We have a cactus, well a pot of cacti. Not really sure if it is one or a bunch. But just every so often, we get flowers. And they are gorgeous, as you can see for yourself. I was on my way somewhere in a hurry the other day during Holy Week and my wife called out, “It’s blooming.” So, I grabbed my Kaleidoscope shaped Lytro® and went to work. In five minutes or less, I had shot a lot. Then I was off to do my life stuff.
Parked later on my laptop, I picked a lot that I liked. And uploaded them. And now I share a few. I looked at the plant a couple days later and the blooms were just pale droops. Glad I could turn on the camera and just shoot.
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Years ago I was working on a film in New York City. Our location guy had been also working on a film for Woody Allen and said told us a story. According to my friend, Woody was shooting an exterior scene in Central Park, but had held up production because the sun was out and he wanted it behind a cloud, at least. So my friend was dispatched to call the National Weather Service contact that they had (pre-cell phones and iPads). He did not see any clouds in the sky. So he asked the person at the other end if clouds were coming. The response was no. Then he pleaded, “Do you even see any clouds on the radar?”
Well, if you are fan of Mr. Allen’s films, you will see a characteristic light, soft and flat. This last Sunday morning it was trying to rain at my house, but could not quite get it together to pour. So I dashed out to the lemon tree loaded with fruit and also beginning to blossom to try some shots. Here I present “When life gives you lemons, make light field pictures.”
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So this afternoon I did my walk DT. (Downtown LA for you folks not from around these parts.) I cruised up Olympic east to the Alley- Santee Alley, the home of all things for sale to the 99 percenters left in Los Angeles after the Occupy folks moved and unknown to the majority of those who live west of the 405. I followed the bubble gun vendor and managed to get a few frames below, talked with a smiling new friend named Nancy Miller wanting me to take a stress test, and in general being invigorated by all the activity of the hive of humans called Los Angeles. Sunshine and a good walk made my day better.
Here are the related light fields packed in their cute little viewer windows. Captions appears as you move the cursor/finger near the bottom.
A true band of brothers gather at St. Michael’s in the City meeting at Starbucks. Last night I visited the Bible Study in Pasadena held on the patio of the coffee house to see how well the light field works at the edge of performance of the camera. I also drank some coffee, munched on coffee cake and considered the story of the prodigal son.
All the exposures seemed to be at 1/15 sec and f/2 at ISO 3200, the apparent limit of the camera from Ren Ng‘s company. When I held the camera steady, the effect could still work. If I moved or the subject did, the refocus seemed to be out of range. Also the focus in creative mode had a hard time in the dim light. Although the images are somewhat rough in appearance, I compare them to the work I did in the late 60′s and early 70′s with my Leica and Nikon on what Kodak called recording film, known as 2475 and 2484. The main problem in using that film was the curling nature of the film base. It was impossible to lay the strips out flat to make contact prints. But it did allow taking pictures in conditions that were unthinkable at the time. And I see the same noisy characteristics with many iPhoto pix in dim light. But they work for the web and our brains sort out the pixels to bring us back the memories. And today we can see color. This new camera and its processing for focus is really okay, in my book.
Look for the captions to show as you move your cursor or finger if you are on the iPad. Meet the band of brothers- Father Charles, the ever-loving son of a preacher man, Deacon Rolin, kind-eyed sage, and Bill, Wayne, new comer Larry, and me, Richard. Our one visitor of the female gender was not feeling great, so I excused her from the visuals.
St. Michael’s in the City is a new church plant in NW Pasadena. Sometimes Father Charles says that he is reaching out to the “broke, busted, and disgusted.” He certainly is reaching the 99 per centers.
So, looking at a nice part of Wilshire in what used to be called the Miracle Mile district, if I remember right, but now could be better known as Museum Row, my light field fell upon some exterior elements and a very nice person named Gene. He came to Los Angeles with a well formed dream to sell great crepes on the street and connect his culinary excellence with catering customers along the way. His crepe site is here. And here we begin the visual tale.
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And read my other blog HalfCoastal.com
Flower close-ups can be very satisfying. But you need to get the light right and the focus right or you will be just a bit disappointed. At least that is my experience. My first picture is a slice of a light field photo taken outdoors, just to allow me to play with the focus. It also will allow me to play with my alt tags a bit, just to see if I can get noticed.
Flower isolated by light field shallow depth of field at f/2
Found some of my favorites in a display at a funeral the other day. Soft light coming through the door. So I had some to play with. Here I present the ones like my banner picture. Only these you can play with.
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“Tune in” soon for my light field work.