Computational photography is not just about tweaking standard signal-processing algorithms; it involves using understanding of all aspects of digital photography to make cameras work better and have new abilities. Although I (Professor Hank Dietz) am now a computer engineering professor, in the late 1970s I was using a camera and publishing or selling photos nearly every day. I have been able to leverage some of that experience to guide my computational photography efforts... but the late 1970s were long ago.
For several years now, I have been making an effort to use a camera every day. This page will show one image from those captured each day. I'm not claiming these are great photos -- they aren't -- and I also will generally avoid posting images of family, etc. The images are presented in 600x400 resolution, but a 3000x2000 resolution version can be obtained by clicking on any image. Unless otherwise noted, the images are all straightforwardly derived from uncropped out-of-the-camera JPEGs. These images are posted so that anyone may view them, but they remain the property of Hank Dietz and cannot be used for commercial purposes without my permission....
A very simple image of a windowless portion of the new Wildcat Coal Lodge... which seems somehow very representative of how the US is different on this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Shot with NEX-7 and FD 35mm f/2 around f/11.
Another very simple image, shot wide open with a Spiratone 135mm f/1.8 on my NEX-7. This is simply looking down the steps of a stairway in the Marksbury building.
An odd angle view of a sculpture near Singletary Center, although it's easier to see this as a shot of the sky trapped between things. Shot with NEX-7 and M42 Makinon 24mm f/2.8 (not a very good lens) around f/8.
Some flowers in a little pot on our deck. A macro shot with my NEX-7 using a Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 wide open. This M42 lens is probably the most beat-up-looking lens I've gotten on eBay, but it is optically very nice -- as the colors and bokeh on this shot prove.
A quickly grabbed shot of a four-year-old girl's first experience with a globe. Shot with my NEX-5 using a Mamiya/Sekor 55mm f/1.8 wide open. In case you're wondering, the NEX-5 aspect ratio isn't exactly 3x2... scaling the 4592x3056 image to 3000x2000 thus required stretching the height by 3 pixels. That's a 0.15% error... which is way less than lens distortion for most lenses, so I'm not very worried about it.
Well, I spent today painting our deck and my lawn needs cutting. No time to take photos... but I did manage to grab this quickie of the weeds that are where our lawn should be. I used the NEX-5 and a Jupiter 9 wide open. This is a strange lens, with bokeh shaped by a lot of SA wide open.
A rainy, ugly, day in which I was also very busy. However, I did some live demos of my single-shot anaglyph capture for my research group callout meeting today. Here's yet another 3D shot of Alvin in my office. This is a straight-from-the-camera JPEG, shot with a NEX-5, 50mm f/1.4 Takumar, and a roughly f/8 red/cyan anaglyph aperture insert in front of the lens -- so view it with red-left, cyan-right glasses for the 3D effect.
One of my standard things to "test" photograph is the barn next to our property. Well, I just got a Tamron SP 60-300mm, so it was time for a quick test. This was shot using my NEX-5, probably with the lens near wide open, but I don't know the focal length... I often just zoom to get the desired crop, paying no attention to the actual focal length. Nice enough lens, but rather huge on the NEX-5.
Ok, I didn't have time to take photos today... but I was trying to get that Tamron into macro mode. Still no luck. However, it sure looks like it might be good. Here's a wide open closest non-macro shot. There is some soft glow wide open, but the bokeh is quite nice. Then again, the real macro mode is only at 60mm, whereas this was shot closer to 300mm.
Well, again no time for taking photos, but I did pass by this rather unusual set of pipes on the outside of a building. I've always liked these pipes... really wonder what they are and why they are there. The black insulation would seem to mean those are water pipes, but if so they would freeze each winter. It doesn't make sense. Shot with NEX-5 and a Mamiya/Sekor 55mm f/1.4 around f/4 (I think).
The sunrise this morn in my back yard. Shot with NEX-5 and Tamron 60-300mm around 300mm f/8. The colors are not tweaked in any way. I know; it's a very cliched shot, but....
Stopped by the Arboretum today with my daughter. This was shot wide open with my NEX-7 and Tamron SP 90mm f/2.5 macro. When this lens doesn't show the sensor reflection in the midle of the frame (which it generally doesn't near wide open), this is really a great lens. Actually, NEX-7 plus this make simply perfect macros.
