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Refocusing Camera
November 18, 2005 11:36 AM   Subscribe

New milestone in digital photography: The ability to refocus a picture after it has been taken. Gallery and technical data.
posted by iamck (80 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
It would be cool if this worked on existing photos, needs a fancy schmancy trick camera to do it though.
posted by zeoslap at 11:40 AM on November 18, 2005


holy cow.
posted by whatnot at 11:42 AM on November 18, 2005


I saw something about this elsewhere, but going and seeing how they built the camera... wow. It not only measures light at each point, but along each ray coming into each point. Almost unbelievable.
posted by GuyZero at 11:44 AM on November 18, 2005


Wouldn't it be slicker to show one image that is simultaneously in focus across it's entire depth of field?
posted by CynicalKnight at 11:49 AM on November 18, 2005


I was going to ask how in the world they managed to extract useful image data from the defocused zones, but it turns out they use an entirely new imaging technique that does all this at the time of capture. (On preview: "fancy schmancy trick camera" sums it up.) Luckily then, the secret subliminal messages and Bigfoot cameos in the background of my existing photos are still safely hidden... for now.
posted by DaShiv at 11:50 AM on November 18, 2005


Cynical - that would just look like a normal hyperfocused image, wouldn't it?

Kind of a neat trick, although delaying the moment of focus decision from shot to computer doesn't seem like a huge deal. Presumably camera companies will be using this to charge us 2-grand for lenses in a couple of years.
posted by selfnoise at 11:53 AM on November 18, 2005


This and a spectrograph at each point of measurement would be the perfect camera. Imagine being able to change the lighting and focus after-the-fact in software.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:54 AM on November 18, 2005


... that is simultaneously in focus across it's entire depth of field?

Would it be too pedantic for me to point out that a regular photo already is. (depth of field being the photographic term to describe the region within which the photo is considered 'in focus').
posted by devbrain at 11:55 AM on November 18, 2005


this is radically different than: open photoshop --> isolate area --> filter--> sharpen?
posted by Peter H at 12:00 PM on November 18, 2005


WMV? WTF? Sure, animation would be cool but why not show a few example frames on the page, instead of a single frame from each animation?
posted by Plutor at 12:01 PM on November 18, 2005


enhance..... enhance.... enhance....
posted by Stan Chin at 12:03 PM on November 18, 2005


this is radically different than: open photoshop --> isolate area --> filter--> sharpen?

Did you watch the videos?
posted by botono9 at 12:04 PM on November 18, 2005


Photography is (almost) dead. It's easily the most mudane of visual media thanks to ubiquitous accessibility. The real artists are now few and far between and very few shots are capable of spiritual movement. Photoshop and subsequent image improvers/tweakers/falsifiers have denegrated the genre and the days of the real, genuine captured moment appears to be long gone. Feel free to discuss.
posted by brautigan at 12:07 PM on November 18, 2005


Exactly.

This would bring all of those "digital enhancement of surveillance footage" scenes on CSI, 24 or Law & Order into reality.

"Archie, can you zoom in on that fuzzy chunk of black & white footage and blow it up into a picture-perfect image of the perpetrator we met just before the commercial break? Thanks."
posted by grabbingsand at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2005


Mundane even...
posted by brautigan at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2005


Its neat but I'd rather have the camera that can record a picture 8 seconds before you pushed the shutter release.
posted by fenriq at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2005


In theory you could actualy get true depth information out of the image, which is far cooler, IMO. (Although I think the depth resolution wouldn't be very high).

Still, very cool.

this is radically different than: open photoshop --> isolate area --> filter--> sharpen?

I don't know, what's the difference between taking a photo and hand-painting an image? (Plus, I think you meant blur, sharpening doesn't add information, it just takes a guess about where lines are)
posted by delmoi at 12:10 PM on November 18, 2005


Photography is (almost) dead. It's easily the most mudane of visual media thanks to ubiquitous accessibility. The real artists are now few and far between and very few shots are capable of spiritual movement. Photoshop and subsequent image improvers/tweakers/falsifiers have denegrated the genre and the days of the real, genuine captured moment appears to be long gone. Feel free to discuss.

