You have probably encountered situations where a single photo doesn’t really take in the complete scene. Taking a regular 180 or 360 degree panorama is the next best thing to get the viewer to better experience the scene. Photo Spheres can take this a step burther by providing a true interactive 360-degree experience allowing to look up and down making you feel like you are actually there. Thanks to Google it has become very easy for everybody to take spherical photos. All you need is an Android or IOS device with a camera to get started.Here is a 360-degree spherical photo of the Grand Staircase in the Opera House in Paris. Go ahead and click into the photo to move it around in any direction:
Step 2: Start the Google Street View application and position yourself in the center of whatever you want to capture. Tap the orange camera icon in the lower-right corner to get started. The app will guide you to the process. Simply center the orange dot within the white circle and hold it for a few seconds and the photo will be taken automatically.
Step 3: Rotate yourself and your camera slowly, following the automatically appearing dots through the area you want to capture. After the first 360 degree circle repeat the process pointing the camera slightly up or down until you captured everything (it will take 44 photos for a complete photo sphere on most devices).
Step 4: Also capture areas near your feet or straight overhead. This will allow you and the viewer the best immersion experience when looking at the finished photo sphere (don’t worry your feet will most likely be rendered out by the application).
Step 5: The finish icon at the bottom will turn green automatically once you captured every spot indicating your are done. Just tap the finish icon so the Street View application can start stitching all the images together. Depending on your phone this can take a few minutes.
Step 6: Review the finished photosphere once it is done to make sure it’s the desired result. To share your photo spheres with others you can upload them to Google Maps, Google+ or here at AdventureAlly.com.
Currently you can't upload your photo spheres directly on Facebook. You can share your photo spheres through AdventureAlly on Facebook, Twitter and other sites for free!
Tips for capturing better photo spheres
- Start capturing your photo sphere around the horizon, then capture above and below
- Slightly tilt the phone up or down, keeping your phone in roughly the same location.
- Move the Camera slowly and hold it steady to avoid blurry images.
- Avoid moving people if possible since you’ll usually end up with half bodies or other partial body parts in your photos.
- Shoot in portrait mode as this seems to show the best stitching results.
- Use the undo functionality. Since it takes 44 or more photos to complete a photo sphere you might be inclined to just keep going to finish the sphere even if somebody walked into your photo sphere or if a photo is blurry. Don’t let a single bad photo ruin the whole photo sphere and go a step back with the undo functionality if necessary!
- Don’t forget to capture the area facing straight up/down so you’ll not end up with a black hole in the finished photo sphere
- Turn on your GPS. This will allow you to publish your photo on Google Maps if you decide to do so.
Watch this video to see the right technique to capture your first photo sphere: