360 Panoramas - Virtual Tours, Aerial Photography, Time Lapse Video, Web Design & IT Consultancy

How we make 360 Panoramas part 2

... continued from PART 1 - THE IMAGE CAPTURING KIT

PART 2
TAKING THE PICTURES

Once you have selected your location for your panorama and the ideal vantage point to shoot from its time to take the pictures.
If your using a 180 degree fisheye lens as described in part 1 then you will need to be looking at between 6 to 8 pictures per panorama.
Here at 360 Panoramas we take 7 pictures in the following pattern.
5 frames taken around the horizon with the camera facing 10 degrees down from the horizon at 0, 72, 144, 216 and 288 degrees. The -10 degree angle on the camera leaves a very small hole at the nadir (downward facing photo) which is 90% tripod and panoramic head anyway. We then take one photo, "the zenith" at 65 degrees above the horizon facing which ever direction has the most detail above the horizon. If you face the camera straight up and there is nothing but sky above the horizon you will cause yourself problems stitching later as there will be no detail in the overlapping portions of the photo. The last photo, "the nadir" is taken either hand held or using some tripod leaning techniques of the area below where the tripod stood.
On a sunny day or in a situation where one direction may have a very different level of brightness then you might have to take HDR photos - HDR is a huge subject on its own so we will leave it out of this tutorial and I'll write up something later.

The resulting photos should look something like this.

You need to keep the focal length, focus distance, aperture, exposure time and iso levels the same to keep each frame exposed identically when the stitching is done later.

Of course you may need to do some clever stuff to keep yourself and your shadow and your reflection out of all the shots. Make use of the timer, a remote shutter release and  some hiding spaces 🙂

PART3  - POST PROCESSING