How to acquire 360° pictures
Taking your own pictures.
Taking 360° pictures is not difficult if you have access to a 360° camera. An advantage with taking pictures yourself is that you have full control over the result. If the first attempt isn't good enough, you can always try again. One condition is obviously that you have access to the physical environment that you want to photograph.
One big difference between taking 360° pictures and normal pictures in 2D is that the space where the picture is taken needs to be interesting in all directions. If everything of interest is placed in one direction, there is no need for 360° photo. It is therefore important to place the camera in the middle of the environment you are shooting. If you want a 360° picture of a room, don't place the camera next to the door or wall!
You also need to use the camera´s remote control or timer function to give yourself time to hide, so that you will not be seen in the picture, or to place yourself in a suitable spot in the picture, which should not be next to the camera.
Below you find some examples of 360° pictures we have taken with an Insta 360° Pro camera and reflections on what we have learned in the process. In some of the photos you might see us trying to blend in the environment and in some of those we found a good hiding spot. Check it out:
When taking 360° photos yourself it is important to think where you are placing the camera.
360° camera will enlarge nearby objects.
If you want to photograph a larger environment, then it is good to check that there are no walls or other obstacles close to the camera unless it serves your purpose. It is always good to think about what type of picture suits the purpose the best. Sometimes it is better to use 2D picture than a 360° picture. 360° camera placed near a wall might be an issue and you might want a reposition your camera for the final photo if camera is too close to an object, - place it so it is equally far from all the main objects.
360° camera shows all around itself, there is no 'backstage'.
Also, if some objects are too close to the 360° camera, they could carelessly occupy most of the screen composition. This can affect the meaning and focus of your photo. On a photo below you will see our attempts to photograph a beautiful Porvoo city, but the tree and its roots are equally prominent in the picture and that was not our intention.
If some objects are too close to the 360° camera, they could carelessly occupy most of the screen composition. This can affect the meaning and focus of your photo. On a photo below you will see our attempts to photograph a beautiful Porvoo city, but the tree and its roots are equally prominent in the picture and that was not our intention.
Hiring a professional to take the pictures.
If you have funding to outsource 360° photographing, it will of course save a lot of time compared to taking the pictures yourself. Hiring a professional photographer should also guarantee good quality, but to be sure you might want to check if the photographer has experience of shooting in 360°. A downside with outsourcing the photographing might be that it is less flexible and more complicated if you want to redo or change something.
You must also agree about copyright of the pictures and how credits should be given to the photographer.
Using picture banks.
If you want to use a 360° picture of an environment you don't have access to, it might be possible to download it from a picture bank of your choice. Many media banks offer 360° pictures, and some even videos, either free of charge or for a fee. When buying a photo or a video check that picture banks copyrights are suitable for your use.