Lytro Desktop – Focus Spread

Upon entering Lytro Desktop Adjustments Tab I was presented with many options. In the first section, color, you will find the standard editing tools, exposure, white balance, and saturation.  I promptly scrolled passed these and looked for something more exciting.Screen Shot

 

Virtual Camera

I found it straight away in the next section, Virtual Camera, which is broken down into four parts Aperture, depth map, focus spread and tilt. I spent some time playing around but didn’t really understand what I was doing. From my photographic knowledge I quickly worked out that changing the aperture would adjust the depth of field, F1 being a very small depth of field and F16 bringing the whole picture into focus.

Original Image shot at F2
Original Image shot at F2
Aperture changed to F16
Aperture changed to F16
Aperture changed to F1
Aperture changed to F1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common sense also told me that the tilt option would change the direction of the focus plain. This was where I really started to have fun. The picture immediately started to change and look un-natural.

 

Here I both rotated and tilted the focus plain
Here I both rotated and tilted the focus plain
This is the death map for the tilted perspective
This is the death map for the tilted perspective

 

Depth Map

It was the depth map and focus spread which confused me. So I started looking online for help. There are not many tutorial out there as this is very new technology, but I found this one on Youtube. Introducing Focus Spread

 

Following the instructions I set the aperture to F16 and turned a depth map on. I chose the orange and blue because it matched the focus spread bar. The blue area of the depth map represents the foreground area that is out of focus and the orange represents the background area out of focus. Anything in focus is not covered by a color. Moving the sliders around on the focus spread bar adjusts these areas.

This is how the original image depth map looks.
This is how the original image depth map looks.

 

Once I had my focus spread set how I wanted it, all that was left to do was change the aperture to F1 to completely blue the out of focus areas.

 

The changed focus spread
The changed focus spread
Final Image at F16
Final Image at F16
Final Image at F1
Final Image at F1

 

 

 

 

 

 

This technique is really useful because you can get the effects of a wide aperture without having a shallow depth of field. This is handy when you want to isolate a single subject in the busy image or if there are two subjects in a picture you would like in focus with a very blurry background.

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