Is a Lytro image like a hologram?

When I learned about the Lytro camera (see previous blog post), I thought of National Geographic magazine, which was the first major publication to put a hologram on its cover. Its March 1984 issue included a story, “The Wonder of Holography” and nearly 11 million copies of the magazine were distributed throughout the world.

Then 20 months later, in November 1985, National Geographic did it again—it published a hologram on its cover for the article, “The Search for Early Man.”

According to a history of holography, the most ambitious hologram appeared in the magazine’s December 1988 issue. “The entire cover was holographic: a globe on the front cover, 3-D type on the spine, and an advertisement on the back. The front-cover hologram was made using a pulsed laser with an exposure of about seven-billionths of a second.”

This unusual cover cost 28 cents a copy to produce, while a regular four-page cover only cost 2.5 cents. The same history of holography states: “As the design evolved, it became a double laser image of the earth — one whole and one exploding — to represent the fragile nature of our planet. Photographer Bruce Dale spent three months holographing more than 200 glass and three lead crystal globes shattered by bullets fired with an electronic trigger as the globe automatically dropped. A computer program calculated the speeds of the drop, the bullet and the impact. A green pulsed laser, at Quantel Lab in Santa Clara, CA, captured the shattering globe with exposures of billionths of a second.

Maybe the Lytro could develop into a poor-man’s tool for holography.


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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