TOPIC: New Technology and Techniques in Photography

HDR Photography, Taken From

Throughout the years, photography technology has evolved, each time bringing new forms and techniques to increase one’s photographic creativity. Technology and Techniques go hand in hand, with better technology, you have more choices and adjustments you can make to get the right picture. These adjustments, even the small ones, allow for each photographer to create his or her own style of photos; afterwards all that’s needed is the creativity to come up with your own original point of view. New types of cameras have been invented such as the Lytro made by Lytro Inc. They have made a camera that absorbs all rays of light in a picture allowing the photographer to control the focus of the picture after it is put into the computer. “a consumer camera that shoots photos that can be refocused at any time. Instead of capturing a single plane of light like traditional cameras do, Lytro’s light-field camera will use a special sensor to capture the color, intensity, and vector direction of the rays of light (data that’s lost with traditional cameras).” Writes Michael Zhang from Along with advances in different types of cameras have come different techniques each using specific methods and settings available in newer models to achieve the goal, some would be Light Writing, HDR photography, and Macro photography. All of these lead to the further development of photography and technology related to it.

Historical Background and Development

Cameras have often changed throughout the years, from taking pictures that would eventually fade with the pinhole camera in the 16th century, to the development of techniques to make the picture last longer; eventually making it permanent, to the development of film which also brought along the measurement of Pixels, depending on how many pixels were in a square inch, and finally to modern day digital cameras. These have all been the basis for the invention of the Lytro camera by Stanford graduate Ren Ng. the study into that type of technology started about fifteen years ago in Stanford University when a scientist was experimenting with near 100 cameras; having them all on an array so that each camera would capture a different Light ray, then using a computer they were combined to make a picture that had captured a “Light Field.. (Which) Fully defines how a scene appears” According to this is what allows the pictures to “deliver a “living picture” that you can manipulate on your computer” says Christina Bonnington from This camera also takes a twist from the traditional measurement of pixels in photos; instead of being measured in pixels, it is measured in “rays” depending on how many rays of light it captures. As for the techniques, Macro photography is taking pictures of things close up, this often adds depth and can make a photo very unique. Macro photography has been around for a while, but it isn’t until recently that using settings provided by modern cameras, one can take a perfectly lit picture of a subject without outside lighting. Light writing is also another technique that has been “re-modernized”, it was first used by Pablo Picasso about 100 years ago, but it hadn’t gained much fame up until 2007 when it was used for a commercial for the phone company Sprint. HDR or High Dynamic Ranging imaging is a type of photography, “ it’s basically a technique that combines two or more photos of the same scene, taken with different exposures.” Writes Nathan Barry from This is used to create highly detailed pictures that are often thought of unreal because of how they look. HDR is only one of the few techniques developed throughout history with the use of newer photography technology, the evolving of technology and techniques are closely related.

Different Focal Points within the picture, taken from single shot of the Lytro camera



There are many companies that have developed new inventions to contribute to photography an example would be Lytro Inc. with their new Lytro camera. After you take the picture, this would allow for the subject, or subjects which you wish to be in focus to stand out while everything else gets blurred like the picture below. As you can see, each picture is focused on a different point; all these were derived from one photo taken by the Lytro camera. With other cameras, one would have to use a special program or take different pictures to be able to get the same effect. This allows the subject to protrude among other distracting factors within the photo like colors or other things getting in the way. The simplicity which the camera presents enables the photographer to concentrate more on the unique angle and style of the shot rather than having to focus on the settings of the camera. But while many people believe this could be the next step in photography technology, there are others that say that this is just a small product which will have little to no influence on the development of photography. The reasons given by the people is that the memory on the camera can’t be replaced or increased in any way so that really limits the amount of pictures you can take to about 300 each time, that while the battery lasts for a long time, it also cannot be replaced which is bad for professional photographers that are out on the field taking pictures away from any source of electricity, and also that the camera is only compatible with the Mac for right now, although the company claims it will be releasing an update which will allow it to be compatible with windows. These are the main points given by critics who don’t support the Lytro Camera, while others believe it to be the next big thing in photography. “Lytro has been the subject of intense speculation over the past year. Today, with a seemingly revolutionary new device, it showed that attention was not unwarranted.” Says JP Mangalindan, a reporter from CNN . This camera is mainly going to revolutionize the “point and shoot” cameras which are the simple cameras most people use that don’t require lenses. It is a very simplified version of one which would only contain two buttons, one for power, and another for the shutter. The simplified design sets apart this camera from the rest and which is claimed to be one of the key factors in making it such a successful commercial product for everyone, not just experienced photographers. New photography techniques are rarely criticized since it is mainly considered an art form, but there are a few photographers who debate whether new techniques are really renovating like most people claim, or if they are ruining the ideal photos possible throughout the web. Almost every photographer has their own techniques and tricks which they use to enhance their abilities, with each making their work unique and their own. A combination of tricks and settings are often what is needed to get the stunning pictures that many strive to obtain. But in the end, the techniques are mainly depend on the technology available for everyone, so through the growth of technology, techniques grow and possibilities become more diverse.IMG_2478.JPG



Throughout history, we have strived to record our existence one way or another, with photography that is possible, and more. It is many people’s way of expressing themselves and being able to see the world uniquely, and eventually pictures allow others to see the world similarly. We have become dependent on photography, whether for news, art, or self expression; It is something we rely on to communicate things of importance. With the growth of technology in photography, our ability to communicate our views on things becomes even greater since it allows us to make our photos even more unique through our own style and techniques. All of it possible because of the rapid growth of technology, and with the growth, things become more simplified like the Lytro camera, to allow even the most technologically challenged person to operate it. Eventually when it evolves again, more stuff will become available, not only for the professional or experienced photographer, but also for the typical everyday person that picks up a camera now and then even if its just to take a few family pictures and record an event that transpired which meant something to them.