Thursday, December 15, 2005

Light Field Photography with a Hand-Held Plenoptic Camera


What the heck does that mean?

Imagine a camera which can take one picture of a complex field of objects. Then imagine that this image can be recomputed later to put any object at any distance in the image in focus.


Ok, imagine you've taken a picture of Uncle Fred, but later, at home, you see some blurry object in the background behind him. You want to know what that object was. Now imagine that, with software, you can change the focus of the picture from Uncle Fred to the object behind, and as Uncle Fred gets blurry and out of focus the object comes into focus, and then you can see it's really a flying saucer...

Impossible, you say?

Well, a student at Stanford has made such a camera. Just check out this site.

Don't believe it? Check out these samples, particularly the splash of water.

Here's a very short story about it, which explains it a little more understandably: Focusing after the shot, the plenoptic camera: Digital Photography Review.

(Of course, there would only be a flying saucer in the picture if there really was a flying saucer in the picture...)


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