The Sandpit

The Sandpit from Sam O’Hare on Vimeo.

Such a wonderful mix of tilt-lens camera work and time lapse technique.

“It is shot on a Nikon D3 (and one shot on a D80), as a series of stills. I used my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 lenses for all of these shots. Most were shot at 4fps in DX crop mode, which is the fastest the D3 could continuously write out to the memory card. The boats had slower frame rates, and the night shots used exposures up to two seconds each. The camera actually has an automatic cut off after 130 shots, so for longer shots I counted each click and quickly released and re-pressed the shutter release after 130 to keep shooting.”

For more info about the making of this short visit:  “The Sandpit” – A short film by Aero Director, Sam O’Hare!

[via MAKE]

Bigshot: Focus on Cool!

I can only hope that this eventually makes it into the regular market:

A camera designed for kids can be much more than just a toy: it can serve as a powerful educational medium.  We believe that such an educational camera must have a radically different design from that of a typical consumer camera.   (a) It should be designed as a kit for assembly by students.  The assembly process should not only demystify the workings of the camera, but also expose students to various science and engineering concepts.  (b) It should include features that cannot be found in other cameras, allowing students to explore new creative dimensions.   (c) It should be low-cost, with the potential to serve as the basis for a scalable social venture.  Bigshot has been designed with these goals in mind.

The killer is the rotating lens board on the front. The lens wheel (or polyoptic wheel as it’s called)has three settings: normal, panoramic, and stereo. Normal is what you would think  it is, normal photo. The panoramic lens gives you a 72 degree field of view and creates a nice barrel distortion, and the stereo is a small prism that acts as a beam splitter to shoot a left and right image onto the sensor.Software that comes with the camera will adjust the distortion from the pano lens and create red/blue anaglyph stereo images when you use the beam splitter. Oh, did I mention that the camera can be powered by either a single AA battery or a few cranks on the built in dynamo?

[via MAKE]

Bigshot: A Camera for Education.

FUTUREPICTURE: Light Field Camera Project

Multi camera madness to be sure…

So, what does this thing do? The primary function of this array is to capture the Light Field, a four-dimensional function that is capable of describing all rays in a scene. Surrounding you, now, and always, is a reverberating volume of light. Just as sound echoes around a room in complex ways, bouncing from every surface, so does light, creating a structured volume. Traditional, single-lens cameras project this three dimensional world of reflected light onto a two dimensional sensor, tossing out the 3D information in the process, and capturing only a faint, sheared sliver of the actual light field. By taking many captures at slightly shifted locations, it is possible to capture a crude representation of the light field. The number of slices determines the resolution of capture; our 12 captures at 7cm separation is a bare minimum. What can you do with a light field? The lowest hanging fruit is computational refocusing. By computational refocusing, we mean focusing the image AFTER it is captured.


Hackable ‘Soft Camera’ for Computational Photography

Hackable 'Soft Camera'  for Computational Photography

An open-source digital camera platform… Wow… The video for this project makes mention of on the fly dynamic range adjustments and infinite focus via micro lens arrays. Amazing stuff, I can hardly wait for something like this to make it to the general public.

Anyone will be able to create new features for the camera by writing aps that control all the camera’s functions — focus, exposure, shutter speed, flash, etc. Cameras could be taught new tricks with downloadable apps, analogous to iPhone apps.

[A tip of the CyberHelm to Special Agent Greg for this one]

Stanford open-source camera could revolutionize photography.

3D Astro Images

Imagine if you had a head as larger than a planet, OK good. Now imagine that you are looking up at the ‘sky’ (with your head being larger than the planet you normally live on some would say that the sky is everywhere but I digress…)  and things that would normally appear flat begin to have depth. You can see that the moon is closer to you than the sun and that planets really do look like they are way out there. Astronomer JP Metsavainio has been taking wonderful photos of the night sky and then enhancing them to give you the illusion of what they would look like it you were of a galactic size. His estimates of depth are a best guess but I’m going to say that for the sake of argument that he is correct. Seeing these nebula and galaxies with stereo depth is just cool.