Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Observer App of the Week 2/29: Capitolio

Platform: iOS
Price: $6.99

This week’s app of the week is just hardly an app. Even so, it’s beautiful and available through the app store.

Christopher Anderson is a photographer’s photographer. A purveyor of what he bills as documentary photography, Anderson has amassed a collection of works over the years that are beautiful and otherworldly.

He first reached prominence when, accompanied by a writer from The New York Times Magazine, he boarded a rickety from Haiti bound for the United States. Along the way, the ship began to sink, leading to a series of haunting images that graphically illustrate the hope and sorrow of immigration.

Recently, he was accepted as a full member of Magnum Photos, possibly the most exclusive society of photographers in existence. Applicants for membership to this fraternal society of photojournalists and artists must undergo an excruciatingly intense review process, with multiple portfolios and feedback sessions required. Anderson made it out the other end.

He is a skilled artist, but what place does he have in an app of the week section? Well, Anderson recently released a selection of photos for consumption on iOS devices. Entitled “Capitolio,” the collection chronicles unrest in Caracas, Venezuala during the age of revolution.

Shot between 2004 and 2008, the book was originally published in print. Like many other forms of media, photo books are adapting to updated technology, turning to alternative platforms to put content out there. Apple has actually been pushing for more artistic expressions on its platform, particularly with the inclusion of the Newsstand collection of apps.

Adopters of Newsstand, however, have been slow. Though The New York Times and Wall Street Journal distribute through the platform, many mainstream magazines have neglected it, leaving it to lesser-known publications. Thus, photography has had a minimal presence within the platform, at least in terms of fully authored, curated, and laid out creations.

Capitolio, however, is the exception. The app, though not featured within the Newsstand collection, has all the hallmarks of a fully authored photo book. Layouts are clean and beautiful, with design elements that compliment the works without looming over them. It reads (if one can even read a photo book), like the work of art that it is, with vibrant black-and-white photographs playing off a red background with a perfectly chosen hue.

Some photos are laid out side-by-side, inviting comparison and playing with juxtaposition. Others are left to themselves on the page, standing solidly. There’s joy, violence, staid determination, and simple depth.

Given, it’s for the connoisseur. However, for those that wish to delve into an absolutely fantastic collection of photography, presented in a well-contemplated way, and perfectly suited for the platform, it’s well worth the rather expensive asking price.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

In an effort to promote dialogue and the sharing of ideas, The Observer encourages members of the university community to respectfully voice their comments below. Comments that fail to meet the standards of respect and mutual tolerance will be removed as necessary.
All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *