Interning at VIA Tech this summer, we have had a lot of opportunities to use the awesome VPai 360 Camera that hit the market couple of months before. Having done several shooting trips around Taipei, it was time to embark on a bigger adventure. The four of us traveled down to Taitung on a mission to capture the southern vibe in 360°, with the highlight of the trip being the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Luye Township.
In this blog post we will share some essential 360 camera traveling tips to keep in mind when traveling and shooting with a 360° camera. We will also reveal the best spots in Taitung for shooting 360° media.
What to Bring – 360 Camera Traveling Tips
Before you go on a quest to capture your next amazing 360° footage, prepare your equipment well – better safe than sorry!
Extra Power: If you plan on travelling to locations where it will be hard for you to recharge your phone or camera, or plan on shooting lots of video, make sure to have a charged power bank along with you to ensure no opportunity is missed.
Space: It is a good idea to make sure you have enough room to store all the images and videos you plan on capturing. Of course, with the VPai app, you have the option to save your content to the VPai Cloud so you don’t have to stress over running out of storage space on your device. However, if you will be in areas where internet coverage is limited it is a good idea to clear out room on your mobile device or bring along an extra SD card to back-up your content to.
Accessories: One of the most essential accessories to pack along for capturing 360° content is a good selfie stick. A selfie stick allows you to easily position and focus the camera on your subject while eliminating the “lobster claw” issue that occurs when taking handheld shots. If you are planning on taking time-lapse videos or more wide range creative shots, a tripod is a must to ensure steady capture!
Capture your Commute
Each journey begins with the first step, so describe your story from the start – at an airport, in a taxi, on a bus, etc. – rather than Boom! we are in the Amazon Rain Forrest. This will make your story complete, more immersive, and it will make your audience feel as if they are embarking on a trip with you.
360° photography is a great tool for turning seemingly boring shots into something new and exciting. Place your camera on a platform and capture an arriving train together with people rushing to catch a ride, or take a snap of a car interior that would include all the passengers and the driver. To avoid “big head” distortions when shooting people, place your 360° camera at a chest level for the best effect.
Finding a Perfect Spot for 360° Shots
You will call me Captain Obvious, but when shooting in 360° you need to check your surroundings, not only focus on what is in front of you. Here are our best tips on choosing a fine spot for compelling 360° images.
Head for High Ground – Liyushan Park
Unobstructed panoramic views are ideal spots for 360° photography. With a VPai camera it is as easy as pointing and shooting to capture an entire 360° panorama, without a need for stitching images as it happens automatically within the device. The best time for shooting these types of images is right before sunrise or right after sunset, as at those times every part of the image is lit evenly.
The Liyushan Park is a perfect spot for capturing a 360° panorama of Taitung city. It takes only ten minutes to climb to one of the viewing platforms, and the view is hands down worth the effort.
Symmetry and Structure – Paposogan Seashore Park
Using symmetry found in nature or architecture (or by you and your friends!) can be used to create create a hypnotizing kaleidoscopic effect, which produces a dreamy atmosphere in your picture. Structural elements can also be used to create interesting compositions. To promote travel and highlight the best photo spots, National Geographic-like frames can be found in tourist hot-spots all around Taiwan, which provide an ideal opportunity for 360°shots.
Bring excitement to your videos by creating little planets with the Asteroid view. Don’t shy away from experimenting with different poses!
Group Shots – Best Pizza in Taitung at Uncle Pete’s
People are considered the most fascinating subjects in photography, and the same holds true for 360° photography. By using a 360° camera, capturing group shots is a breeze as you can fit everyone in the picture, photographer included. Don’t leave anybody out – everybody is a part of the story!
Frame Your Photos with Flowers – Yuan Sen Applied Botanical Garden
Using bushes of flowers to frame a photo is probably our favorite effect and it can be achieved in seconds with the VPai app. Mount your device on a tripod and place it amongst flowers, set a timer, take a step back, and smile! Next, open the image in the VPai app and switch the view to the Asteroid mode. From there, you can adjust the view to create the reverse Asteroid effect, and voila!
Capture the Atmosphere of an Event – Taitung International Balloon Festival
Using a 360° camera is an excellent way to capture the atmosphere of an event, as it allows you to show both sides – the performer and the audience. The Hot Air Balloon Festival in Luye afforded us with a lively setting to capture, as the fantastically shaped balloons made for captivating eye-candy.