Crap pictures have always been crap. Maybe what you mean is that the more accessible something is, the less elite the elite are. But who cares? Digital cameras mean that more people can take thousands and thousands of shots to get an intuitive feel for what makes a good photo, whereas they couldn't do that before.

Basically what you're complaining about is that there are too many good photographers. Which is an idiotic thing to complain about.
posted by delmoi at 12:13 PM on November 18, 2005


"This would bring all of those 'digital enhancement of surveillance footage scenes..."

Well, you're still limited to what the resolution is and the TV/Movie stuff acts as if that limit doesn't exist.

No, as far as resolution goes, I've been thinking a lot lately about achieving very high resolutions in software by utilizing the time dimension and the presumed different perspectives that allows.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:13 PM on November 18, 2005


This would bring all of those "digital enhancement of surveillance footage" scenes on CSI, 24 or Law & Order into reality.

Not exactly, this would let you record more information with your camera, but it won't let you add any more information in post.
posted by delmoi at 12:14 PM on November 18, 2005


No, as far as resolution goes, I've been thinking a lot lately about achieving very high resolutions in software by utilizing the time dimension and the presumed different perspectives that allows.

You mean like... panning across an image? Not very exciting, IMO, and it's not the software that has the resolution limit.
posted by delmoi at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2005


Brautigan-

Photography is a fun, creative, expressive activity. Whether or not you consider it to be artistic or mundane is completely unimportant to me or 99% of the people who enjoy it.
posted by selfnoise at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2005


Photography is (almost) dead. It's easily the most mudane of visual media thanks to ubiquitous accessibility. The real artists are now few and far between and very few shots are capable of spiritual movement. Photoshop and subsequent image improvers/tweakers/falsifiers have denegrated the genre and the days of the real, genuine captured moment appears to be long gone. Feel free to discuss.

Every photograph lies. Only the tools change.
posted by 327.ca at 12:17 PM on November 18, 2005


No, I mean like something that at its core is optical interferometry.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:17 PM on November 18, 2005


holy crap. That is awsome.
posted by delmoi at 12:17 PM on November 18, 2005


Actually, the more I think about this the more I like it. So ignore my first post... let's definitely start seeing SLR lenses that can do this.
posted by selfnoise at 12:20 PM on November 18, 2005


By the way, this is similar to a microscopic technique that lets you isolate things at a spesific distance from the lense.
posted by delmoi at 12:20 PM on November 18, 2005


Stuff like this -- where the answer is obvious you've heard it but not before -- simultaneously blows my mind and makes me feel abashed and stupid.
posted by orthogonality at 12:21 PM on November 18, 2005


Stuff like this -- where the answer is obvious you've heard it but not before -- simultaneously blows my mind and makes me feel abashed and stupid.

Huh?
posted by delmoi at 12:23 PM on November 18, 2005


Everyone and anyone can take a good photograph. This is a GOOD thing. But it's capability to move is denegrated as a result. It becomes impossible to find the magic amongst the mundane. It's fun, I love it but my attempts to capture life pale in significance to the likes of Feinenger, Fenton and Fink or Selgado, Salomon and Sander. It's the difference between art and reality. Which is a very fine line...
posted by brautigan at 12:25 PM on November 18, 2005


brautigan, I'd wager that many (most?) of the photographers you've mentioned would be delighted by today's tools. Just as I believe Mozart and Rembrandt would.
posted by 327.ca at 12:32 PM on November 18, 2005


This is really cool. From the paper it looks like the resolution of the images is the same as the microlens grid resolution (about 300 square for their system), but making this match conventional camera resolutions only needs higher resolution sensors and lens grids, not new main lenses. It should be possible to mod any digital camera to do this to some extent. The thing I didn't see was use of the information to do software tilting of the focal plane - I have a tilt lens for my SLR and it's a great creative tool. With this you should be able to do arbitrary warping of the focal plane. Hmm... I wonder how much their microlens grid costs?

by the way, first post from a long time lurker - hello all!
posted by ny_scotsman at 12:34 PM on November 18, 2005


This is a cool technique, but pro-level digital cameras that use it are a long way away.

