very labor intensive 2d to 3d conversion.  Two camera stereoscopic systems are great but they are very clunky and provide very little latitude after the images are recorded.

Light field recording will give 3d stereographers the a much larger rangeof flexibility and control.


Lyrto has already taken this technology into stereography, here is a video that shows some of the uses of light fields in 3d. (glasses are required)

I am still learning about the technical details of light fields and I am planning on learning more and hopefully posting more technical information in the future.

Five apps I can’t live without

Keeping track of information is a pain but there are lots of ways to make it easier and more organized.  Here’s a few that I use every day.

So, in no particular order…

1. Dropbox – Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably already heard of Dropbox.  If you haven’t it download it now.  It is in my humble opinion the internet storage solution to beat.  Dropbox seemlessly integrates an shared web folder into your operating system making it super easy and fast to share files between all your computers and mobile devices.  The free version gives you 2 gigs of storage space for a premium  it can be expanded.  I have been using it for a while now and it’s made my job both as an artist and an educator much much easier.  You can even share your folders with other users and have a public folder to share your files with anyone.

2. Instapaper – Thanks to facebook, google, linked in, twitter, and all the other social applications available today I am inundated with links to articles and other cool stuff throughout the day.  Unfortunately because of the nature of social media it can be difficult to keep up with it all and get any actual work done during the day.  Instapaper helps by bookmarking sites and sharing them with your devices and computers.  By bookmarking things with instapaper I can save sites to read at my leisure without worrying about missing out on them.  Instapaper completely free on computers and Kindle.  The iphone app is $5.  It also has features that integrate it with another app on this list, Evernote.  Instapaper has a subscription plan but it does not provide any additional benefits.  It’s more of a donation plan.

3. – This great little site provides an extremely low profile yet flexible solution to sharing large files with other people.  It’s very easy to use, relatively fast and is available for the low low price of $0 (my favorite).

4. Evernote – My colleague Scott introduced me to this fantastic app for sharing notes between all my different devices.  I have been using it for everything from todo lists to shopping lists to inspiration and image sharing.  There’s not much this little guy doesn’t do.

5. MPEG Streamclip – File wrangling can be a pain especially when you work in a building that uses tons of different file formats.  Being able to quickly convert footage is a huge time saver.  Streamclip is perhaps not the most intuitive or smooth looking solution out there but I find it to be the most flexible.  It is also my app of choice when ripping scenes from dvds for lecture material.

So, those are my favorite time saving apps.  If you have any that you’d like to share post them here, I’d love to hear about them!