Dermandar is a free flash-based web app that will automatically and seamlessly stitch photos together to form a panoramic photo. The resulting panorama can be viewed as a side-to-side scrolling image, or in “3D” mode, which is an interactive display that can be rotated, zoomed, and has a more obvious axis of rotation. Some of the most interesting images available for public view in the Dermandar gallery are actually 360-degree views.
You can upload up to 100 panoramas to the site, comprised of 2 to 4 images for partial panoramas or 7 to 24 for 360-degree images — plenty of photos to allow for overlap as well.
It’s a pretty cool tool, complete with sharing and embedding options. It also has a fullscreen mode that makes the viewing process very immersive.
Photojournalists Mary Chind of The Des Moines Register and Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post won Pulitzer Prizes this year in photography.
Chind’s photo of a harrowing water rescue photo won as the Best Breaking News Photograph. The photo, published July 1, 2009, shows a construction worker dangling above the rapids of a dam, in an attempt to reach a victim in the water. The Pulitzer board say the photo captured “a heart-stopping moment.”
The victim and her husband had gone over the edge of the dam on a boat. Rescuers could not reach the pair with a crane. According to the National Press Photographer Association, Chind took the photo from a nearby bank crowded with rescue workers and firefighters. A worker in a makeshift rig was lowered down towards the water and managed to save the woman after several attempts.
Walker won the Best Feature Photography for his intimate photo essay of a teenager, Ian Fisher, as he entered the Army. Walker documented the young man for 27 months, following him as he recruited, trained, was deployed to Iraq, and finally returned.
The Pulitzer board described Walker’s work as “an intimate portrait of a teenager who joins the Army at the height of insurgent violence in Iraq, poignantly searching for meaning and manhood.” Color versions of Walker’s essay can be seen on the Pulitzer website and the multimedia package can be seen on the Post’s website.
Here’s a novel idea: using an audiovisual slideshow as a medium for poetry. Journalists at the Knight Digital Media Center created a project for the Oakland School for the Arts, featuring a student’s poem, The Eternal Sea. Check it out here.
The project is strikingly simple: ambient music, neatly stylized text, and an abstract Creative Commons photo in the background, all compiled and presented using the simple program, Soundslides.
It is so clean that I am surprised I don’t see it more often. YouTube and Vimeo is so friendly to short-form art, but naturally, most people post video clips or simple audio of recited poetry.
Youtube does have some interesting examples of animated poetry, which combines recited poetry with some amusing and slightly eerie edited visuals, such as Forgetfulness by Billy Collins:
And there are also videos that use some text, visuals and narration, such as Don’t Be Flip by Todd Boss:
However, the animated poems on YouTube lack the static allure and literary simplicity of The Eternal Sea.
In any case, blending written word, photography, and music with multimedia technology looks like a brilliant new approach to poetry — and a neat project to try out.