January 23, 2010

Haiti earthquake: 360° video

CNN is documenting the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake by offering 360° video clips. As the site says,

Use your mouse to click and drag around the video to change the view. You can also zoom in and out. Pause and explore at any time by pressing the play/pause button under the video to stop and look around.

Note the arrows at upper right that lead to additional videos. I find the second one most interesting in that it was shot via a person’s backpack, enabling a view that’s pedestrian in both senses. That feels to me like an interesting counterpoint to most photojournalism (e.g. the heartbreaking images on The Big Picture) which emphasizes some amount of technical excellence (composition, focus, lighting, etc.). The 360° videos are inherently more raw.

Posted by John Nack at 12:56 PM on January 23, 2010

Comments

  • ahoeben — 1:40 AM on January 24, 2010

    I find it (genuinely) interesting that you say that the 360 degree video is “inherently more raw” than the conventional photojournalism.
    As a (stitched) panorama photographer I often have to argue for the journalistic integrity of panoramic images, because they are stitched, so they are inherently doctored. I know that photography and video are two different things, but your remark is indeed very interesting and – for me – true.

  • Al Marsh — 5:27 AM on January 24, 2010

    Interesting that the vehicle was always at high speed in an area loaded with pedestrians, and that we even got to go down the opposing lane towards oncoming traffic.

  • Thomas Hayden — 9:40 PM on January 24, 2010

    Jack, I borrow Steven Colbert’s term, truthiness, to argue for 360 degree video. I was an employee of Immersive Media for years and am now with SlopeViews branching into the travel industry with the tech. I think you’ve nailed it. The viewer knows intuitively that what they are seeing is what it is. It is a new medium that has finally found it’s place in the ranks of the media age. I just wish it didn’t have to be something like this tragedy in Haiti to bring it to the light of day. We had the first video online back in January 2008, but even Street View didn’t help us get the message out.

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