I work 9 to 5 (in reality it is more like 10 to 6). My eyes cross from staring at reports, newsletters and spread sheets, and if I have to look at one more PowerPoint presentation, I might lose my cool. I’m constantly skimming through emails from crazy clients, irritable colleagues, and emails from my mother warning me on the dangers of opening virus-laden emails. Ah, life.
Sometimes I just need to escape. And now there’s an App for that.
I can’t physically or financially jet around the world in an hour, but I can continent-hop on my lunch break thanks to the photography of Peter Guttman in Beautiful Planet HD. The App features photographs from all seven continents: Lounging seals in Antarctica, babushkas bundled for the cold of Red Square, and a Pied Piper playing in the street in Germany. I open the Gallery Map and see the world according to Google providing the exact locations where each photo was taken. When I click on the photo in the middle of the Indian Ocean, I’m instantly immersed in the tradition and culture of the Malagasy people.
The Beautiful Planet HD App showcases photos in a gallery, and allows me to pause, click the ‘caption’ icon, and get details of the image from the photographer. More icons allow me to share on Facebook, view as a slideshow, and even add my own music to create a playlist for the slideshow; all excellent features if I want to show my friends these photos as if they were my own.
Guttman’s photographs are striking – excellent compositions and a diverse range of subject matter and landscapes. He’s captured the deep emeralds of the Philippines’ oceans to the stark color contrasts of the Kenyan deserts – black and white zebra rumps included.
My favorite image is the courtship of two giant tortoises in Aldabra, Seychelles. Nothing takes me out of my cubicle and in to nature faster than two 600-pounders knocking shells.
Available for iPhone and iPad, the $1.99 App is a bargain for a true photographic journey around the world.