Spielerisch das Fotografieren erlernen – Wer sich jemals mit einer Einführungslektüren in die Fotografie befasst hat, der weiß, dass diese für Anfänger selten einfach zu verstehen sind. Zumahl der beste Autor die praktische Übung niemals ersetzen kann. Wenn dann noch unbekannte Wörter wie Weißabgleich, Lichtempfindlichkeit, Brennweite oder gar kryptische Zahlen wie f/1.4 oder ISO 100 dazu kommen, vergeht schnell die Lust am Weiterlesen.
Jon Arnold könnte dieses Problem mit seinem 3D Lernspiel CameraSim 3D gelöst haben, denn hier lernt der Nutzer in der Tat spielerisch die Grundlagen der Fotografie. In der Egoperspektive absolviert der Spieler, augestattet mit einer Kamera, verschiedene Levels. Besonders deutsche Online-Magazine berichteten über das unfertige Spiel als einem “Ego-Shooter” ähnlich. Ein Begriff, der diesem Projekt in unserem Land ein unnötig negatives Image verpassen könnte.
Wir konnten uns in einem Interview davon überzeugen, dass sowohl das Spiel als auch sein Entwickler eigentlich sehr nett sind.
It must have been a hard week after CameraSim 3D got exposure from all major media outlets. Did you expect to be met with such positive response?
No, I wasn’t expecting that at all because we didn’t even do an official press release. But it was great to see so many people reaching out and expressing interest in what we’re working on.
Since there might be still people out there who did not read about your project, could you please introduce yourself and tell about CameraSim 3D?
Yes, I’d be happy to. I’m a software designer/developer, and a few years ago I built a simple DSLR camera simulator to help people understand the basics of ISO, aperture, shutter speed and other things about their camera. I’m now working on the next version of that — using 3D gaming technologies — that I hope will be even better and more useful to both students and instructors.
Just a few moments ago I passed the Demo (Preview 2). To be honest, I didn’t find the controls too easy maybe because I’ve never been an avid fan of first-person videos games for I experience motion sickness. For people like me the original CameraSim might be the better choice.
Your reaction is in line with the feedback we’ve gotten from other non-gamers. And it’s true: the controls will feel very complex for someone new to 3D first-person-shooters. The gamer folks seem to love it, but honestly my goal is to create something useful for everyone. I’m working on another adaptation that I think will harness the power of the 3D technologies but retain the approachable-ness of my original CameraSim.
My first thought when reading about you and your project was. “That’s so cool. I’ve been waiting for a game like this.” How would you describe the group of people using camera simulators?
My users typically fall into two groups: people new to photography who are wanting to self-educate, and photography instructors looking for new teaching tools. I’m trying to uncover the ratio of those two groups and how they use CameraSim so I can make better decisions about how to improve CameraSim.
There’s this inherent violent connotation when talking about photography. You shoot a photo or take a picture. It is said that some cultures believed that photography can steal your soul away. And now you created a game that teaches photography that feels like a first-person shooter.
I had never thought about it like that, but you’re right. And there is even a general hostility sometimes towards people with cameras in places like museums and stores; like taking a photo in some places is truly taking something that doesn’t belong to you. But there are also very positive connotations with photography, like preserving special moments that are otherwise fleeting, or reminding us of details that would have otherwise been forgotten. A first-person shooter might feel a little menacing, but if it furthers someone’s interest in photography, well, that’s a beautiful thing.
Do you believe online simulators will sometime soon replace face-to-face teaching methods?
Replace? Never. There is something about real human interaction that I don’t believe a computer will ever be able to replicate. However, simulators and other tech-enabled learning tools can expand the reach of a human instructor in ways that he/she could not do alone. So I see technology as enabling and enriching the learning experience between instructors and students rather than usurping it.
I hope there will be a German version of CameraSim 3D!
I saw a big boost in my user base when I localized the existing CameraSim into German and several other languages. The 3D version will be launching with English only, but I know that other languages including German will be coming as soon as possible after that.
Last, definitely not least: Can you tell me a bit about Jon Arnold, the photographer?
Sure! I got my first SLR (a film camera!) about 18 years ago which started a love of a photography that continues today. I was never interested in doing photography professionally, but I love having full control over my camera and being able to capture great images. It has been such a rewarding part of my life, and I want to help others experience that for themselves. It makes me a little sad to see someone spend a lot of money on an expensive DSRL camera and then use it like it was a cheap “point and click” camera. My goal with CameraSim is to help people get the most out of their DSLR cameras and experience the joy of taking photos that they can be proud of!
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Fotos: Jon Arnold