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Society has long been interested in stories told through the perspective of the narrator. The subjective viewpoint is immersive and allows the audience to experience an event themselves, as if they’re actually there. From Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye to cinema’s Blair Witch Project, audiences are captivated by filling the shoes of another person.
Eye movement controls
We’ve been promised this experience through technology since the 1980s, virtual reality headsets and eye movement game controls, but it is only now that these experiences are becoming a reality.
As camera technology has increasingly shrunk in size and cost, creatives have found more ways to bring this viewpoint to the mainstream. Tough, durable cameras record our every spill on the ski slope. Point-of-view video games fill hours of our entertainment experience, and cinema from this first-person perspective packs theater seats globally.
This will continue to grow in 2014. Google is set to launch a consumer version of Glass, an eyeglass / computer / camera hybrid that shoots stills and video from the perspective of the viewer. GoPro has launched an action camera that can shoot 4K video at a price point reachable for most consumers.
From unthinkable to forseeable
Smartphone cameras now capture the viewer’s perspective at a quality level that was unthinkable just a few years ago. With these advances, we can expect this visual technique to continue into the foreseeable future.
About the Author
Bill Bon – Senior Art Director, Getty Images
Since 2005, Bill Bon has produced and directed shoots for Getty Images, used by clients such as Google, Comedy Central, Microsoft, GE, Forbes Magazine and The Guardian. In 2013 he was a PDN Photo Annual winner for art direction. A graduate from the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design, Bill is also a photographer and videographer, shooting assignments for clients such as Krups and Nespresso.