Canon evolves World Press Photo exhibition with intimate virtual reality experience

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 24th July 2017 – Canon Europe, world-leader in imaging solutions, today announces the UK launch of a World Press Photo virtual reality (VR) experience – an immersive virtual gallery, unique to every viewer. Ahead of the exhibition opening in Edinburgh on 4th August 2017, the experience celebrates Canon’s 25-year partnership with the world’s most prestigious photography contest.

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Snapshot of the VR experience

The exhibition runs from 4th – 26th August 2017 in Edinburgh

The exhibition tour, which launched in Amsterdam in April, showcases 45 winning images from the 60th World Press Photo Contest1 – over half of which were shot on Canon2.

The VR experience
Building on the 25-year partnership with World Press Photo, and new for 2017, Canon has evolved the traditional public gallery experience by bringing the stories behind the award-winning shots to life through VR. In doing so, Canon is enabling millions to experience the famous exhibition on the most widely-used VR platform today.

In a bid to inspire a wider photography audience, users can explore the 45 best images of 2017 – and their incredible stories – at any time. The World Press Photo VR app is available for free download in the Oculus Store3.

Created by the makers of Canon’s photography management platform, irista, those who engage with the VR experience will see the winning photos displayed in a virtual gallery that evolves based on each users’ individual interaction with the photos. The unique VR experience, which provides a deeper insight into the stories behind the images, is narrated by Stuart Franklin, chair of the 2017 World Press Photo Content general jury.

Richard Shepherd, Pro Marketing Manager, Consumer Imaging, Canon Europe comments:
“Canon has been inspiring and enabling storytelling for 80 years, and this unique VR experience in collaboration with World Press Photo is part of our ongoing exploration of immersive storytelling. We believe virtual reality plays an exciting role in telling the incredible stories behind the winning images from this year’s World Press Photo Contest by creating an intimate, thoughtful and engaging experience that evolves the traditional gallery.”

Lars Boering, Managing Director, World Press Photo Foundation comments:
“The world, the press and photography itself are undergoing seismic changes. For the last 25 years, we have enjoyed a partnership with Canon that has supported visual storytelling. World Press Photo cherishes its heritage, while at the same time recognises that, with the rise of new technologies, there are now many ways to make and see images – including in virtual environments. Canon’s VR experience enables the world’s best photojournalism to be showcased in a new way, taking us to the stories behind these incredible pictures.”

Reflections Lectures
In addition to the new VR experience available in collaboration with World Press Photo, Canon Europe is extending the scope of its sponsorship to empower the future of the industry.

This year, local universities have been engaged to orchestrate 80 ‘Reflections Lectures’ – a series of talks, seminars and workshops for photography students – as the exhibition tours the world.

Designed to inspire the next generation of visual storytellers, the Reflections Lectures4 convey important messages about the role of photojournalism in today’s world agenda and allow students to connect with award-winning visual journalists. The topics covered within the Reflections Lectures range from press freedom to visual journalism, ethics and diversity.

The Reflections Lectures in Edinburgh will take place on 4th August 2017 at the Scottish Parliament.

Get involved



1 World Press Photo contest: The annual photo contest rewards photographers for the best single exposure pictures contributing to the past year of visual journalism. The contest is organised into categories, and judged by a jury comprising leading photojournalism professionals. For more information, visit: https://www.worldpressphoto.org/collection/photo/2017

2 Based on official data released by World Press Photo and analysed by Spanish photo site Photolari. For more information, visit: https://petapixel.com/2017/02/16/cameras-captured-winning-shots-world-press-photo-2017/

3 The Oculus VR experience is designed to work with Samsung’s flagship smartphones: Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+

4 Reflections Lectures: The Reflections Lectures are for students and are by invitation only