Screenshots (version 2.0)


The SynthCam app has only one screen, aside from the Preferences and Help pop-ups, and here it is. Does the background look blurrier than seems possible using the tiny camera on a cell phone? That's the whole idea of SynthCam.

To make this photograph using the app, I touched on a part of the colored puzzle to focus there, then pressed Record and moved the camera slowly left, right, up, and down by about an inch, while keeping it upright and pointed straight ahead.


After doing this for about 10 seconds I pressed Pause.  The resulting photograph looks like it was taken with a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera with a large aperture. The books are out of focus.  And yes, that's the real Stanford Bunny on the right side.

(Yes, this screenshot is actually from Version 1.0 of the app.  I've updated the toolbar in the screenshot file to look like Version 2.0.)
 



Here's what the app looks like during a recording session. Before pressing Record, you aim the white square at whatever object you'd like to appear sharp.  Alternatively, you can aim wherever you like, then touch somewhere on the screen to focus there, but we haven't done that here.

Once you press Record, your job is to move the phone slowly, without rotating or tilting it, and without moving forward or back.  If you're doing it right, the white square will move around on the screen as you move the phone, but it will stay attached to your chosen object, i.e. it will "track" the object. As the white square moves it will leave a trail of red dots behind, as shown in the screenshot.  This is your "bokeh".  What's a bokeh?  Click on the Examples link in the sidebar of this web page for an explanation, or look at Wikipedia's great web page about bokehs.

The orange circle is provided just as a guide, to give you some idea how far to move during the recording session.  You want to stay more or less inside the orange circle.

Click here for a text Tutorial on using SynthCam. 
For a more visual tutorial, check out these two Videos.
 



If you press on the Gear on the right side of the toolbar, you get this Preferences screen.  For an explanation of these options, press on the Help button (in the app).
 



If you press on the Help button, you are brought to this screen.  It's a tutorial on depth of field, an explanation of synthetic aperture photography, and an instruction manual for using the app.  If you're interested, you can read the current version of this screen by clicking on the Tutorial link in the sidebar of this web page.