Shoot Now, Focus Later

Christina Bonnington

Ren Ng, the founder of Lytro, is passionate about light field photography and making the technology available to consumers. Photo: Christina Bonnington/Wired.com

After buying his first digital camera, Ren Ng tried to snap a shot of a family friend’s vivacious 5-year-old daughter. Like many young, active children, it was incredibly difficult to focus the image properly and capture her fleeting smile in just the right way.

And then it came to him — what if you could take a picture, and then adjust the focus later?

That’s the story behind Ng’s startup Lytro and its revolutionary plenoptic camera, which lets users adjust the focus of a photograph after the fact thanks to an array of micro-lenses over the camera’s sensor. The result is a remarkable “living picture” (an example of which is included below. You can click around to change the focus of the image).

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