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  • Sean Karoonian

Augmented Reality Makes Debut at Photo London with Edward Burtynsky's "Photography 3.0"

Toronto, Canada / London, UK May 16th, 2018 - A car engine, wheel rims, an engine pile. How can these scrap materials add up to a visual and sensory experience never before felt?

AVARA Media Inc., a technology innovator dedicated to creating Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences to transport people to places only a very few can reach, and globally renowned Canadian-born photographer Edward Burtynsky, are pleased to announce the first global release of their new, state-of-the-art, AR experiences. The début will take place during Burtynsky’s exhibition at Photo London in Somerset House, London, May 17-20.

Mr. Burtynsky, who is named Photo London’s 2018 Master of Photography, photographed more than 6,000 images, about 2,000 for each experience, with these photographs meticulously stitched together to render high-end 3D AR enabled through AVARA’s innovative technology and intellectual property. The resulting experiences transport visitors to an auto-parts yard in Accra, Ghana to explore these auto-parts in unprecedented 360 degree visual detail.

The purpose? To convey a compelling and immersive narrative of the impact humankind is having on the planet – and the scrap yard in Ghana is only the beginning of these stories.

Burtynsky, who is also co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of AVARA, calls it: “Photography 3.0”.

“I like to think of ‘Photography 1.0’ as the invention of photography; ‘Photography 2.0’ is the evolution of photography to digital. Now ‘Photography 3.0’ is the use of the digital camera to capture an object in the third dimension. We now have this incredible new way to capture moments, objects and places and expand and extend them exponentially: it is truly spectacular.”

“By meticulously weaving together Burtynksy photographs with the latest in innovative 3D technologies, we are enabling experiences that are truly magical,” comments Vikas Gupta, co-founder & CEO of AVARA. “Through the lens of Edward Burtynsky, and with the technology innovation of AVARA we endeavour to create unprecedented immersive and interactive experiences that transport our users to the most unique places and moments around the world in true scale.”

The augmented reality images featured in the Photo London exhibition were generated using almost 2,000 photographs for each AR experience, with sophisticated photogrammetry rendering to 370 million polygons, and then optimized to 200,000 polygons to be compatible with current AR devices.

More AR experiences are on the way, with the release of additional experiences as part of Mr. Burtynsky’s latest project, Anthropocene, a collaboration with award-winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. These new AR experiences will feature a scale and detail that has never before been achieved in AR, underscoring AVARA’s technological depth. Anthropocene will be shown in September at complementary museum exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada.

The Photo London AR experiences, and the upcoming Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada AR experiences, can only be enjoyed through the AVARA app, now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.


The immersive power of Virtual and Augmented Reality offers users the sensory experience of visiting the most extraordinary moments in time and remarkable places on the planet, far too often experienced by only a very few. AVARA is creating innovative technology to enable the most compelling VR and AR experiences that transport people to the most unique places, moments, and interactions around the world far beyond their imagination.

AVARA was co-founded by Vikas Gupta, an award winning digital media executive and electronic entertainment industry veteran and Edward Burtynsky, renowned global photographer with a multitude of accolades and awards. Gupta’s deep experience in interactive digital media and technology and Burtynsky’s expertise in lens-based arts have combined in augmented and virtual reality to create experiences that engage the viewer in such a way that inspires them, evoking and achieving a transcendence of subject.

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Photo London was created to give London an international photography event befitting the city’s status as a global cultural capital. Founded in 2015, it has already established itself as a world-class photography Fair and as a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community. From the capital’s major museums to its auction houses, galleries large and small, right into the burgeoning creative community in the East End and South London, Photo London harnesses the city’s outstanding creative talent and brings the world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors and dealers together with the public to celebrate photography, the medium of our time.


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