Lumu Blog

Featured Photographer #54: Eli Just

My name is Eli Just. I’m 24 and work as a gaffer for film and TV in Los Angeles. Photography as a hobby grew for me out of a desire to become a better filmmaker, but quickly took on its own role. While my job as a gaffer mostly consists of setting lights in the right place to make the image look good, photography has me searching for the light that is already there.

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I enjoy the challenge of shooting on the street and the variety of reactions I encounter, along with the patience required to capture a singular perfect moment.  

Your personal story with photography in 12 words. 
I can do it in 2. Keep shooting. 

Featured Photographer #54: Eli Just

What do you want to achieve? 
I shoot as a way of relaxing, so I tend to pick up my camera and then look for a subject, rather than the other way around. A lot of my photographs come from when I am travelling, as most of the photos I take in LA are on set and are covered by some sort of NDA. The black and white series was done while I was living and studying in Prague in 2014. Since then I have mostly been focusing on shooting portraits. 

Featured Photographer #54: Eli Just


Where do you think the wisdom and instinct for a good photograph comes from?
 
A good photo comes from being in the right place, and having the foresight to see what is about to happen right before it does. If you’re lifting your camera to your eye right when you see it, you already missed it.

Featured Photographer #54: Eli Just


In your opinion, where is the social barrier between the photographer and the subject?
 
I think that as a photographer you have a lot of power, so you have to be careful with it. At the same time, if you want to take a photograph that has any meaning you need to push through that barrier. Whether you work with your subject or not is up to the individual photographer and the desired image but I think the most interesting photos break that barrier whether it be gently or with force. I have certainly gotten myself into trouble shooting on the street, but it is a freeing experience to see how much power your camera can have.

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What’s in your camera bag?
 
I started off shooting Minolta manual systems, of which I still have a half dozen. However when travelling, developing film became difficult and scanning and editing even harder, so I switched bodies to a Sony A7, while keeping the manual Minolta glass. I instantly fell in love with the camera and it has almost entirely replaced my film bodies. For the most part I only ever shoot with a Minolta MC 58mm f/1.4 via an ND throttle adapter, alongside a Minolta MD 24mm f/2.8 which has it’s own adapter due to the stop. While I have a Sekonic 758 that I use on set, I don’t tend use it when shooting stills as it’s yet another expensive item to bring and I tend to want to be very lightweight when I shoot. I’m looking forward to the Lumu Power for a small meter that I can use both on the street and on set.

Featured Photographer #54: Eli Just


Favorite photographers?
 
My biggest inspirations are Henri Cartier-Bresson and Marc Riboud.

From Photokina with Lumulove

If you are planning your late summer holidays somewhere around Cologne, Germany, make sure you stop by to the Koelnmesse trade fair from the 20th - 25th of September.

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We are presenting our most anticipated Lumu Power prototype to the public for the very first time ever on Photokina trade fair. If you are planning to be around don’t hesitate to stop by and check it out in person. We’re situated in hall 4.1, stand C-015 and will for this affair only move our whole office & operations there for the time being, so no time goes to waste.


Lumulabs (Hall 4.1, C-015) Photokina 2016 location

This way we’ll demonstrate our most powerful light meter in action at the biggest trade fair in the world while at the same time working our asses off to keep our development processes intact.

Let me know if you have any more questions or if you wish to schedule a meeting — we’re looking forward to it!

Email us at pr@lu.mu

Power on Lumunauts!

Great results can thus be achieved with small forces.

These Kickstarter updates are getting ever so easier to write down the more our whole Lumu Power development processes move forward. It’s only logical, the more it gets done the more we have to show you.

We talked about installing that 24/7 camera in our previous update but instead I would like to kindly invite you to follow our Instagram account (LINK) for more frequent, short & sweet updates. Since they implemented their own version of snaps in it, why not use it for our benefit?

OK, onto the details!

Electronics & Hardware assembly

The electronics circuit board design is now done. They are now being printed and we expect them in our offices next week, together with other hardware pieces which will be assembled into our first pilot prototype series. The final design of this series won’t be the one that’s going to be used for final production but it will be very close to that. The basic premise of this series is to test it extensively, to see how all parts fit together and to see if there are any errors either in our design or in the production line. Elemental production hygiene, so to speak.

