Amazon is patenting a studio lighting setup!
Anyone seen this? Amazon is apparently trying to patent studio lighting setups! Here's a little part of the claims its filed :
"...the longtitudinal axis further being substantially perpendicular to a surface..."
I've read a lot of patents that made no sense (and not many that do), and always presumed that the reason they made nonsense was because they were online-translated from Japanese.
But when I did my Engineering degree (or even back at highschool), we learnt what Perpendicular meant. As far as I recall, perpendicularity is absolute, either it is or it isn't. I've never heard of something being "substantially" perpendicular, more perpendicular than the other perpendicular things...
An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
Hahaha, hadnt noticed that.
Still, the audacity of filing a patent for lighting set-up!
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This is a purely defensive patent which will probably never interfere with anything we do in a studio. Nothing to see here, please move on ...
Some background here:
If you don't do exactly what is claimed, you don't violate the patent. Now let's take a brief look at the first claim: unless you use an 85mm lens, shot with an ISO setting of 320 and with an aperture setting of F/5.6, that's patent won't touch your work. And you need to shoot with a very specific light setup and with a very specific background, and yes, that background is not planar or arbitrarily shaped, but a cyclorama. Anyone here does exactly this? Crickets .... thought so.
The second claim is less specific about camera settings, but very, very specific about the lighting setup. And it, again, requires that you use a cyclorama as background. Anyone here does this exactly like described? Didn't think so. Claims 3-24 are tighter specifications of claim 2, in case someone can get a patent court to throw out claim 2 due to prior art or whatever.
Claim 25 is extremely generic and non-novel, there must be tons of prior art after over hundred years of studio photography that the examiner should have been aware of. No idea how that claim 25 went past the examiner(s), but IIRC, I am not the first one to scratch my head about the patents being accepted by the USPTO.
Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.
And what is the novelty or technical depth of the other claims?
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Ugh its ridiculous, can you even imagine what other patents may be submitted if this goes through?
I've shot in the Amazon studio, it's a lot like many other large volume set ups, shooting with an even light as consistently as possible.
I bucked the rules, went out on a limb at used f8.
After googling for more info I found this article:
I love the author's comment: "[sarcasm] Because no photographer prior to Amazon’s filing on November 9, 2011 ever achieved a seamless white background without post processing or “green screen” techniques… [/sarcasm]"
As a conclusion, here's a still from THX1138 (1971)
"The real work was thinking, just thinking." - Charles Chaplin
I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here
) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here
) when I want to.
No patent attorney would ever claim "precisely perpendicular" or "perpendicular", since another could avoid the patent by setting the angle to 89.9 degrees.
Originally Posted by Dr Croubie
Similarly, patents usually use "substantially equal" or other wordings to avoid claims that are mathematically proper but impracticable.