Live Remote Photo Walks Bring The Outdoors to People With Limited Mobility

This just might be one of the the kindest, most inspiring uses of technology you'll see in a while. And, as with many great ideas, this one just sort of happened.

John Butterill, a photographer, decided it would be neat to broadcast a nature photo session as a Google Hangout and see if people participated. Sounds like a neat idea. (Yawn). But he was surprised to see that the people participating were folks with mobility issues, some located in hospitals, others in home care. Unable to access the outdoors themselves, and some with photography experience, they began asking him questions and asking him to turn this way and that. He was suddenly bringing the photo walk to them in real time, and soliciting their participation in setting up and taking shots.

Apparently the concept has taken off now, with phodos all over the world setting up photo walk hangouts in their neck of the woods. (There's a safari scene in the video below that is un-be-liev-able.) If you're interested in participating or keeping tabs on photo walk hangouts from around the globe, Butterill has set up a Google+ page called Virtual Photo Walks and Twitter account: @thePhotoWalks.

Damn, I love when tech is used for good. And this is really good.

You can see it in action in the video below. It's a bit slow moving and when hubby showed it to me, I was thinking: meh. And then you see the participants in their homes, chatting away with Mr. Butterill as he moves through the landscape, redirecting his shots. And it's really quite moving. (Ok, I cried a bit) Now just so you know, this is a commercial for Google Hangouts but don't let that deter you from watching it. It really is something to see.



(Source: hubby)