So you saw those amazing 360 degree photos and got immersed in the content. You must be wondering how you can take those kind of pictures? Does it need something special, either a hardware or a software or what exactly?
Well, we are going to show you how easy it is to take 360 degree photos just with your smartphones. We are not going to confuse you by displaying 10s of ways of doing it. We will simply show you the best and easiest way to take 360 degree photos.
By the way, you should also know that these pictures are the building blocks of Virtual Reality. So if you plan to get into the Virtual Reality space, you must know what is 360 degree photography and how to take those pictures.
What you need?
- A VR/Virtual Reality compatible smartphone. Check if your smartphone is VR compatible at one of our posts here.
That’s it. You are right. You do not need anything else to capture your first set of 360 degree photos.
How to capture 360 degree photos using StreetView App?
Open the app. Offcourse, that was stupid to say, but I still thought of mentioning it. 🙂
Allow the app to access your photo gallery as well as camera.
Click on the Camera Symbol in the bottom right corner.
Among all the options presented, click on Camera as shown in the image below.
This will access your camera and open the following image with a big circle and a yellow dot in the middle. Bring the circle on the yellow dot and wait for couple of seconds. This will mark the beginning of the 360 degree picture.
As it complete the first frame, move your camera sideways, top and bottom to complete the full sphere.
Once you are done, the StreetView app will start processing all the images you just captured. It will stitch them together to make it a complete 360 degree photo. It also saves an equi-rectangular copy of the image in the photo gallery.
In case you are wondering what is an equi-rectangular image, it is the stretched version of a spherical image with required EXIF information so that a 360 degree picture processor can read it. To give an example, earth is spherical. However the map of the world is a rectangular one as it is nothing but the stretched version of the spherical earth. Hope that helps fo starters.
With this equi-rectangular jpeg version you are ready to share it on Facebook. Simply upload the image and Facebook will recognize it as a 360 degree picture.
One thing to note is, this will work fine when the objects in the frame are not moving. When you have moving objects/people, some frames may not be stitched correctly as it is always with some reference. For such a setting we recommend a 360 degree camera. Also, you need to stand at one place while turning around your camera. Hence the best position to get a good quality picture is the stand on a mat, keep your elbows close to your chest and simply turn around the same axis.
Relevant Read: How to add 360 photo to website?
360 Degree Camera
If you find the above method too complex or time consuming, then 360 degree camera is the easiest way to shoot those pictures in one click. There are numerous such camera’s that are being launched in the market. We recommend what Google also recommends, which is Ricoh Theta S.
It is a 14 Megapixel camera and so far is the winner among all other 360 degree cameras available in the market at the entry level. For beginners and starters who don’t want to spend too much, you can buy it on Amazon.
Enjoy 360 degree photography. Keep coming back for more on Virtual Reality…