Our Picture Gallery features Lytro living pictures taken by professional photographers in our Pro Shooter Program, our Director of Photography, Eric Cheng, and our founder, Ren Ng. In recent weeks, we’ve also added pictures taken by Lytro employees. Many of them proudly claim photography as a hobby or creative outlet, while others on the team aren’t afraid to admit that they only take pictures for fun.
Member of Technical Staff Mugur Marculescu loves photography and rarely leaves home without a camera, favoring his Canon 20D paired with an L-series 16-35mm F/2.8 lens (although practicalities sometimes cause him to rely on his cell phone’s camera.) Mugur explains how he took this picture of a squirrel with the Lytro while walking through Union Square during a recent trip to New York:
“This shot is all about timing and the ability to refocus after the picture is taken. Since I didn’t need to worry about adjusting focus, I could focus just on the timing. I knew that if I approached, the squirrel would walk up to me in anticipation of food. The only thing left was to click the shutter button at the correct time. The entire event lasted about 5 seconds and I was able to capture 3 great shots. This is one of those shot opportunities meant for a Lytro.”
Mugur shared this, about his first time shooting with the Lytro:
“You can take a snapshot of anything just like with a regular camera, but to really take advantage of this new medium and create beautiful re-focusable images, you have to start thinking in three dimensions. It took me back to the time I first picked up a camera; it’s as if I was discovering photography for the first time—again.”
… and this, about how using a light field camera is impacting his style and technique:
“I now think about depth in a whole new way. I am constantly looking for layers of objects in a scene, complex three-dimensional shapes, lines and textures leading off into the distance and things like shiny surfaces and water droplets.
The extremely-quick power-up time and unique shape has changed how I shoot street scenes. When walking in a city, moments happen so fast—you have to act very quickly. I am able to take the camera out of my coat pocket, orient it and power it on in one continuous motion that takes about 1 second. The next moment, the shutter will snap without delay. These types of candid shots are nearly impossible with my DSLR—the focus and timing would just fail.”
While photography isn’t a hobby for our General Counsel Mariana Antcheva, she likes to take pictures so that she can relive moments and keep memories alive. Since she still hasn’t learned how to use the settings on the Canon 7D SLR her husband gifted her as a birthday present, she instead uses it as a “very-fancy point-and-shoot.”
Mariana shared this about her first experience using a Lytro:
“I took my very first living picture by accident, when I inadvertently pressed the shutter button. I still go back and look at that accidental picture from time to time because it turned out pretty well. It features my daughter in the foreground and my father and son in the background, walking on the sidewalk in front of the Lytro office. My daughter is running toward me with a big smile on her face, eager to look at the ‘secret new invention’ that her mom had been talking about for so long.”
… and when she chooses to shoot with the Lytro rather than her other cameras:
“With two kids, one of whom is a high-spirited 2-year-old boy, I appreciate the swiftness with which I can take a picture and get a fleeting moment ‘remembered.’”
With her focus on capturing family moments, it’s not really a surprise that Mariana’s first picture selected for our gallery features her daughter, climbing high in the rigging of a play structure.
For Support and Community Manager Adam “Goolie” Gould, photography also wasn’t a primary hobby before coming to work at Lytro. It has become an interest now because, as Goolie explains:
“Shooting with a Lytro *is* my job >;-). Since I’m responsible for the end-user support experience, I have to have a decent understanding of both the technical and artistic aspects of light field photography.”
It was during a recent work-related trip to Phoenix that Goolie captured this butterfly picture that has earned him photo credits on Time Magazine’s website:
“… the Phoenix Botanical gardens just happened to have a Monarch butterfly exhibit in town. The entire area is covered in mesh to keep the Monarchs in, and there are a lot of them! They were totally unfazed by people and movement, and I was able to get as close as I liked.”
Goolie is excited about combining what he’s learning about the Lytro with his hobby:
“In my off hours, I’m part of a lighting collective called Radiant Atmospheres. We make art out of light, making extensive use of both projection, beam, and layering effects. I’m incredibly excited to capture the kinds of immersive lighting scenes we create. I think about scenes like this, and can’t wait until I can create effective light field pictures of them.”
We’re using the experiences of our employees, Pro Shooters and usability testers to help our team improve the end-to-end experience of using a Lytro camera. But ultimately, what we most we look forward to is seeing how our customers use the Lytro and hearing their stories of discovery and creativity using light field technology.
While we work on shipping the first Lytro camera in February, our team is taking the camera on tour with photo walks and demo days that offer hands-on experience with the Lytro. You can sign up for email updates and reminders about our tour dates.