5 Tips and Tricks for the Lytro Illum - Lightfield Photography




Introduction: 5 Tips and Tricks for the Lytro Illum - Lightfield Photography

About: I build stuff.

The illum is a lightfield camera that lets you change the focus of photos after they are taken. If you learn more about the camera, you can check it out here. This instructable is going to focus on how to unlock the potential of your lightfield camera.

You can find some of my lightfield photos here.

Step 1: Realize That the Illum Is Not a Point and Shoot

A big misconception with the illum is that you can just point it at something and click. While this is true to some extent, you wont get the nice,sharp image.

Always "fully" focus on one plane of your shot. If you are shooting with a foreground and a background make sure that you get a nice focus on the foreground, thats what people pay attention to.

Step 2: Plan Your Shot

Sure, you could use your illum for regular landscape photography but that would be a total waste. To really take advantage of the lytro illums living pictures you need an interesting foreground and a beautiful background.

When your out in the field, make sure to look for branches, fence posts, stones or other protruding objects that would make an interesting shot. Preferably the object should be centered and take up 1/3 of the image.

The picture above is a "still" from a living picture i took a couple of days ago you can find the "live" version here.
I would consider this one of my best lytro pictures: it has multiple planes, good focus on the foreground and a good foreground-background ratio.

Step 3: Use the Lytro Button

The lytro button lets just see what the camera detects as foreground and background. The blue represents foreground and the orange background. You adjust this by changing the focus. Slowly turn the focus "wheel" until your happy. You want alot of both orange and blue for a sharp looking image.

If you see a blue and orange dots jumping around in the image you need more light, adjust the iso or turn on a lamp.

Step 4: Use the Lanyard As a Hand Strap

So this might just be me, but i dont like to have my camera swinging from my neck and scratching up the screen when i walk. My big dslr has a nice hand strap, but because of the illums anchor point standard hand straps cant be used. What you can do is to mount both sides of the lanyard to the top anchor point.

Now you can easily wrap it around your hand and have a secure grip of your camera.

Step 5: Adjust the Depth Map

Along with all the info a normal camera gives you, the illum has a depth map. The depth map shows how close things where to the camera when the picture was taken. In good lighting conditions the depth map looks fine but if you shoot in low light conditions you might have to adjust the depth map.

The depth map can be adjusted by going to the "adjust" tab in the lytro desktop app.

Thats it! Now go out and take some awesome living pictures!

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    5 years ago

    Great, finally someone using a Lythro,

    can i ask your opinion about Image quality?

    I really like bokeh so want to buy something in the range of the Illum, but it could as well be a Nikon 1, but sensor is small for good bokeh, an Olympus or Fujifilm, but very expensive and my beloved Ricoh GR has a fixed 28 but flabergassing IQ.


    Reply 5 years ago

    This instructable was kind of like a response to videos and reviews saying that this camera has "fussy" focus. I fell like thats totally wrong, if you actually spend a couple of second on getting the focus right you will have great looking pictures.

    I would definitely recommend the illum, its a fun camera that feels really high quality and has a "smartphone" standard touch screen.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Well, you probbaly also are a member of other photo forums and you know a lot of posts are based on no experience with a set at all.

    For the Lythro's, the first types had low resolution and where considered more as a gadget. The Illum i followed from day 1, when the introductionprice was like 1200 usd, now its down to very reasanoble price, such as the basic M4/3 and 1 sensors.

    An average cell phone, an average point and shoot (as my Ricoh CX6) have what i call a too low resolution , postprocessing requires sharpening with mixed results. I hope the IIllum performs better, it doesn't have to be as good as an APSC for me, as i'm interested in the scene/feeling of a pic, and not in perfect IQ and checking the last pixel.