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Motivation and inspiration for creating Scenic Framer

author: Shoshana Biro

You may be wondering why I created Scenic Framer. Being near trees is healing for me. I like to lie down underneath a tree and look up at all the branches with leaves. I like to touch it and leave my hand on the bark. I like walking slowly in the forest. I love the fall colors. I imagine I’m inside the crown of the tree. Its foliage surrounds me. I feel calmer and in touch with a sense of beauty and awe. In winter seeing all the small branches reminds me of the brain neural pathways. I just want to be near it and spend time either walking in the woods or sitting under a tree in the park. Often, I naturally take out my Lumia 920 phone and take multiple photos. After hiking a few hours amidst trees I feel uplifted and all my previous stresses and anxieties are gone and I feel uplifted and energetic. However, it was not always like this, so I would like to tell you my history with the outdoors.

My personal history through a lens made of trees and flowers.

I was born in April during surrounded by cherry blossoms in Shukugawa near Kobe Japan. Shukugawa is one of the most beautiful parks in Japan for viewing cherry blossoms. My late Hungarian born father Paul Biro wanted to call me Sakura which is Japanese for cherry blossom but my late Hungarian born mother Dr Edith Varga Biro said it would not be so popular in Israel so they named me Shoshana which means rose in Hebrew. I am so grateful to my parents who raised me in this beautiful place until I was 3 and they continued to choose houses with a lot of trees and beautiful outdoor nature spaces such as Karuizawa in Japan until age 5.
From age 5 to 16 we lived up on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, surrounded by pine trees. Haifa is famous for Bahai Gardens I loved climbing on the pine trees take off pine cones and spend happy hours with my neighbors removing shells and eating the pines inside. My best memories until age 13 were of being active outdoors climbing trees, hopping between rocks, sports, swimming in the Mediterranean, hiking on the Carmel and learning about names of flowers and trees.

However, I was never aware that being outdoors was important for me. While I was growing up to an adult and until 12 years ago I was thoroughly a city person. In addition, I always felt stressed in team discussions as a software scientist at work. I never heard about personality types so I was not aware that it was normal for introverts to feel this way. I just felt anxious and was not sure how to handle it. About 12 years ago I met my late uncle Andrew and his wife Emoke in their home in the midst of woods outside Chicago. Emoke was really friendly and took me to the woods where she explained about the benefits of being outside the city and proceeded to hug a tree to my amazement. I had an epiphany that day and that was the beginning for my journey of self-discovery as an introvert and tree and flower lover.

Now, looking back I realize that from birth I was destined to become an engineer who connects people to the outdoors. I hope you now understand my motivation for creating Scenic and why I feel so strongly about sharing it. There are many other introverted people working with computers that would benefit from continuous exposure to outdoors, even if only by digital photos visualization. I am posting several excerpts of articles and blogs I found that confirm this concept. I have many more ideas about how to enhance the user’s immersive experience of nature when you are indoors by digital means. I’m inviting you to join me in this journey to help me to continue to build new features and new products. All is well!

Shoshana Biro Age 2 with Mom in Shukugawa Japan

Shoshana Biro Age 2 with Mom in Shukugawa Japan


Shoshana Biro age 12 Japanese Costume

Shoshana Biro age 12 Japanese costume outside home on Mount Carmel Haifa Israel


Shoshana Biro Age 9 outside home Mount Carmel Haifa Israel

Shoshana Biro Age 9 outside home Mount Carmel Haifa Israel


Shoshana Biro Age 20 outside home Mount Carmel Haifa Israel

Shoshana Biro Age 20 outside home Mount Carmel Haifa Israel

Hiking benefits: personal experience and research article.

Author: Shoshana Biro

Hiking has many benefits for me. I really enjoy hiking in the woods especially when the leaves are still on the trees. I prefer to have a knowledgeable leader of the hike to make sure we don’t get lost. However, I prefer not to converse too much and not to hurry too much. I feel either talking constantly or speeding takes away from my experience of being among trees. Although when I mountain biked with my amazing sister in law Esti in Israel I loved that too because we stopped often to enjoy a particular spot or to take a dip.

