Photography for me is something more than the scientific process of creating images. It is more profound in the perception rather than the creation. Photography has largely been ridiculed to capturing scenic landscapes or framing a mighty skyscrapers, just the mere physical imagery of a location, however photography transcends rightly framed colourful images. Photography is often not creating beautiful images but it’s a unique way to capture genuine reality.
Often photography transcends rightly framed colourful images
“If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera that is the instrument.” – Eve Arnold
Photography is often not creating beautiful images but it’s a unique way to capture genuine reality.
That’s why I wander around street trying to capture moments. The thing about street photography is that it is quite unique, unpredictable and most of all cannot be recreated or staged. Everyday life is very exciting consisting of millions of wonderful moments. However these moments are forgone by our impatience to get on with life. Street Photography creates a suspended moment which intervenes and interrogates those moments.
Street photography is when photographer can have a conversation with a viewer, a different conversation each time, with the same image. When I carry my camera around through the streets trying to find the moment to capture, the mere process sharpens my mind makes me understand people and life in general. The street is intimate, vibrant and full of stories. I get to laugh at the comical moment that only I have seen or empathize for someone on the street or feel the intimacy of a passionate couple on the subway, all only because I just paused every moment in my view finder. I treasure each experience, a 2 hour blockbuster movie, years in production with eye smacking visuals cannot emulate the experience I get from wandering the streets with the camera around my neck.
Love every moment of it!
A Lytro camera basically is a Light Field Camera (LFC) which is quite different from conventional cameras in a way. Let’s leave aside the technical stuff, primarily a Lytro camera allows us to capture first and focus later. The technology that it uses is futuristic and also available to the consumers. (Lytro 8GB Light Field Camera – Graphite -$ 399 CAD)
- 11 ‘Megaray’* sensor
- 8x 43-340mm equivalent, constant F2 lens (limited to 43-150mm range in Everyday mode)
- 8GB or 16GB internal memory (depending on model)
- 1.46″ (33mm) touch-screen ( I don’t see the point here)
- Instant power-on.
So with a Lytro camera you can capture a moment without worrying about the focus. So does it guarantee a good picture regardless of how I take the picture? Yes and no. Of course camera does try to eliminate the problem with blurry pictures. However, you also have to get the ISO and shutter speed right (of course the frame as well). To an extent the Lytro camera does what it promises. It lets the focusing part to the end user, quite impressive. The demo below is kind of ironic and fascinating! Check it out for yourself. (Click on the picture to focus)
My thoughts on the Lytro Camera
- Today in the world of digital cameras with auto focus features, advanced face recognition technologies, the causes for bad pictures are mostly the ISO and the shutter speed. Focus is very rarely the problem.
- Lytro is not focused at photography enthusiasts (If it was, the price tag would be above $699. Trust me). So it is mainly for people who want to take photographs with less effort from their side. (An equivalent of making a 2 minute noodles, when you can prepare a 7 course meal. Of course it depends on their appetite)
- It’s a fad in every sense; I tried browsing through the Lytro gallery. First I was very fascinated by it, as clicked the next arrow and then the next, I found myself bored. The law of diminishing utility definitely works for the Lytro pictures. Check out for yourself? https://pictures.lytro.com/
- Here is the big ONE! As of now, you cannot share the Lytro pictures on Facebook. The Lytro camera does not capture images in conventional formats like jpeg, PNG .etc. it’s mainly due to its interactive functionality. However, I could see that they may come up with a way to accommodate it into Facebook. ( These pictures can definitely can spark a new level of interactivity with Facebook )
- It’s Cylindrical! I don’t see Lytro cameras making a fashion statement in anyway, not in the present and not in the immediate future.
As an amateur photographer, I believe the Lytro camera cannot cater to my appetite for photography. However, I would definitely love playing around with photos which are interactive. It definitely provides a distinctive perspective.
Toronto Skyline Time lapse from the Center island. Its 90 mins of photos compressed into a 30 sec video.
Using Canon 550D + Intervalometer