There are a lot of native willows that sprung up around my pond... here's one. Shot with my NEX-7 and a Kimunor 500mm f/8 wide open. That background is a brilliant white cloud in a blue sky with some additional willows in between. I know the composition is boring, but the look is really outstanding....
While we're shooting with a 500mm, here's one with my Opteka f/6.3 mirror lens on the NEX-7. Really close focus is one of the better tricks of this lens. Unfortunately, the sun was setting when I took this, so ISO 1600 was needed, and the low contrast of the mirror made boosting the color and noise reduction necessary.
The opposite of a "fake minature" shot, this was taken on my NEX-7 with a Spiratone 24mm f/2.8 wide open and tilted (on a Fotasy adapter) to make the focus plane pass through both the fruits and the distant barn. It's not perfectly sharp, but it's not bad for doing this hand-held for 1/2s just as the sun was setting.... Thanks to very strong and tangled limbs with spike-like thorns, Osage Orange was widely planted as natural fencing just before barbed wire was invented; the ugly, inedible, fruits, also called "hedge apples," are said to contain chemical compounds that repel insects.
Again, very little time for taking photos... but this combination of lines in the sky and the phone lines seemed vaguely interesting. NEX-5 with a SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 at around f/5.6.
This isn't the first back I've hacked onto the old B&J 4x5. The first was a Minolta MC mount back (which fell apart after 30 years). The second was not a back, but a webcam sensor in a homemade film carrier. This one, which I just built, is E-mount. E-mount is a great choice because the short flange distance allows the bellows to be extended enough for infinity so that it reaches the rails. Anyway, this photo was shot with my NEX-7 and SMC Takumar 35mm f/2 at something like f/8 with on-camera flash. I cropped it a little and painted-out the background.
Here's a shot with the NEX-5 stuck on the back of that B&J 4x5. The lens is a 1948 Kodak Ektar 127mm f/4.7 at f/16. Yes, it is low contrast but quite sharp. Honestly, it does seem like it has a bit of that large format look... or maybe it's just the simple 1948 lens design and coating?
Hand-held shot with my NEX-7 on the back of the B&J 4x5 with the Kodak Ektar 127mm f/4.7. Definitely no problems with this lens resolving 24MP on APS-C... pretty cool for a 4x5 lens from 1948.
Shot with my NEX-5 on the back of that B&J 4x5 with a circa-1954 C. P. Goerz Apochromat • Artar 19in f/11. Shot wide open. Really a wonderful lens. Aside from low contrast (I did adjust levels here), this is probably the best image quality on APS-C of all my 400mm or longer focal length lenses. It is hard to imagine the image quality of this lens on film using more of its roughly 19-inch image circle. APS-C is nearly a 30X crop factor for the coverage of this lens!
No longer an umbrella... now added to the artworks outside the Singletary Center. NEX-7 with 90mm f/2.5 Tamron wide open.
In-camera pan with NEX-7 and MC Rokkor 28mm f/2.5. I didn't have time to take many photos today, but I did take this of our two ponds.
Shot with a NEX-7 and my Tamron SP 90mm f/2.5 at f/8 or so as a demonstration of bounce flash by using my finger to nudge the built-in flash head toward the ceiling. I threw-together a quick Instructable on this today....
I know. Boring! I really didn't have time for photos. Anyway, this was shot with my NEX-7 and an Elicar 135mm f/2.8. This lens isn't a macro, but does focus close.
A cactus. NEX-7 with Elicar 135mm f/2.8.
A cold day... and the bees at the Arboretum were all in slow motion. This shot was taken with my NEX-7 and Tamron 90mm f/2.5 wide open.
A test shot with the circa 1901 lens from my Golf Montauk. The lens was very temporarily mounted on my B&J 4x5 so I could take test photos with my NEX-5. Incidentally, this lens isn't great... but this shot wasn't post-processed in any way.
Made with heirloom tomatoes from our garden. NEX-7 with Tamron 90mm f/2.5.
NEX-7 with Rokkor 28mm f/2.5 around f/11, I think.
NEX-7 on the back of my B&J 4x5 with a Rodenstock Omegaron 150mm f/4.5, at f/5.6 I think.
A sculpture celebrating coal. NEX-7 with Sigma 8-16mm at 8mm f/7.1.
An abstract taken in my house when I realized I hadn't taken any photos that day. NEX-7 with Canon "silvernose" FD 50mm f/1.4.
Shot from inside a UK-2012-basketball-themed corn maze that spans over 10 acres. NEX-7 with Sigma 8-16mm at 8mm f/14. I did smart heal a few flare spots.
