2017 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 35: 360 Streetview PhotoSpheres

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.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: EQUIRECTANGULAR 360 DEGREE SPHERICAL PANORAMA - STREET VIEW PHOTOSPHERES &emdash; The cross on Visitation Island

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.

 

 

 

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2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 42: OUTDOOR TINY PLANETS

Tiny Planets or Small Planets as some call them are created from rectangular pano images or equirectangular images created for 360 spherical views. I’ve always been a bigger fan of full spherical images (PhotoSpheres) but lately I’ve been having some fun with my images by turning them into these bizarre little planet like perspectives.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PhotoChallenge &emdash;

Making them is not as difficult as one may think. They’re actually simpler to make with an Android or IOS based smartphone so SmartPhone Photography fans will definately have a blast. PC users, especially PhotoShop users won’t be left behind in the dust either.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PhotoChallenge &emdash;

I’ll take you quickly through my workflow, but will add links to tutorials documenting other methodologies.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: PhotoChallenge &emdash;

I create most of my basic images with a Ricoh Theta or I use an Android SmartPhone to create a basic PhotoSphere. At times I also use my DSLR with a Fisheye and blend the images. Don’t forget that we had a PhotoSphere Challenge back in ( 2015 CHALLENGE, WEEK 23 OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – PhotoSpheres & 360 Degree Panoramas ) that should be helpful as a reference as well.

I then use an Android application called THETA + by Ricoh. It’s also available for IOS. Even if you don’t own a Ricoh Theta, the APP will assist you in creating your tiny planet from a PhotoSphere. There are also a multitude of TinyPlanet APPs available for Android and IOS.

You simply manipulate your image to your liking and save it.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: EQUIRECTANGULAR 360 DEGREE SPHERICAL PANORAMA - STREET VIEW PHOTOSPHERES &emdash;

Naturally the entire process works better outdoors. Your image will have to include a decent amount of sky from edge to edge. The image above is one I used for a TinyPlanet and is a good example of proportions to use. It works well from a rectangular perspective, as an equirectangular image and as a PhotoSphere as seen below. The advantage with an equirectangular image VS a Rectangular Pano is that you will have ends that match each other.

 

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

https://theta360.com/widgets.js

Here’s a little tutorial that goes a little deeper into the creation of your tiny planet adapted for PhotoShop Users.

Little Planet Photos: 5 Simple Steps to Making Panorama Worlds

 

Here’s a Video Tututorial and a simple search on YouTube will give you endless results.

Like all photography Challenges, your end result will totally depend on your initial image. It’s in your best interest to apply yourself and carefully plan out your initial Pano or Equirectangular image to achieve the best results in post processing your Tiny Planet.

You can search Google Play for your Android Phone App : https://play.google.com/store/search?q=tiny%20planet&c=apps&hl=en

You can search the APP Store for your IOS App : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiny-planet-photos-and-video/id425996445?mt=8

There are plenty of resources on the web and a simple GOOGLE SEARCH will probably overwhelm you.

 

hallowwen

 

The rules 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 or #photochallenge2016.
  • 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.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.