Traditional photo journalism has always had a limited point of view. You could only see what was in front of the camera. Video photo journalism added a new dimension to reporting as the camera could pan around an area giving the user views from multiple vantage points. However, with both photo and video journalism, viewers have no control over what they see in the shot. War documentarian Danfung Dennis is on the brink of changing this thanks to a custom camera system and the iPad. The former is a new tool for the photo journalist to record events, and the latter is a tool for the viewer to immerse themselves in that event and control what they see.
Dennis created an app called Condition ONE, which allows viewers to use their iPads as fully interactive windows into photo journalist images. As you can see in the video below (warning, NSFW language), Condition ONE allows you to interact with a current scene in what is probably most easily comparable to a moving photograph from the world of Harry Potter. Users can pan up, down and rotate around to get a complete look at an event in a set moment in time as if they were actually there. Dennis told Time that the point of Condition ONE is to create a new form of storytelling that will “shake viewers out of their numbness to traditional media and provide them a powerful emotional experience.”
While there is no hard launch date or price, the Condition ONE app is set to debut in mid-2011 and is sure to change the way many see an event that has occurred halfway around the world. “Once viewers enter a video experience, they can move the tablet in any direction and see the corresponding field of view,” says Dennis. “The traditional two-dimensional, rectangular frame is shattered as viewers step inside the frame and experience the stories as the protagonists.”