The first date with VPai left us with a better understanding of how to leverage the camera for different effects. That’s why this week we decided to experiment with a selfie stick and embark on a trip to the Fulong Sand Festival, where various sculptors from all over the world shape the bright golden sand of Fulong Beach into intricate designs and objects.
Gathering in the main hall of the Taipei Main Station, we placed our handy tripod/selfie stick right in the middle of the structure. The symmetry of the tile floor and the windows and walls on the sides created a unique phenomenon. It was a positive start to what promised to be another incredible journey.
About an hour later, we finally reached the small coastal town of Fulong. The cool sea breeze caressed our cheeks as we stood on the bridge leading to the sculptures on the beach. The selfie stick was especially handy in this case. Without having to stretch our arm and camera out, we were able to extend it over the bridge, allowing a clear view of the water below and the beach on the side.
A rather helpful feature of the selfie stick is the adjustable clamp for the phone. A quick and easy-to-use rubberized clamp is the best option to hold your phone and the VPai camera. The firm grip of the clamp also ensures that different angles of a shot can be taken, but you need to check that your selfie stick can hold the weight of your phone.
Specifically, the selfie stick made 360° photos much easier to take. When you hold your camera and phone in your hand, the the hand is distorted (the thumb and pointer finger are both significantly enlarged) and the arm is elongated to unnatural proportions. Using a selfie stick made it possible to get the whole picture of the body without having to compensate for the distortions.
As a plus, most selfie sticks come with 180° of rotation for an unlimited combination of angles to consider.
After looking through the sculptures from international and local artisans, there was only one matter we had to resolve. It doesn’t make sense to go to a beach and not play in the sea! The positioning of the camera clearly separated the water from the beach at the shoreline, creating a rather captivating effect.
The short stroll by the beach really helped us work up our appetites, and we were all starving and looking for food. A quick bus ride later, we were sitting in a homely restaurant in the old mining town of Jiufen, with a nice view behind us.
Our hunger sated, we made our way to the famous Jiufen teahouse where employees busied themselves with brewing and serving tea. Each step is a delicate process; a fragrant aroma drifts from the boiling tea leaves. The tasteful decorations also madeour 360° photos much more interesting. With the selfie stick, we were able to takeshots above the decorative pond filled with koi fish.
Before heading back to Taipei, we took one last commemorative photo of Jiufen. The lush vegetation cloaking the surrounding trees enabled us to capture the true greenness of the planet in this asteroid shot.
During this trip, we discovered that mastering the right camera usage techniques is equally as important as learning how to use the camera equipment and app. With the knowledge we have gained, we hope that our next trip will be even more productive than the last two we had! See you again soon!
Selfie Stick – Tips We Learned This Time Around:
- Selfie sticks can be a very useful tool for improving the quality of your 360° images and video. Not only do they remove distortions and enable you to take full-body shots; they also help to extend your reach so that you can capture an even greater variety of scenes.
- Choose a selfie stick that is physically compatible with your phone. Make sure the stick is durable, has stable reach, and can be easily adjusted for any situation.
- The camera timer is essential when using a simple selfie stick. The 5 and 10 second options give enough time to position the camera before taking the perfect shot.
- To clearly capture the background and the main subject in the photo, remember to shift the camera downwards to widen the view. In contrast, to emphasize a specific subject in the photo, raise the camera upward to narrow the focus.