*All the media in this post is spherical. Make sure to give it a spin…
Three months ago I bought a Ricoh Theta S. It’s a 360 camera that captures spherical images and video. Pretty cool, right? After popping it out of the box and taking a random snap in my mother’s kitchen I flipped out about how amazing the technology is. Since then, I’ve barely touched the thing.
The reason why is simple; I’ve not had a clue what to do with it. Over the last decade I’ve captured well over 10,000 images and 100 hours of video. There’s only ever been one thought on my mind when behind the camera. “How do I frame this?” That way of thinking is now useless.
When it comes to 360 captures (captures being both images and videos) there is no framing. There is no zoom. There is also no crop. Of course you could take anyone of those actions when editing. However, if you did, the end product would no longer be 360. In order to shoot 360, we must deconstruct our current assumptions and expectations towards traditional photography. Only by doing that can this new art-form be defined.
And that is what is so exciting. It is not defined. No one has hard expectations on what 360 video and photography should be or must look like. There is no secret production process that’s practiced by the “experts”. At this point in the game, anyone that gets their hands on a 360 camera and exercises even the slightest bit of creativity is – by definition – truly a pioneer. Anybody with access to a 360 (or photosphere app…) can play a meaningful in defining the future of 360.
That may sound lofty, but it’s not. It’s very real. Think of it this way. Someone had to have taken the first cell phone selfie, right? Sure, you could have taken a selfie with a DSLR – but who does that? Instead, someone with a camera phone very simply gave life to a new form of expression that’s now a cultural phenomenon. I don’t know what 360’s cultural phenomenon will be. No one does. Someone will stumble upon it though. And that someone could be you.
In the past few weeks I’ve made a push. With an even if it’s bad attitude, I’ve simply begun taking 360 photos. The most interesting lesson learned from doing so is how intuitive 360 composition is. The perspective is actually very human. Think of being at a concert and wishing you could be watching it from back stage. Well, that’s how you set up a 360 capture – from a human perspective. Positioning the camera where your own most intriguing perspective would be found, and capturing all of it. The gap between how we see things and how we see things through the camera has been greatly narrowed.