Long Shadow of Chernobyl

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Kickstarter is a wonderful website, helping to bring lots of good ideas to life. Long Shadow of Chernobyl is one of them. Gerd Ludwig, a photographer who has worked for National Geographic, turned to Kickstarter to help fund a third trip to the area, as he expands his coverage of the aftermath. Gerd explored the zone, taking photographs of the reactor, the city of Pripyat, the villages and the victims. Gerd then turned the photographs into an iPad app, published by Lightbox Press, the app showcases the photographs that Gerd Ludwig has collected on his three visits to the zone.

You can’t fault this app for content. As it’s an app purely based on content, it needs to be amazing, and it is. The app is packed full of wonderful information and pictures. From photo galleries, slideshows to videos it’s really worth looking at. In addition, there are also a couple of nice interactive panoramas which really show off the iPad as a content device. With the mixture of old and never before seen photographs, it’s a great collection of Chernobyl that really puts across the environment and atmosphere.

It’s incredibly easy to use the app, with browsing through the images and different chapters a breeze. I’ve tried apps before that were very difficult to use, to the point where it actually became a pain to swipe between the different pages and images. While the placing of certain features, such as the slideshows can be annoying at times, for the most part, the app is a joy to use. Instead, it would be nice if these slideshows were placed like the videos, so you could skip past them and just go from chapter to chapter.

At first, the app might seem expensive, especially compared to the prices that we are used to paying for apps now. However, this is more of a book, so it’s better to compare it to something like that. With this in mind, the app is a great price. It’s better value than a book, as it contains lots of fantastic images and text all for a lower price. For a digital book, it’s certainly worth the purchase price as you’ll spend lots of time reading the book and enjoying the high quality images.

While the app works really well, if I had one complaint it would be the amount of pictures that it includes. I’m sure the photographer has taken thousands of photographs when he’s visited the area, so it would be nice to see some more included. There are lots of areas, of Pripyat especially, that I feel could be covered in more detail, with lots of iconic sites missing. Even so, it includes over 150 photographs which is more than you would get in a book, and at this price, still amazing value for money.

Overall, the quality of the images in this app is amazing. It’s really interesting to read through it and learn more about Chernobyl. It’s fantastic value for money, making it worth a purchase. The quality of the app is amazing and it will be great to see more photographers releasing more apps like it in the future, especially with a Retina iPad on the horizon.

Rating: 5/5

Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-long-shadow-of-chernobyl/id484752718

Gerd’s Personal Website:  http://gerdludwig.com/
Chernobyl Project Website:  http://www.longshadowofchernobyl.com/
Lightbox Press:  http://lightboxpress.com/


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