Last year we delved into PhotoSpheres for WEEK 23
Believe it or not, things have advanced quite rapidly with new cameras, advances in smartphone apps and panorama stitching software such as HUGIN.
Now with Facebook allowing you to post a 360 Streetview photosphere as your cover image, I think there’s no better time to cover it once more.
I want to make this perfectly clear, this is not a TINY PLANET Challenge but a full PhotoSphere challenge. Your final image will have to look something like this.
To create this image I used a cheap Opteka 6.5 mm fisheye lens and put it on a Nikon Full Frame Camera. I took 4 images around and one straight up for the Zenith, the top of the image. I inserted these 5 images into Hugin – FREE Panorama photo stitcher available for both MAC and PC with no dependencies on Photoshop or other software. I also use PTGUI, it’s great, easier to use but it’s not free…
You’re probably saying, “I DON’T HAVE A FISHEYE LENS.” No problem, most cameras come with an 18-55 mm kit lens and at 18 mm you’ll need about 20 images. Here’s a good resource to calculate how many images you will need to shoot to cover a whole sphere. https://www.panoramic-photo-guide.com/virtual-tour-360-photography/how-many-photos-what-focal-to-make-a-virtual-tour.html
There’s plenty more resources available online with a quick Google Search.
The final image when viewed with a traditional image viewer will be rectangular, what we call an equirectangular image. You will need software like the GOPRO VR VIEWER available for free to view your image in a 360 degree PhotoSphere.
Above is my equirectangular image I created with a fisheye lens and stitched with HUGIN. Below is the PhotoSphere projection of the same equirectangular image on Google maps.
TIPS and TRICKS
- You will need to use a tripod to obtain the best results.
- Select your widest lens
- Shoot vertically to cover more ground from top to bottom
- If your camera can shoot in HDR mode, this can enhance the final image.
- Pivot your camera on the Nodal Point of your lens for better stitching results – Here’s a great resource to read up on : https://www.panoramic-photo-guide.com/nodal-point.html
- You can use your smartphone with the StreetView app or other app to create your PhotoSphere. Again I would use a tripod and a phone tripod adapter available cheap at your discount store or Dollar Store.
You can post your PhotoSpheres directly to Facebook, Flickr and Google Plus. I use Kuula for my PhotoSpheres. You can get yourself a free account to show off your work.
Our friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:
- Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+, Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge and #photochallenge2017
- The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2017 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.
For the active outdoor enthusiast that wants to keep their camera/binoculars at the ready and always secure. Go out and discover!