About the Auschwitz
Virtual Tour Exhibition
was conceived some years ago when Alan ("Jake") Jacobs first
saw Quick Time Virtual Reality Films. Having photographed Auschwitz many
times, it occurred to him that no matter how powerful a single photo, the
observer is still outside the scene. This technology provided an opportunity
for a photographer to lessen to some degree the viewer’s role
as audience-observer, and enhance his perception as a participant-obsever.
As he already had a 35mm single-lens-reflex digital camera, a Canon D60,
the next step was to purchase a solid tripod, and a Manfrotto Quick Time
Virtual Reality Head, and practice, using a Canon EOS EF 17-35/2.8L USM wide
angle zoom lens set to its widest at 17mm.
wife Krysia, the technical part of the team, purchased VR Worx, a program
that stitched multiple photos, took out what wasn’t
necessary, adjusted exposure from photo to photo, and produced in a very
short time, maybe ten or fifteen minutes, a virtual reality 360º film.
The photos were processed before this in full Photoshop on a variety of Macs.
Jake preparing to take aerial photographs in Auschwitz I
They went back
to Auschwitz in 2003 and did some test shots with a Canon EOS 1D
35mm digital SLR and an EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM wide angle lens set to 16mm.While
there, they checked with Editor in Chief of Auschwitz Publications, Teresa
Swiebocka, who introduced them to senior editor Jarek Mensfelt. Both were
interested and over the next few months test shots were sent and the invitation
to come and do the work was made by Auschwitz Vice-Director, Krystyna Oleksy,
this to share an exhibition jointly with Cybrary of the Holocaust.
Then it was
a matter of getting expense money. Jake spoke with Michael Declan
Dunn the creator of The Cybrary of the Holocaust at http://www.remember.org.
Michael has published several exhibitions of Jake's Auschwitz photos and
he set to work raising the money. He found two donors, Liz Edlic, Scott
grants made the project possible.
taking aerial photos. Crane provided by the Museum.
From the time
of the invitation through the shoot at the camps, Auschwitz Editor and
web designer Jarek Mensfelt and Jake exchanged many ideas about the project:
tone, content, logistics etc. During the shoot an EOS 1D Marc II, a 35mm
digital SLR, and Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM, Canon EF 28-135 USM
IS, Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L USM lenses were used, along with a Canon
EF 14mm f/2.8L USM Wide Angle Lens.
the States, the project was now in the hands of Krysia Jacobs. This meant
processing the photos in Photoshop CS, stitching them with VR Work 2.5,
converting to Flash with qtvr2flash, and then… designing
the exhibition for the Internet.
The following equipment was used in taking the photographs:
14mm f/2.8L USM Wide Angle Lens
Canon EOS EF 17-35/2.8L USM
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L USM
EOS 1D Marc II 35mm digital SLR
Canon EOS 1D
35mm digital SLR
Alan and Krysia
Jacobs can be contacted at