What parts are to be assembled, you ask? Let’s take a look!



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Electronic circuit board — the flat diffuser side with the collimator on top of the True Color sensor.

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Electronic circuit board — the dome diffuser side with Hamamatsu photodiode in the center.

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20x20 cm plate of 100 collimators. Only one is used per unit, on top of the True Color sensor.

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The final version of collimators are expected next week, they will be slightly thinner and laser drilled.



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The Lightning connectors will be ordered in bulk once we have the final version of our product plan ready. That is expected to be done once we finish with the prototype testing.



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The cable which will connect the Lightning connector with the circuit board is basically done but we will make some slight adjustments so it can be easier soldered together.



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The shield (of the Lightning connector) is done. If you look carefully you’ll notice it’s going to be laser welded on one side only (thug life certified).



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The sleeve is done, the prototypes are expected to be SLA (Stereolithography) printed and delivered next week.



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All three pieces assembled together, without the sleeve.



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The metal ring case is done. Displayed here without the engraving.



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The flat diffuser and the dome are done. Also awaiting the SLA prints next week.



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Exploded view of all parts mentioned. The assembly should be easy but the end product as solid as possible.



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So the sleeve covers the shield once everything is put together. Then it will undergo the “BREAK OR BEND” test. FYI: it needs to snap off when certain pressure is applied.



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Another angle.



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And another one.



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The same goes for the packaging — SLA prints come next week.



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Looks pretty cool, isn’t it? :)

iOS app

The beta app is out and your first impressions are duly noted. We will take a thoughtful look at your feedback once the pilot series is done with testing.

Remember — there is no bad feedback so please “bombard” us with your thoughts, compliments, critique, suggestions, pizza … we’ll take whatever you throw at us! :)

If there’s anybody else with a Lumu light meter out there that still hasn’t tried our brand new app I sincerely hope this comment below will steer you to change your mind.

“I downloaded the new version and after the first look & fast test the design in switching between single measure and multimeasure in one feature of the app is really good!”

(Claus Watzdorf)

Conclusion

Today is World Photo Day, marking the invention of photography. Here’s to the images that give us new perspective on the world, bringing us closer together.



Lumu with the Olympic rings in Rio de Janeiro

A postcard from Rio from Nicholas Dale, NBC’s professional gaffer. A reminder from us, the Lumu community, to celebrate the 177 years of Photography.


As always, let us know below in the comments what are your thoughts about whatever … we’ll gladly answer to all of your questions.

Power on Lumunauts!

Anchor yourself to something special

With each new Kickstarter update we are confronted with the idea to just mount a camera in our offices through which you could monitor our work 24/7, so you could constantly see what we’re up to. Maybe this way we could avoid writing these updates altogether?

Nah, let’s just show you everything we’ve got so far, nobody wants to lose extra time setting up that camera anyways.

So, without further ado, here’s everything new from last month.

Electronics

The development processes in the electronics department have now closed and we are happy to say that the results are more than satisfying. We have already made the first batch of prototypes, which have been tested, marked as successful and now we can move onto the second series. Those are going into assembly with other hardware components so we can conduct other “real-life” tests, how the Lightning connector is behaving under pressure and if each electronic part is properly designed. In other words: to get a feel for it once it is all put together.

The firmware work is in its final stages, constantly tested throughout, mainly to cover and check all the edge cases it will inevitably be confronted with.

The final stage is sensor calibration. We have travelled to Jena, Germany to meet the MAZeT engineering team, to revision our calibration procedure and we can happily announce that our innovative approach has been confirmed as correct. Not only that but we have made set arrangements on how & when to stay in touch throughout our whole calibration procedure so there won’t be any room for error. Needless to say we have used this trip to place our order for all the main electronic components & sensors that usually take most of the time to be delivered.


Lumulabs engineering team visits MAZeT in Jena, Germany

They showed us a bit of behind the scenes of what their production line is capable of

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MAZeT electronic components on display

 

Hardware Assembly

So this is an area where we have moved forward *a lot* but with still a lot of things to be done, checked, tested and re-done once more.

We are now ordering a large quantity of a cable that will connect the electric board to the lightning connector, which we designed ourselves and which will in the end be soldered by hand, by our manufacturing partners, in their laboratory.

