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Posts from the ‘Essay’ Category

1
Feb

VR Photography and Seeing More of the World Around Us

For the most part, this blog is mainly focused on my Virtual Reality (VR) photography. When I started it, VR photography was still fairly uncommon. That’s no longer the case as VRs are commonly used in advertising and gaming, Google uses them in Street View, smartphone apps make it easy to take and view them, and experiences are becoming richer with fully-immersive headsets. Even so, there still seems to be a place for them in the art of photography, and I still enjoy the process of making them.

I like to apply this to waterfalls in particular, because doing so reveals other scenic things. As beautiful as most waterfalls are, they’re often located in surroundings that are also striking. Lush canyons, austere cliff faces, bubbling brooks, and so on. When we take a single still picture, the surroundings are rarely included. By taking a VR, other elements become visible. It’s as if you are there, and can look around and appreciate the whole environment.

VRs capture a more complete, and in some ways more honest representation of a scene. This has been pointed out in journalism, for example. When taking a standard picture, simply framing the shot is an editorial decision. What to include versus what to leave out influences how the viewer responds, what they learn or perceive, etc. This sort of thing can have profound influence on how one interprets a scene.

In addition to the photographic aspect, continuing to work with them has developed my understanding of VR photography as a metaphor, revealing new ways they show how we think about the world around us. Read more »