June 07, 2011


I was recently in Moscow leading a group of 10 photographers, 5 Americans and 5 Russians, for a Russian charity, where we photographed in a few orphanages for disabled youth. The purpose was to draw attention to the needs of disabled people in Russia, as well as to support the fund raising efforts of Happy Families, an organization dedicated to helping orphans in Russia. While I was there, I started to play with a new photo app for my iPhone called email hidden; JavaScript is required>">Photosynth. Yes, I too am getting hit with this bug! I considered it an interesting challenge to look at the world with this extra wide view, knowing I could even go 360 degrees if I liked, by using this app.

When I wrote back to Kristin in my studio, she was quite tough on me. “Will you be proud of this work in 10 years? Why are you joining this fad of photo apps?” I was surprised. I had just returned from Marseille, where I was shooting a difficult story with my 5D and wanted a break. I wanted to do something that was playful, gave me a respite from working hard but allowed me to continue to “look” at my world in a different way. I was thinking of this app as an opportunity to stay in touch with photography without the pressures of image making.

I’ve attached an image I made using Photosynth. I have no idea how long my fascination with this app will last, but it’s interesting to try to see the world in a wider way, not confined to the 35mm rectangle. However, I do worry that using this approach for a serious subject might demean the subject because it distorts reality. Integrity is essential. Experimentation is important, but not at the expense of people’s dignity.



Categories: Inspiration, Notes From Ed