I live in New York City and every weekend there are many hiking opportunities within 1-2 hours reachable by public transportation. I belong to several groups through meetup.com and have had only wonderful hiking trips and met fun people: NYC walks Nature beauty peace, Appalachian Mountain Club New-York North-Jersey/, Kew-Gardens Hiking, The Jewish Mosaic Outdoor Mountain Club of Greater New York. To my surprise as an introvert I find myself enjoying chatting on any subject with the other members during the hike itself. However, as soon as we go indoors I don’t feel the conversation flows as well.

Ron leader of meetup NYC walks Nature Beauty & Peace Photographer Luisa

Ron leader of meetup.com NYC walks Nature Beauty & Peace helping out during hike to Staten Island on November 2015. Photographer: Luisa


I take many photos during my hikes on my Lumia 920 and put them in my favorites list. Later I copy them to my laptop and import them into Scenic Framer. When I’m on the bus or subway I watch the photos and can shift my mood to the way I felt in the woods.

Article of a study proving the benefits of hiking

“Getting away from it all — and by all, we mean all electronics — and heading off into the backcountry really can help your creativity.

Psychologists at the University of Utah and the University of Kansas collaborated on a study that found that backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after spending four days in nature without their iPhones, ‘Droids, and MP3 players.

“This is a way of showing that interacting with nature has real, measurable benefits to creative problem-solving that really hadn’t been formally demonstrated before,” says David Strayer, a co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Utah.”

To read the rest of the article:

Go Take A Long Hike, It Really Will Help Your Mental Performance

Tree advocates and photographers

Author: Shoshana Biro

Trees advocates and photographers list that I am either involved with, donating to or learning from. I love to meet other people who care about trees and flowers. The energy of people planting and taking care of community gardens together was infectious.

NYRP – New York Restoration project headed by Bette Midler is a great organization. It collaborates with NYC Parks to plant million trees in NYC. I’ve been donating and volunteering for them to plant and care for trees for at least 5 years:

Million Trees NYC


NYRP – New York Restoration Project

Another organization that protects and plants trees I’ve been involved with: Arbor Day Foundation They have additional program

The Promise of Sustainable Agriculture: Environmental & Agricultural Benefits

Photography of Trees

So far I only took photographs through the excellent camera of my Lumia 920 but I definitely want to start using DSLR or SLR cameras. Taking photo albums of one tree means that all photos need to be with the same exposure, focus, ISO. See Photography tips for more information. I have SLR and analog lenses I inherited from my mother, I am going to start using them soon.

Flickr through Yahoo has multiple groups dedicated to taking photos of forests. Besides enjoying the gorgeous photos Flickr displays the Exif meta data on each photo and with which camera the photo was taken. This is most helpful information if you want to emulate the same focus depth, exposure time etc. for your own photographs.

Here is an example:

Photographer: Martyn Smith. Automn Colours in Clydach Gorge South Wales Flickr. Found in Woods and Forests group of Flickr.

Photographer: Martyn Smith. Automn Colours in Clydach Gorge South Wales Flickr. Photograph found in Woods and Forests group of Flickr.


Woods and Forests

Another Flickr group:

Enchanted Forests of the World









Flowers and Plants Benefits

Flowers and plants benefits for me are wonderful, I get in touch with sense of beauty and wonder at their colors.  My phone is full of hundreds of pictures I took of flowers in Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, in Bronx Botanical Gardens, orchid shows, Macy’s flower show, tulips and other flowers all around New York City. I have been planting bulbs for several years in my neighborhood Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA). I would like to add a portfolio blog for me and everyone to showcase their photo albums of trees or flowers. My heart opens up and my morning blues lift if I bike to a park in the morning to exercise. I take my lunch breaks always at the park too. In between I go to the park to meditate. On the subway or bus I browse my favorite photos which are 90% photos of flowers and trees I took. I also enjoy boating and enjoy sunset photos I took while boating. I don’t think I would have been able to come out healthy after the last 12 years of being forced to work in team environment if it was not for flowers and trees in my life! I’ve found these articles that prove that this is true for other people too but I don’t think most people are aware of it.