Taken from the front of our property using NEX-5 on the back of the B&J 4x5 with the Rodenstock Omegaron 150mm f/4.5 around f/11. It had just started to rain and the sky was a mix of dirty colors.
Outlet behind a funny-looking bench in the Marksbury building. NEX-5 with Canon FD 60-300mm around 250mm wide open.
Another day with no time for photos.... The RGAN building in black and white, NEX-5 with Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 around f/11.
A tree inside the circle of our driveway. NEX-5 with Tamron SP 90mm f/2.5, wide open I think.
NEX-5 with Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 zoom around 210mm.
Very strange colors this morning.... Here's a shot looking out our driveway taken with my NEX-5 and a Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 around f/5.6 or so.
Looking up in our front yard at twilight. NEX-5 with Nikon FC-E8 Fisheye converter on Mitacon 24mm f/2.8 stopped to f/11.
As the trees turn various colors, so do the water plants in our pond. NEX-5 with Tamron 60-300mm around 200mm.
Some twisted pipe cleaners left over from one of my daughter's projects were sitting on the countertop.... NEX-5 with Canon FD "silvernose" 50mm f/1.4 wide open.
P.F. Chang's horse. NEX-5 with Canon FD 24mm f/2.8.
Nothing special, but it's the only photo I took today. NEX-5 with Canon FD 24mm f/2.8.
Trees in front of the Coal Lodge. NEX-5 with Vivitar 20mm f/3.8 wide open. Very intense colors naturally, but CA corrected in GIMP.
NEX-5 with Canon FD 28mm f/2.8. That's a MasPar MP1 processor board in the bird's mouth.
On a rainy day driving down Crawley Lane. NEX-5 and Canon FD 35mm f/2.8.
Ivy on our house. NEX-5 with Rodagon XR Heligon 95mm f/1.3.
NEX-5 with Sigma 8-16mm.
The little bit of Hurricane Sandy scraping the edge of Kentucky. NEX-5 with Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 wide open.
NEX-5 with Canon FDn 35mm f/2.8.
Packing the complete contents of our 20'x20' IEEE/ACM SC12 research exhibit on a single 48"x40" skid. Getting everything to fit securely is always a challenge. NEX-5 with Canon FL 55mm f/1.2, I think... too busy packing to note which lens I had mounted. ;)
NEX-5 with Vivitar Series i 70-210mm f/3.5 in macro mode.
Another rainy day on Crawley Lane. NEX-7 with Fujian 35mm f/1.7. I don't use this lens for much, but it's that kind of a day....
NEX-5 on the back of my B&J 4x5 with a Wollensak Raptar 101mm f/4.5 wide open. This is a pretty sharp lens, and although I got it on a smaller format camera, it does seem to cover 4x5. Sharpness is good in the middle from about f/5.6, but it gets more even until f/22 or so. It looks like it can outresolve my NEX-5....
Shot with a Fuji X10 in an attempt to get white orbs... instead, I got the dark side. Where did these black holes come from?
Fuji X10 again, in my front yard.
Nothing thrilling; yet another test of the Fuji X10.
Looks wrong, doesn't it? Again, with the Fuji X10.
One of the more interesting statues at UK's campus... with the Fuji X10.
Outside the SC12 exhibit hall, shot with Fuji X10 through the windshield.
An rather unfriendly sculpture filling a vacant lot in Salt Lake City. Fuji X10 again.
Our SC12 exhibit just before the floor opened to the public. Fuji X10 again.
In the mall near SC12. Shot with NEX-5 and kit zoom.
At SC12, one of the trends was definitely more "artsy" cabinet front panels. This is the front of a Hitachi supercomputer, shot with the Fuji X10.
There was extra space at SC12, so Intel decided to fill some of it with the bridge of the original Starship Enterprize. Here it is disassembled and waiting to be shipped away. I really like how crude the set is; it reminds one of how important the idea is. Shot with NEX-5 and kit zoom.
View out the window of our plane, shot with NEX-5 and kit zoom.
A God's eye my Daughter made for my Aunt. Fuji X10.
Leaves floating on a little creek in Raven Run Nature Sanctuary. NEX-7 with Tamron 60-300mm.
The last flower over in the engineering quad by RGAN. NEX-7 with Canon FDn 35mm f/2.
NEX-7 with Canon FDn 135mm f/3.5.
The only thing set in stone is our name.