Although this won “The 50 Best Inventions of 2011” and their website is great as it provides real time demos I still had my doubts. Lytro is the name of the camera where you “shoot and ask where you want to focus..later”. Just compose the shot and click. Now what will be in focus, background, foreground – somewhere in the middle – that’s a decision you can make at a later date. Cutting edge software technology, both in the production and post production ends of this device allow all this to happen.
For many photographers, not just the purists, this may seem like blasphemy. Where is my creative control? Well its there, like any other “point and shoot camera”, but your choices for focus must come later. So in essence you can produce the same photo twice, with 2 different focal points. The choices are limited, see the website and the demo. I am just not sure how much time someone would dedicate after the fact. The point of taking a photograph is what you decide in that fleeting moment before you snap the picture. That timeless few seconds between decision and indecision. Afterwards upon review of the photo you may not be living in that moment any more. You could be far from it – totally removed – it becomes something else. To some that may not be all that bad.
The bottom line that the progress of technology in this case seems to constantly sum up the art form. Create a couple of less steps than a decade ago, to get to the same or similar results. This could be a time saver or a time killer. This could be the answer to all those who love taking pictures but may never get that focusing quite right.
Or it could be something in between.
J.I – Senior Mediazone Officer