LIDAR PHOTOGRAPHY (a naturalistic observation)

(I didn’t realize until it was too late that I forgot to deinterlace the video before exporting.  A better quality version will be up soon.)

I’ve always loved people watching in public transportation. I find people’s physical behavior incredibly revealing. This was my main source of inspiration for this project: Trying to capture the topographical organization of public transportation and people’s seating and positioning preferences.

To capture my space, I decided to use a lidar scanner, which provides some sense of anonymity and the physical ability to move through space and the people inhabiting it. It felt surprisingly intimate in more ways than one:

  1. People were curious and unintimidated, unlike what I had originally feared.
  2. The shots provide a glimpse into a commonly mundane activity. You wan notice phones, people looking away from the crowd, agglomerations and separation of groups etc.
  3. This capture walks the line between distance and proximity with strangers.

I was hoping to capture my place in a completely naturalistic way, without any interference from the observer. In order to do so, I needed to find a way to exclude myself from the 360° (in reality 270°) scan. I therefore tapped the lidar rig, which was created by the amazing Ben Snell (who also wrote the OpenFrameworks program I used), to a Carnegie Mellon Civil Engineering hard hat. I then proceeded to walk around with a 10 pound Uninterruptible Power Supply in my backpack connected by multiple wires to my laptop, arduino and additional usb port. Golan was nice enough to help me destroy the battery beeping (that occurred every 10 seconds) by opening the battery and hot gluing the mike. Beeps and wires sticking out of backpacks usually aren’t very appreciated on public transports.



One thought on “cdslls-place”

  1. Comments from the Group Review

    General feedback: amazing! good site. Still moment in a moving place — great. Potential stop motion ← or not actually. Consider instead the history of photography around public transportation. Is there a way to use the handrail ( leverage your location) for stabilization? Thomas Struth- photos of everyday life

    I wish we could view it from your point of the view as you recorded it on the bus (& it would be sick if you recorded the shaking etc with a little accelerometer so that even the shaking would be mapped)

    Self driving humans+1
    Pics of costume!! And wearables plzz — amazing . potential instructable?? +1

    It turns a vehicle into a still-life room, a space.

    Wish there was more reason it was a bus. I.e. included location relative to bus path or audio from bus. Bus is just such an interesting place to set it i wish there was more ‘reason’ for it in the documentation

    Used body mounted LIDAR to study people in buses.
    Audio could come from bus? To situate it more ++++
    ^^ you could go back to a bus and just record audio and go back and add it to your video

    I am interested in seeing how this disrupts the environment.
    Are we seeing some of the things outside the bus also? It looks like there is something outside of what the actual bus is
    I want to also see different shots of the people sitting there, not just the full bus. LIDAR voyeurism
    What did people say?
    The output reminds me of Ilya Kabakov’s The Man Who Flew to Space, or the Tycho crater on the moon.
    Really interesting how with all of the negative space, you can still make up the people and the space
    I think the concept of a bus is also a really good space. So public and compact

    Make a 360 render so I can sit on a bus seat inside the bus and look around

    The parts that are most interesting and cool to me are the parts that ben did his best to avoid (no moving subject, tripod, etc). Since we know what this looks like “perfect” the “imperfections” are what gives this character and how you show these individuals being affected over time or static.

    Nice video/documentation

    It looks like a train

    Reminds me of people from Pompeii

    Could more have been done with the visual representation of the point-cloud data? I love the idea of observing the natural.

    Terrific experimentation and investigation. I love the capture rig you built, the whole look of the head-mounted recording. Use to optimize your animated GIF.

    Reminds me of spirited away. beautiful

    That close up shot of a man you showed? I want the same close up shot but with lidar

    How long does each scan take?

    I feel like you could have used the motion & the fact that you can move & look around to modify the output somehow. The skewed bus is my favourite!!!

    I love how the bus movement affects the scan in a “negative” way, and i’m curious how that can be either removed or amplified.