Serious research into the benefits to people and workplaces.

Flowers Generate Happiness. Having flowers around the home and office greatly improves people’s moods and reduces the likelihood of stress-related depression. Flowers and ornamental plants increase levels of positive energy and help people feel secure and relaxed. Concentration and Memory. Being around plants helps people concentrate better in the home and workplace. Studies show that tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding a higher quality result. Moreover, being outside in a natural environment can improve memory performance and attention span by twenty percent.”

For the rest of the article go to Emotional Impact of Flowers Study

“The research provides scientific proof that flowers increase happiness and life satisfaction, and lead to increased contact with family and friends.”

True Power of Flowers diagram. Source Emotional Impact of Flowers Study of Rutgers University

True Power of Flowers diagram. Source: Emotional Impact of Flowers Study of Rutgers University

To read more go to: Rutgers: Flowers Improve Emotional Health

“Recent research confirms that flowers might be the perfect pick-me-up for millions of
Americans who do not consider themselves “morning people.” Participants of  a behavioral study conducted by researchers at Harvard University and
Massachusetts General Hospital confirmed that they feel least positive in the early hours but reported being happier and more energetic after looking
at flowers first thing in the morning.” to read more go to: Harvard Research Shows Flowers Are the Perfect Pick-Me-Up to Boost Morning Moods


Introverts in work and outdoors

Author: Shoshana Biro

Introverts in work and outdoors – that’s me. I live in the city for now but wish I could move to the country. I did the Myers-Briggs personality test several years ago and discovered that my personality type is INFJ tending towards INFP, I wish I did this test as a teenager.  I wanted to know much more about introversion so I proceeded to look for books on introversion. I’ve read “Introvert Power” by Laurie Helgoe, “Introvert Advantage How to Thrive in an Extrovert World” by Marti Olsen Laney, “Quiet The power of introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain have been eye openers for me. My favorite place to work is the NYU Bobst Library on the 8th floor overlooking Washington Square Park. Most extroverts assume that introverts are shy but I am not shy and was happy in class asking or answering questions. During the 26 years I worked as an programmer/scientist/engineer/support/analyst employee I never was shy about expressing my engineering opinions in writing or in 1-1 conversations or in teaching and helping customers. However, as soon as and I was forced to a hierarchical team work all I could think off was how to get out of there but did not understand exactly why it was so unbearable when all I heard that team work was “the way to grow”.  I believe that Scenic Framer is particularly suitable for introverts.

Scenic Framer in action


External sources about introverts in work and outdoors

Introversion is often confused with shyness so it is important to take a personality test.

Here is an excerpt:

  • “Are you seeking a clearer understanding of yourself and your identity?
  • Do you want guidance and insight into your life’s purpose, relationships, or best career options?
  • Would you like to deepen or clarify your understanding of your personality type (e.g., INFJINTJINFPINTP)?
  • Do you ever feel misunderstood or different, like a misfit or an outsider, and want to understand why?”

To take the tests and learn more: Personality Junkie

Here is an article from an introvert that

Susan Cain has become world famous and fighter for introverts rights. See Chief Revolutionary and Co-Founder of Quiet Revolution and her famous TED talk that has 4.5 million views. Susan Cain: The power of introverts. She started a wonderful blog called “Quiet Revolution” for introverts.

Here is one post that is directly related to outdoors:

“When most think of Los Angeles, the words “quiet” and “serenity” don’t typically come to mind.”

To read more go to: How to Find Quiet in the Bustle of Los Angeles

I belong to a NYC INFJ Meetup 4 days ago I met them for the first time. I loved every minute, it felt so easy to talk to other INFJs.