Skip navigation

Ren Ng

In the seconds after Ren Ng took this photo of a friend's daughter, he wondered, Do pictures have to be focused before you take the shot? Pursuing that question reframed his life.

Back in July 2006, Ng wrote a groundbreaking, 187-page dissertation that explored a then-theoretical notion that a camera sensor could capture all light traveling in every direction, allowing a photograph to be refocused after the snap. This February, he transformed theory into a shutterbug sensation: Lytro, his rectangular spyglasslike camera, enables users to capture a picture from virtually all depths and lenses with just one click.