Coco Rocha, the first high fashion model to work with our Lytro light field camera technology, imagines herself as an eccentric fashionista, 50 years in the future.
Imagine inventing an entirely new kind of car engine that runs on, say, bacon. Well, you can’t just stick your new bacon engine into your car and expect it to run perfectly. You need to engineer it, then smooth out the kinks so that your bacon car runs as well as any other. And, since you’re the inventive type, you probably want the bacon engine to allow you to do something magical – something more than just driving around like you could in a regular car.
Same story with the Lytro camera…minus the bacon.
It takes a village to bring Lytro to life, but three engineers on the Lytro image quality team are core to turning complex engineering into the simple beauty you see in living pictures.
Engineers Brian Cabral, Bennett Wilburn, and Chia-Kai Liang represent some serious brainpower in the fields of light field science and computational photography. Brian’s background includes high-level positions at NVIDIA and Silicon Graphics, with quite a few patents and papers in computer graphics and computational photography. Chia-Kai received his PhD from National Taiwan University where his thesis was about light field capturing and processing. Bennett was on his way to a PhD in circuit design at Stanford, but switched his focus (pun intended) to computer graphics and vision. For this thesis, he designed the Stanford Multiple Camera Array, a system with 100 custom video cameras that could capture light field video. Yikes, brainpower, indeed.
Hello, everyone! My name is Eric Cheng, and I am Director of Photography at Lytro. I’m responsible for bridging the gap between light field cameras and folks like you, who will be taking Lytro cameras into the field sometime in the near future.
If you’ve been to our living picture gallery, you’ve seen the work of photographers in the Lytro Professional Shooter Program (PSP), a small group of forward-thinking artists who lept at the chance to be the first to use Lytro prototype cameras in the field.
Through a mutual friend, I met Richard Koci Hernandez, a Pulitzer Prize-winning multimedia journalist and professor at U.C. Berkeley, and was immediately struck by his obvious love of—and obsession with—storytelling. Koci became one of our first Lytro PSPs, and has been working magic with light field photography ever since.
Over the weekend, I interviewed Koci about his early experiences as a light field photographer:
EC: What were your first impressions about the idea of light field photography? Continue reading
If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know that Lytro’s light field camera let’s you shoot first, focus later. But, you may have missed the news that Lytro will automatically capture pictures that can be viewed in 3D. By recording the light field instead of a photograph, Lytro will let you choose how to view your living pictures. So, in addition to refocusing pictures you shoot with a Lytro, you can also switch seamlessly between 2D and 3D views.
Want to see it in action? This is the 3D Living Picture Demo we shared at our recent launch party. So, grab your collector’s edition Avatar 3D glasses and pretend you’re squeezed in with a couple hundred of your closest friends – just like being there.
You can view this living picture 3D demo using colored (anaglyph) glasses, a 3D display, or by doing fancy tricks with your eyes. We’ve also had reports that it looks really cool on the HTC EVO 3D phone.
When Ren looks up to the sky out of the corner of his eye, you know he has something cooking. Four years ago, he was working on the menu for a gourmet meal… Kinda hokey, but we thought it might be fun to share our story from the very beginning – a little primer on how to start a picture revolution.
Back when our founder Ren Ng was still a PhD candidate working on his dissertation at Stanford University, he saw the enormous potential for light field cameras. He also realized if he wanted to succeed at making a business out of his ideas, he would need a team with unique skills – plus, a triple-shot of persistence.
Ren’s Original Believers
Colvin Pitts, Tim Knight, and Alex Fishman made up the initial team of engineers Ren hired at what was then called… (we know, we’re a tease – read more here)