Each microlens captures potential data for one output pixel. The prototype camera, based on a multi-thousand dollar 16-megapixel pro camera back, has an effective maximum output image size of 292x292 pixels -- barely good enough for a wallet-sized photo. To get a decent 6x4 print, you need six times as much data -- almost 100 megapixels. If you want to even conceive of a wall-hung image, you need a gigapixel. And these images won't compress well at all -- jpeg is entirely inappropriate.

This technology is much more usefully applied in the near term, as another poster suggested, to video. Although you will need a monster hard drive to store all the data.

Personally, I like the 3D effect best. Defocus your eyes and look at the crayons in the PDF file.

Great post -- thanks for looking up the technical source.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:34 PM on November 18, 2005


that would just look like a normal hyperfocused image

depth of field being [...] the region within which the photo is considered 'in focus'

My lack of knowledge about photography is 'exposed' (nyuk nyuk) and I am completely p0wned
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:37 PM on November 18, 2005


p0wned!

seanmpuckett - thanks for the clarification. I'll temper my expectations accordingly.
posted by selfnoise at 12:39 PM on November 18, 2005


A 100x100 grid is $1250 from their supplier. Guess my camera is safe for the moment :)
posted by ny_scotsman at 12:44 PM on November 18, 2005


Everyone and anyone can take a good photograph... But it's capability to move is denegrated as a result.

"Good" photographs rarely "move". The standards of artistic achievement will only increase with the democratization of photography.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:46 PM on November 18, 2005


I like the special, it moves me. Imagine a hundred Van Goughs, a thousand Monets or a million Picassos?

Photography is simply capturing light. I'm not inferring a snobbery or elitism here, I'm just suggesting that things have moved on and that the photographic form of expression is no longer an art form. It's a public domain. My mother could capture her vision of the world as well as I can with a Canon 20D or Bresson could in 1973.

Go forth and snap.
posted by brautigan at 12:48 PM on November 18, 2005


This is neat technology, but much less exciting than what the FPP made me think it was. That is, an algorithm to refocus an image from a normal camera.
posted by knave at 12:51 PM on November 18, 2005


Photography is (almost) dead

There are more still images being captured now than ever and photography is almost dead... doesn't make sense. Like saying there are more people playing amature sports than ever so the pro leagues are almost dead. I think this works the other way around, the more people are interested in participating in an art form the more interest there will be in professional work.

My mother could capture her vision of the world as well as I can with a Canon 20D or Bresson could in 1973.

Heh, I think you might get an argument there. You're suggesting Bresson was merely an accomplished mechanic and improved technology has replaced the need to master the mechanics. So there never was any 'art' to be lost, merely now-obsolete mechnical skill.
posted by scheptech at 12:57 PM on November 18, 2005


brautigan: Good photography has nothing to do with 'just capturing light', or working with a camera. It's all about composition. Everything you need to do before hit the shutter.

Decreasing the technical knowledge required doesn't change anything. The only difference between then and now is that cameras a cheaper, and you can take a lot of pictures (thus learning more) without paying tons and tons of film development fees (and you can see your results immediately, and re-take a picture if it doesn't look right).
posted by delmoi at 12:59 PM on November 18, 2005


Another way of putting it is that photography as it exists now does not capture a visual scape the "same way" as an audio recording captures an aural scape. What I mean by this is that even bad audio recordings have a lot more verisimilitude than do good photographs. You can think of photographs as something like lossy perceptual compression of audio. That is to say that photography is built around hacks that take advantage of how human vision works. It is not a faithful representation of reality or even how we experience reality. It's a very clever illusion. That being the case, the experience of the clever illusion is very easily altered by even small changes in how a photograph is taken. Everything from which among many physical data you're trying to record to choices in composition that affect how an average person looks at the photograph and thus experiences the scene. The bottom line is that because photography is so much an artifice, it has a huge potential for artistic expression and thus giving everyone a camera is like giving everyone a pencil. Photography is not dead.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:17 PM on November 18, 2005


Delmoi, I hate to disagree because generally I respect your posts, but photography is ALL about capturing light. Aperature and exposure is all. Composition, which I takes as a given "knack" or "feeling" is a minor part.

