Lytro certainly has lit up the photography world with its stunning “light field” camera and photographs that can be instantly refocused after the photo has been taken, delivering new ways to take, frame and enjoy photographs.
Thankfully, however, the light at Lytro burns brightly, with Lytro’s engineers coming up not only with a brand new perception shaping “Perspective Shift” mode, as well as new “Living Filters” that can ALSO be applied after the fact to quite magical effect.
Now, if you’re a Lytro user, there’s a small wait until December 4th (US time) until you can download a free update to the free Lytro Desktop software, with the even better news being that existing photos you’ve taken with Lytro will automatically work with the new Perspective Shift and Living Filters features.
Lytro explains perspective shift further by saying that “Lytro photographers [can] interactively change the point of view in a picture after it has been taken.
“When pictures are shared to the web, Facebook and Twitter, friends can experience Perspective Shift without needing any special software. Perspective Shift also works retroactively on any light field pictures previously taken with a Lytro camera.”
It’s a stunning, must-see effect demonstrated to me earlier today by Lytro executive, Eric Cheng, that lets you change the perspective by a couple of millimetres, giving you a “moving” image that really adds a whole new level of perspective to your Lytro photos, showing just how far we can still advance even when we might think we’re already reached the heights of whatever field you’re thinking of.
This excellent YouTube-hosted video from Lytro lets you see the effect in action for yourself:
I was going to place the image here as an embedded file, but the world seems to be checking out the new capability (just launched globally within the last 30 minutes as I type) and I can’t get the embed code (which I’ll put here later). In the meantime, here’s the link to the photo of a “monitor claw” that’s been shared exclusively by Lytro for iTWire - try again later today if it's not loading properly for you, as noted, everyone's looking at it right now so it's normal it might be difficult for a short while to "get through", while the video above lets you see how it works!
Lytro’s founder and executive chairman, Ren Ng, added that: “By capturing the light field, the Lytro camera lets photographers achieve things that were never before possible. The first groundbreaking capability was focusing pictures after they were taken and now we are excited to offer Perspective Shift, which brings living pictures to life in an entirely new way.”
Meanwhile, Trey Ratcliff, a “renowned landscape photographer and Lytro pro-shooter team member” stated that: “The new Perspective Shift from Lytro is fun and artistic! I've had a wonderful time running around with my Lytro camera to grab little scenes and bend them into this new way of seeing living photos. The idea that you can take any little scene and make it like interactive Matrix-bullet-time is really cool.”
Then there’s the brand new Living Filters, which make Instagram’s 1970s Polaroid-style filters look like they came out of, well… the 1970s.
Living Filters can, “with a single click”, let you “apply one of nine interactive filters to their pictures and change the look of the picture based on light field depth” – and to see the results reshape themselves in real time.
One example is a “glass” effect which makes anything beyond the point of focus look like it is behind glass, while another effect lets you see colour in an image where you’ve focused, with the rest of the image in black and white.
Lytro says “Living Filters create additional effects as viewers interact with a picture. Living Filters is a free update to Lytro Desktop and works on all Lytro light field pictures, including retroactively.”
The list of new Living Filters includes:
Carnival: Twist and distort your picture as you refocus and change perspective as if you’re in a funhouse of mirrors.
Crayon: Add a touch of colour to a monochrome version of your picture. Click to focus and add colour into your scene, or change your perspective and add colour back into your scene as you explore.
Glass: Put a sheet of virtual glass into your scene. Everything in front of where you click will be unchanged, and everything behind will appear to be behind a piece of frosted glass.
Line Art: Reduce your scene to a grayscale outline, seeing more detailed lines where you refocus.
Mosaic: Create a tiled mosaic in the out-of-focus parts of your scene as you click or change your perspective.
Blur+: Significantly enhance the amount of blur in the out-of-focus parts of your scene.
Pop: Make parts of your scene pop out with extra detail and vibrancy when those areas are clicked.
Film Noir: Add a moody and stylised black and white look to your pictures, with a little bit of extra detail and colour where you click.
8-Track: Bring back the ‘70s with this filter that adds an aged, vignetted look to your pictures. Click to un-age parts of your scene and see them come back to life.
Lytro’s exclusive Australian disibutor, Blonde Robot, had its co-founder Dan Miall state that: “Perspective Shift and Living Filters have to be seen to be believed. The technology itself is amazing. The fact that both Perspective Shift and Living Filters let Lytro camera owners and their friends have even more fun with the light field and living pictures so easily, is the icing on the cake.”