Tips for 360 photography
360 photography allows the photographer to display an image that shows what it is really like to be in their shoes. The photograph surrounds the original viewpoint at which it was taken, by capturing images from all sides, above and below, enabling the viewer to get a true feel for the location at which the shoot was carried out. This is being used more commonly in the modern-day world as many smart phones are equipped with a panoramic 360 mode on their built-in cameras, allowing users to provide a virtual tour of wherever they have been. However, 360 photographs are not easy or simple to capture no matter what technology you have, and there are certain skills required to take a good high quality 360 photograph which is worthy for professional use.
Here are a few tips you might want to consider before embarking on your 360-photography journey:
1. Consider the Sunshine
With normal photography, you would usually try to avoid having the sun in your photograph as it would negatively affect the lighting and the detail that you are trying to capture. When carrying out 360 photography however, we cannot avoid having the sun in the picture as we are taking a full circle captured image. It is important to consider exactly where the sun will be in the 360 shot and plan to avoid it taking away the clarity of your final image. Try to never have the lens aimed directly at the sun which would create halo’s or lens flares and ensure that the sun is somewhere in between lenses when compiling the 360 shots.
2. No Close Ups
Objects or images that are too close are likely to come our distorted. 360 photography is not ideal for capturing anything that is close than a foot in distance, even a little further away than this can be a hard challenge and is not advised. Therefore, it is not advised to use the ground as your stable point and always consider a tripod.
3. Selfie Stick
Although selfie sticks are predominantly known for the youth of today to take drunken group photos, and have got a bad name for themselves, they are an ideal piece of equipment when carrying out 360 photography. A 360 camera captures everything around and so it is a common mistake that our hands are caught in the image and look abnormally large, using a selfie stick can prevent this and make your hand look normal sized without blocking any of the image surrounding it. Furthermore, selfie sticks can be raised to quite an extensive height, making the most of the views and gaining images that you wouldn’t have got with just your own standing height.
Most 360 cameras come with a compatible smartphone app and will be connected to your phone to make the most of the settings. This means that you can place the camera elsewhere and use a self-timer or a remote-control function to take photographs without having hold of the camera itself. This allows more flexibility when you are carrying out 360 photography and can make for unique distanced images.
5. Vertical Camera
360 images should be evenly horizontal throughout and therefore it is imperative that the camera is not tilted, wobbled, or tipped in any way when taking the photograph. This would create wonky images where by one capture would not match up to the next, making for a failed overall image. When we are using selfie sticks this is an important thing to remember as you will need to alter the head of the selfie stick to hold the camera at a vertical steady position for optimum photography.
6. Tripod Options
When looking at which style of tripod to use for this type of photography, keep in mind that less is more. If we were to use a standard old-fashioned tripod that is made for a large DSLR camera, the stand will end up being captured in the 360 images and will look very large, distorting the overall picture. Not only this but large tripods have handles attached and these can be unattractive when they are blocking a magnificent view on an otherwise great 360 photo. Go for a sleek tripod with a small head and stand, which will be much more suited to your 360 cameras.
7. Take Less Photos
With the ability to have a scenery, food and socialising image all combined in to one using 360 photography, it is wise to rely on and use this time of imagery for your adventures and to capture your project images, rather than wasting extra time snapping a lot of singular smaller images. This will also allow you more time and effort to concentrate on getting a perfect 360 photograph.
This may sound like an obvious tip but as humans we are all so reluctant to hear criticism about ourselves and our work, however this can be what really helps and develops us in the long run. Ask a higher professional photographer what they think of your style and technique and make any changes they suggest to try andimprove your image quality.
In conclusion, in the era of virtual reality and making photographs come to life, 360 photography is a real step forward, and if mastered skilfully can make for unique and eye-catching images. 360 photography is ideal for anybody who takes regular adventures such as climbing and hiking in to beautiful scenery, those who carry out sports such as skiing and snowboarding, architectural photographers, real estate and property professionals and simply anybody who wants to create high quality thorough images of their surroundings.
Have some more tips we might have missed out on? Add them in the comments sections and let’s talk.
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