It's just that digital photography is so easy. A hundred shots, pick the best one and tweak it with some software. The rawness is lost and the essence is gone.

Maybe we will re-evaluate it all and redefine our definition of what reflects and defines our lives. All will become equal again. At the moment it seems all is mediocre and the few glimpses of genius struggle to shine through.

The upside is that Flickr allows me to express and people to relate a hundredfold. The downside is that my captured moments will be lost amid a tsunami of similar images...

And deservedly so in my case. So be it.
posted by brautigan at 1:22 PM on November 18, 2005


brautigan seems to be making a point that the late Galen Rowell often made. Namely, that in the world of ubiquitous photography, it's hard to stand out.

This is true. It has nothing to do with whether or not photography is an art.

Indeed, there are many photographers on Flickr that take landscape photographs as good as Galen Rowell's (who is one of my favorite landscape artists). I'm sure that would hurt Rowel's business (were he alive), and maybe his ego.

But so what? It's great thing that so many can now get damn good at photography. It just means that, to stand out as a photographic artist, you just have to be really, really good.
posted by teece at 1:32 PM on November 18, 2005


Composition, which I takes as a given "knack" or "feeling" is a minor part.

Photography is composition.
posted by eddydamascene at 1:33 PM on November 18, 2005


I want to make sure I get credit for that pencil line. :)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:38 PM on November 18, 2005


Hell, my general take on life is that everyone can be an artist and that the only barrier is application. There is nothing to suggest that my binman perceives the world in another way than I. If he/she can express their view with camera, paint, pencil or other then he/she is an artist. The trick is whether they can move me/you/anyone or not. With photography, everyman has the tool, how they use it is another matter. Chance, luck, the moment, skill, opportunity...whatever...a good photo is a good photo. If you have the techincial skill and the aesthetic capability then your moment in life may well connect and explode. Otherwise you're just archiving.
posted by brautigan at 1:44 PM on November 18, 2005


Is painting dead, too?
posted by fandango_matt at 1:45 PM on November 18, 2005


it seems all is mediocre and the few glimpses of genius struggle to shine through.

Yup, as always and in any art form.

Although yes, online the sheer volume of images can be daunting. I think that's more a factor of greater assessablity than anything though. Photography has been very popular for a very long time, there must have been millions of 4x6's stored away in peoples dresser drawers we just never saw in the past. We only saw a small slice of the total number of images previously: our own, a few friends, and whatever was professionally published.
posted by scheptech at 1:50 PM on November 18, 2005


is painting dead too?

like most art, i believe, yes...
posted by brautigan at 1:51 PM on November 18, 2005


the art of a photograph lies in both for me, composition, and light. the best composition can suck eggs in the harsh light of noon. and all the light in the world isn't going to make a lousy composition successful. even a photograph that's mostly about light needs some focus on certain aspects of it to be successful (witness the camera tossing experiments).

tools have gotten better, so those of us who're just dabbling have increased chances at getting better light. that's not gonna improve our eye for composition one bit though -- what will do that, is shooting thousands and thousands of images, and learning from what we observe. that's what's behind a lot of art anyway; lots and lots of practice, so one can finally capture the idea in one's mind with a technique that allows it to shine. if one never has such ideas one will not produce art, just pleasing craft -- nothing wrong with that either, you know, since so much of what humas manufacture is pure crap.

as to whether this denigrates (don't you mean "devalue"?) the art in photography -- not to me. if anything, it makes me appreciate it more, because i understand better just how much of an eye (an idea) it actually takes, and how much work, how much practice, to master that art. tools don't make the artist.

