digital photography

Taking and making of pictures

There have been a lot of posts around on the new consumer lightfield camera from Lytro Рwhich is impressive: 8X optical zoom with a f/2 aperture and it is a lightfield camera for under USD 400!

Waves within an ocean of glass
Waves within an ocean of glass

And there has been a lot of talk on the new era of photography. Hmmmm… I wouldn’t see it like that. The question is if you take and/or make a picture. If you just take pictures it is simple. That’s a camera for you. Light, best for travel, no more deletable pictures because of a wrong focus. But wait: the specs say the output is comparable with a HD picture, so at best 1080×1080 (Full HD squared) and needs a player.

With the Lytro the act of taking the picture is still with the photographer but the act of making it goes to the beholder. This is new. This is a highly competitive feature against point and shoots. I wonder what the macro features of this camera are. How near can you be to the object? Wouldn’t this be a wonderful method to get pin sharp macros without focus stacking?

This is just the beginning. I remember my first digital camera: 1.4 Megapixel and 2x opical zoom. A great camera. But I still took my 500N with me on holidays because the technology wasn’t there…

So what do you think on taking and making pictures?

color Magic Lantern photography postprocessing

Taking and making pictures

Raindot by stst31415
Raindot, a photo by stst31415 on Flickr.

You may read these lines because you wondered why the title of this post is taking and making. Well, actually the difference is enormous.

Look at the picture above. It was taken yesterday, I had some slight postprocessing with Nik Color Efex going on to recover the details and uploaded the picture. But there is nothing I could have done if I had not taken the camera with me in the first place. A colleague of mine – by a strange coincidence his name is also Stefan – came from next door to show us the raindot. It is no bow, so it has to be a dot…

I took my camera and used the magic lantern to take 9 brackets with 0.5 EV difference to be on the safe side. I also tried to HDR this picture but it didn’t want to be an HDR ;-). It simply wanted some quick and exact color treatment on the raindot and more details on the cityscape. So I chose what fit best. I would definitely call this process taking a picture.

On the other hand, there is the process of making a picture: Your lighting, your setup, your models. You create what is depicted. But where is the border line between these two things? If I have a good picture and add some heavy treatment or postprocessing: Is this already making a picture?

In both cases you need your camera with you. Do you carry your camera with you all the time?