[junkie-dropcap]I[/junkie-dropcap] am having lots of fun taking 360º photos with my new Theta S 360 camera. It has introduced a new way of looking at things and scenes. Something that was totally unexpected.
I was watching some YouTube channels (yes, again, I don't seem to learn!) and I was kind of mockingly saying to myself: "Look at all these clowns, they got nothing better to do than to go around playing with these cameras." I have now become one of those clowns... ;-)
Mind you, the quality of the pictures leaves so much to be desired. Photos are soft in some parts, there is a lot, and I mean A LOT of fringing on the edges and sometimes is hard to gauge which one is the better angle for the pictures, especially when there are people in the scene.
Also whatever you use to support the camera, be it a tripod, your hand or any other surface sometimes needs to be edited or cropped out to make the picture more appealing.
In addition, the post-processing is arduous and cumbersome. There is much to do to get useful images that can be published online and not all platforms (with the exception of some, like Facebook and Google) support this types of pictures.
The phones offer some solutions that make you take multiple photos and later stitching using apps. Not the most elegant alternative and the results are not on par with a dedicated 360º Camera.
Nonetheless, all this comes with a liberating aspect. You don't have to focus on anything. You are taking the picture and nothing but the picture. Up, down, left, right, front and back are all included; making you, the photographer, a participant in the photo. In the age of the Selfie, this could be the greatest one!
An Added Bonus of 360º Photos
Sometimes, these pictures can surprise you. You see things that were not obvious when you were taking them. Or people in the pictures are more relaxed because they really don't know you are taking their pictures. Street photography is an example of something that can truly benefit from a 360º camera.
The argument to me made is that like all technologies, is in its infancy and there are more and better things to come. More speed, more quality, better post-processing and more support from social networks and the like.
The future is definitely bright for this technology and I can't wait to see what else comes down the pipeline.
What do you think about 360º photos? Leave your comments below.