as to whether or not it moves me, that's on a different axis entirely. there are things i intellectually consider art, and they move other people, but leave me completely cold. it's much too personal to make it the sole criterion. also "moving me" is not a single point, it's a continuum, and my appreciation for ansel adams doesn't get used up by admiring fellow flickr photographers.
posted by piranha at 1:56 PM on November 18, 2005


Okay brautigan, so what art isn't dead?
posted by fandango_matt at 1:59 PM on November 18, 2005


My definition of "art" is a representation of an experience (purposefully) technically constrained where "experience" has the broadest meaning possible. I emphatically don't believe that it's an attempt to simply recreate reality, that's why I include "technically constrained" in my definition. For this reason, if I believed that the camera came very close to recreating a scene, I'd agree with you. But I think it doesn't come very close at all and photography remains as much defined by its limitations as, say, language does. Now, most language is neither art nor an attempt to perfectly and completely describe something. All that has happened in the case of photography is that its ubiquity allows it to have this sort of commonplace utility. A great photographer-as-artist does things with the camera that a painter does with paint and a writer does with pen and paper. So the ubitquity of photography has very little bearing on either its validity as an artform, or the quality of the best art created in that medium.

But the bottom line is that thinking that photography is a means of artistic expression that is 90% just a recreation of reality and 10% artistic inspiration is wrong, wrong, wrong. Photography isn't defined and limited by its supposed overwhelming recreation of literal reality.

This is also why I strongly disagree with Bazin about cinema. What I'm disagreeing with is exactly what he thought about cinema: that it's so much like an accurate depiction of reality that its best and primary mode of expression is through realism. I think Bazin was brilliant and a wonderful thinker I admire and have learned from, but I think he was naive and wrong in his fundamental view on the matter.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:03 PM on November 18, 2005


Shit, please take pictures, please paint and talk and sing and laugh and film and rhyme and write and bang drums and whatever else it takes to make your interior exterior. Everyone can express the thoughts of Picasso and the pain of Braque, Chillida and anyone else who picked up pen, paintbrush or pencil. Just think and love and express. You might get laughed at or ridiculed but if just one person gets you your job is done...
posted by brautigan at 2:19 PM on November 18, 2005


Okay brautigan, so what art isn't dead

Sculpture, music, writing, poetry etc.
posted by brautigan at 2:36 PM on November 18, 2005


Note that I'm not a photographer so I don't have a vested interest in this debate.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:38 PM on November 18, 2005


Maybe medium and technique can change the definition of art.
posted by xod at 2:44 PM on November 18, 2005


The Stanford Graphics Lab is the hot shit. Be sure to check out the Stanford Multi-Camera Array, which has produced similarly awesome images (direct link to .mov). Very similar to this except that the effective sensor size is vastly larger, allowing the parallax effect to be utilized to move the synthetic focal plane beyond partially occluding objects in the scene. Image-based rendering is the future of photography. People are still creating brand new images, you just need new tools to make them.
posted by iloveit at 2:56 PM on November 18, 2005


Digital camera's, even the very expensive ones, are still seriously lacking in dynamic range. Try shooting in natural light at sunset, or indoors in front of window... the extreme variations in brightness levels means some area of the image will be either way overexposed or way underexposed. No digital camera, not even the pricey 12-bits-per-color cameras, can handle wide brightness variation exposures.

...but if you want re-focusing tricks: open Photoshop > open photo > Quick Mask mode (hit Q) > Gradient Fill > Standard mode (hit Q again) > Select Inverse > Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur. Voila. A faux depth of field blur.
posted by StarForce5 at 2:58 PM on November 18, 2005


Can't say I agree with you, brautigan. You could use essentially the same arguments for those arts you suggest are not dead.

E.g., the technical developments in musical sampling, digital music, etc. mean that music is almost dead. After all, it's only about capturing notes...composition is a minor part.

Or, the technical development of the word processor means that writing is pretty much dead. It's all about simple duplication of words, with composition being a minor part.

I think that composition and technique are the two major components of any given art. You not only need the technical know-how to be able to snap a picture, write a poem, compose a piece of music, but you also have to have the eye or ear or heart for what makes that particular composition of light or sound or words moving.