The housing, which will be made out of stainless steel, will have the shield (that little bulge through which the Lightning connector will look through) incorporated which means it will be laser welded out of one piece. This welding needs to be tested out and the shield itself too, since it has to apply to Apple’s production standards. And that is the main reason why we are moving to the second batch of our prototypes.

The collimator design has also changed — it’ll be round, since we are going to use CNC milling instead of injection molding. Why? Because this — together with the change of its design — will provide even greater accuracy in final metering. Why is this necessary? Because we are flirting with the idea to apply for the NIST Certificate of Calibration, so everything needs to be pitch perfect.

But all this will follow after the product is shipped, first we have to take care about the stuff that cannot be postponed.

Lastly — we have ordered 5000 Lightning connector units which we expect to arrive slightly before the start of production.

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Testing different collimator hole layouts for optimal laser drilling

iOS App

So we have asked you to join our beta test group a while ago and we still haven’t had the chance to send you an invitation to test the first iteration of our brand new Lumu app. Not very nice of us but had to tweak some minor things in the settings area with our electricians, since new features require new values.

Not a very illustrative explanation — we know — but what you should know is that the app will be pushed to AppStore for review by the end of this week and hopefully they will push it out to you for download within the next 24-48h. :)

Furthermore, Lumu Power firmware implementation is coming up next and thus preparing groundwork for other features that we plan to upgrade in the months following the launch.

Packaging & other paraphernalia

Ideas are shaped & produced into prototypes, packaging solutions are sought from all different industries, so we can play with different ideas on what the end packaging will look like. A trip to a nearby packaging factory is scheduled next week in order to get a feeling of what they are capable of and so that we can then think of new approaches of what is possible. This is still the most creative part of our campaign and one that takes the least amount of our time.


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Conclusion

The fact of the matter is, it’s summertime and most of the folks are taking their prolonged vacations in these months. Not us though — if when, we are taking our days off much, much later (if ever by the looks of it).

And even though work gets done, it inevitably gets done just that tiny bit later than usual.


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In December we promised you your Lumu Power in the beginning of summer (June). Then we were faced with some unforeseeable issues with our main electrician, which we covered pretty fast (and pretty successfully too) so we moved our deadline to August, with the minimum possible delay in our minds. But what we are facing right now is another minimum delay — to end of summer (September).

We are fully aware that we are not pushing the bar just ever so slightly ahead in the future so that we could do it again next month. It’s just that we are now much more acquainted with all the final steps (and its deadlines) that need to be done before the finish line. The closer we approach it, the clearer the picture we get.

Let us know what are your thoughts or if you have any kind of questions regarding what-so-ever. We are here to help you to get the same clear picture we have.

The new Lumu App

“I think the real value concerns the potential for technology to reveal something that was not visible before.”

— Design for Dasein, Thomas Wendt

The New Lumu app is made to be a tool that helps you do your best work. It does not want attention, it does not want to stand in the way. It is not an object of admiration. It doesn’t have a lot of features. It doesn’t need them.

It does, and it should help you do one thing really, really well.

Focus on what matters

When we set off to build a completely new Lumu, we wanted it to replace the chunky old way of doing things. By making the Lumu Power for the iPhone, we replaced a huge device with a tiny one.

But instead of adding a million features, we want you to do that one task you are supposed to do, without the unnecessary hassle.



Made to be used, and abused

The new Lumu app is made to work for all situations with both the Lumu Lite and Lumu Power device. It has different modes for different use cases and an almost limitless path for improving the user’s experience of using the device.

The app and it’s look reflect how we think about the world at large. It’s a robust look with a lot of constraints that enable us as designers to make the best use of the space we have on the screen.



New Lumu app

From left to right: our old Lumu Photo app, the dark iteration in the middle and the final, clean version on the right.



New Lumu app

It became clear that we wouldn’t want to clutter the screen too much with unnecessary baggage. We got rid of it, so you can focus on that one information you actually need, yet access everything else with minimum number of strokes.



New Lumu app

The Notes feature was the most complicated one to build but we had to do it from scratch. We listened a lot to your feedback and we believe we figured it out this time. Nonetheless, you shall be the final judge once we push it live.


The new app supports the Lumu Light Meter as well as Lumu Power with new features that we are expecting to ship every month.

If you’d like to try our beta app you are welcome to send us an email and apply to our early test group: pr@lu.mu