One of the reasons I’ve never been interested in digital photography for serious work is that, aside from convenience, I couldn’t see the point. It was basically just a different way to do the same thing. That is about to change.
As from next year digital photography will finally break free from simply mimicking film and capturing light as it falls on a single plane, and as it does so it will create a totally new art form. It took seventy years for photographers to stop imitating painting and recognise that the camera’s unique strength was it’s ability to capture a moment in time in two dimensions: next spring digital photography will make a similar leap away from photography as we know it, for as from “early 2012″ you’ll be able to buy a Lytro.
I urge you to follow the link and check out this thing for yourself, since I can’t explain what happens inside the box, but simply put – the Lytro doesn’t capture an image on just one plane, but all the light that enters the camera. This means that, for instance, you can change the focus after you have taken the picture. Take a second to think about that.
There’s a sample picture on the website and there have been some opportunities for members of the public to play with these things, so it seems this isn’t an early April fool. It’ll take a while for me to even begin to figure the possibilities of this device, but I have a feeling photography is just about to change irrevocably.