What makes the composition compelling to the heart of an observer, reader or listener is crucial to what art is all about, and -- as the human heart is still thriving -- why art itself is surely not "almost dead".

Just my take on it, though.
posted by darkstar at 3:04 PM on November 18, 2005


However, I would say that textile art at least has one foot in the grave...


Hey, I KID!
posted by darkstar at 3:06 PM on November 18, 2005


darkstar. technology in music has only expanded the boundries. in fact infinititely. as for word processors, the language has not changed only the input method and display. photography is essentially visual and in most cases what you see is what you get. I guess ubiquity is the nail in the coffin for art. The day everyone paints is the day day painting dies. t
The day we all write poetry is the day good poetry is obscured and the day everyone pens a novel is the day we lose the wood for the trees.

God bless the joy of the simple snap but at the moment it feels like anything can be manipulated to mean anything.

I do not mean to denegrate anyone's expression here I'm just wary of the current unlimitedness of the genre and the mediocrity that follows.
posted by brautigan at 3:23 PM on November 18, 2005


The day everyone paints is the day day painting dies.

Following this logic, the day no one paints is the day painting lives? How scarce does something need to be before its considered a living art form?
posted by scheptech at 3:51 PM on November 18, 2005


Fifty years from now, brautigan, I hope you'll have the opportunity to revisit the verdict you've just passed upon photography and marvel instead at how the medium has not only "survived" those decades, but also progressing far beyond its supposedly "dead" present form. Plates, sheet film, roll film, 35mm, reusable flash units replacing bulbs, etc -- photography has long been evolving alongside other forms of technology in their inexorable march toward ubiquity. Has the historical rise of literacy in the past centuries killed off literature with the ubiquity of text?

More people snapping photos everywhere? Imaging editing software becoming more popular and easier to use? Great! The way I see it, it's that many more experienced viewers who will appreciate the labor behind a really well-crafted and timeless photograph. You may believe that the medium is dead, but the sentiment I've been hearing from practicing art photographers has been almost unanimous: "what an exciting time to be a photographer right now."

Art thrives on change.

On the other hand, some of today's blue-collar working photographers--wedding, press, etc-- are often less than enthused by the changing equipment requirements, job expectations, and revenue models due to the digital onslaught. Other fields, such as sports photographers, absolutely love it. So from a professional standpoint, digital photography is more of a mixed bag. But I digress.
posted by DaShiv at 4:10 PM on November 18, 2005


"as for word processors, the language has not changed only the input method and display."
Exactly like photography.
Brautigan, you're advancing a view of art that's not only bizarely elitist, but internally inconsistent and that relies more on your failings than on art's.
I can still tell a good image from a bad one, and just because millions of images are taken doesn't mean that I enjoy them any less.
Oh, but woe unto you, who cannot enjoy something without rarity. Under your rubric, blogs kill writing since anyone can publish.
Photoshop can't make a bad image good, but it can provide the tools to show what you had in mind when you took it.
Oh, and talk to Man Ray about whether something has to exist to photograph it.
posted by klangklangston at 4:23 PM on November 18, 2005


The digital camera is only about 30 years old, 140 years younger than chemical photography. I can't even begin to fathom what it will be like when digital photography is 170.
posted by bashos_frog at 4:30 PM on November 18, 2005


Although, I recall that Matthew Brady was already producing some great photos in the 1860's. I wonder who will be the digital camera's Brady, or Adams, for that matter.
posted by bashos_frog at 4:33 PM on November 18, 2005


Bullshit, Brautigan.

What a bunch of crap.

Go take a look at Andreas Gursky and Edward Burtynski.

In a similar way, people say that the wider availability of home-recording equipment or even just VSTi's is destroying music. That's bullshit, too.

Or maybe that since everyone can go to the art store and pick up art supplies kills painting ... or maybe just watercolor since it's cheaper. Bullshit!

