In a report from Scott Budman of NBC affiliate KNTV, entrepreneur Ren Ng recognized that “humans have…a fundamental need to capture our memories and share them visually.” In recognizing the need to tell our stories visually Ng created a startup called Lytro that aims at changing the way we look at and interact with photographs even after the image has been recorded. Ng developed a camera that captures “the light field” from the scene so that anyone can ‘re-focus’ the picture and “get all the stories from a single snap.” By allowing the viewer to focus on different aspects of the story that is being told by the photograph, I believe that they not only succeed in capturing “life in living pictures” but in recognizing that the story itself is a living, evolving entity.
Through the “shoot now, focus later” idea brought up by Lytro I am reminded that stories are also seeds that can be planted now and change as the environment and the context changes. What is also not lost on me is the fact that Ng told the story of his invention in order to give context to the whole project. While his journey of exploration at Stanford University lead to an understanding today that we need to share our stories as humans, the future is likely to lead to a new journey as we “see where these new living pictures travel.” I cannot help but consider that the ability to re-focus the stories we hear and tell on different aspects of nature and our relationship with the rest of the living system can lead to the new planetary myth that Joesph Campbell (1988) calls for in The Power of Myth (pp. 102-103).
Budman, S. (2011). New camera could shift industry focus. San Jose, CA: MSNBC. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from MSNBC.com: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/43544733#43544733
Campbell, J., & Moyers, B. D. (1988). The power of myth. (B. S. Flowers, Ed.) Anchor Books.
Ng, R. (2011). Starting the Light Field Revolution. Mountain View, CA: Lytro. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from Lytro.com: http://blog.lytro.com/news/the-light-field-revolution-by-ren-ng/
Brody, H. (2000). The other side of eden: Hunters, farmers, and the shaping of the world. New York City, NY: North
Roszak, T. (1998). Ecopsychology: Eight principles. Retrieved January 11, 2010, from Ecopsychology on-line: Introducing ecopsychology: http://ecopsychology.athabascau.ca/Final/intro.htm