Photography still stands out. Good photographers still stand apart from crappy ones. Also, more people can now experience the art of photograpy. If anything, the bar is being raised.
posted by redteam at 4:38 PM on November 18, 2005


knave: This is neat technology, but much less exciting than what the FPP made me think it was. That is, an algorithm to refocus an image from a normal camera.

I've used the product Focus Magic which is not magic, but it is a heck of a lot better than Gaussian blur.
posted by kcds at 7:08 PM on November 18, 2005


delmoi writes: By the way, this is similar to a microscopic technique that lets you isolate things at a spesific distance from the lense.

I believe you're referring to something like two photon fluorescence spectroscopy? That's a little different. In this technique you focus an intense beam of light at a small spot in a sample. The photons have too low an energy to excite the molecule on their own, but if the light is intense enough (which only happens in the very small spot on which you've focused your beam) you can have two photons hit virtually "simultaneously" (as judged by the uncertainty principle), raising the molecule to the excited state from which it then relaxes. So you get fluorescence from a tiny dot in your sample, rather than the usual line.

The light field technique simply measures the flux of light in each direction, and then you sort the rays after the fact.
posted by dsword at 7:43 PM on November 18, 2005


Imagine a hundred Van Goughs, a thousand Monets or a million Picassos?

I'd cream my pants. Hell, imagine if everyone were a a fantastic artist! What a wonderful world of beauty that would be.

It would please me to no end to have, each day, a new masterful photograph of stunning beauty and composition, to view as I eat my breakfast and sip my coffee. It would be a great way to start the day.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:47 PM on November 18, 2005


Hey FFF, try this guy: Daily Dose of Imagery
posted by notsnot at 8:31 PM on November 18, 2005


so what art isn't dead?

Don't antropomorphize art. It hates it when you do that.

Art lives in the hearts and minds of those who appreciate it. As long as there is a single soul that practices it, or a single soul that is moved by it. . . it lives.
posted by spock at 8:57 PM on November 18, 2005


fenriq
" Its neat but I'd rather have the camera that can record a picture 8 seconds before you pushed the shutter release."

Are you referring to a specific model of camera (if so, which one?), or joking about a hypothetical device? (I'm guessing the later, but wanted to check, since cameras that do this sort of exist, but you're talking video resolution :)

I'm shopping for something similar.
posted by -harlequin- at 9:36 PM on November 18, 2005


The Art is dead! Long live the Art! :)
posted by -harlequin- at 9:37 PM on November 18, 2005



posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:58 PM on November 18, 2005


" Although, I recall that Matthew Brady was already producing some great photos in the 1860's."
...Speaking of...
Matthew Brady dragged corpses to make better compositions and took credit for photographs taken with his equipment that weren't his (Dutch master?).
posted by klangklangston at 12:08 AM on November 19, 2005


It's just that digital photography is so easy. A hundred shots, pick the best one and tweak it with some software. The rawness is lost and the essence is gone.

It's just the opposite for me, brautigan. Because I'm not worried about film cost, I shoot more on impulse and select the raw shots that arise from this spontaneity.

Thanks for the post, iamck. This appears to be truly revolutionary.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:32 AM on November 19, 2005


"Our fine arts were developed, their types and uses were established, in times very different from the present, by men whose power of action upon things was insignificant in comparison with ours. But the amazing growth of our techniques, the adaptability and precision they have attained, the ideas and habits they are creating, make it a certainty that profound changes are impending in the ancient craft of the Beautiful. In all the arts there is a physical component which can no longer be considered or treated as it used to be, which cannot remain unaffected by our modern knowledge and power. For the last twenty years neither matter nor space nor time has been what it was from time immemorial. We must expect great innovations to transform the entire technique of the arts, thereby affecting artistic invention itself and perhaps even bringing about an amazing change in our very notion of art." *

--Paul Valery, PIECES SUR L 'ART, "La Conquete de l'ubiquite," Paris.

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
posted by xod at 9:30 AM on November 19, 2005


Something tells me that this will be the new 'bullet time' and we'll see this effect showing up in a new summer blockbuster.

Still, very cool tech.
posted by quin at 2:00 PM on November 19, 2005


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