I was looking at a post a few days ago where a British photographer, Oliver Curtis, took pictures at the ‘World’s Most Iconic Spots’ with his camera facing in different directions. It was only when we posted pictures on Facebook and other photo sharing sites that I realized how much we miss out on. Recently , Facebook has introduced a feature where you can upload images in 360 degree view, where users can shift their phones or use the desktop mouse to view the 360 degrees.
There are special Facebook approved cameras, such as Gear 360, LG 360 Cam, 360Fly, which make the job much simpler. Yet they cost only a few hundred dollars at the same time. So today, with some support from additional apps, I’ll show you how to shoot 360 degree images with your Android device, and easily upload these images to Facebook.
CAPTURING THE 360 DEGREE VIEW
For the task, we will be using the Cardboard Camera app using which one can capture VR ready photos. However, as the photos are taken as a 360 degree panorama, it can be used on Facebook to give the 360 effect. Just install the app, launch it and tap the 📷 button at the bottom-right corner. This will launch the cardboard camera on your device.
Now hold your phone steady and upright on the frame from where you want to start capturing the photo and then sweep the phone slowly to the right to capture everything around you. Move the phone slowly and just move in one direction without shaking the camera. It can be tricky in the beginning, and don’t worry about a few ups and downs, the software processing will take care of the rest.
Once the photo is captured and processed, tap on the three-dot menu to share it on Facebook. A panorama shot that’s wider than 100 degrees will automatically be converted to a 360 degree photo. Also, you can only upload a single 360 degree photo at a time.
COOL TIP: If you are getting dark and light spots in the camera, open up the settings and turn on Exposure lock. This will keep your photos uniform.
GOING AN EXTRA MILE WITH 360 DEGREE SPHERE PHOTOS
The trick we discussed above can take photos in 180 degrees, however, the viewer can only view photos in one strip. There’s a way you can shoot photos in spherical view and upload it to Facebook if you are ready to put in a little extra effort. We will be using Google Street View (Yes! You read it right) to create spherical 360 photos for Facebook. After you install and launch the app, tap on the camera icon and select the default camera to start shooting. You can also connect to a 360 camera, but that would require additional hardware.
Now all you need to do is start shooting photos and point your camera at the dot. Just move the camera from one dot to another and let the phone take photos. Once all the dots are covered, tap on the check-mark and wait for the photos to stitch up together.
Once you have the final image, you can publish it to Google Maps. However, if you wish to share it on Facebook, tap on the share button on the bottom of the screen and tap on Facebook to start the upload.
FOR SAMSUNG AND IPHONE USERS
While iPhone users can shoot a panorama from their phone to give a 360 degree panorama, Samsung users on Samsung Galaxy S6 and Note5 can use Surround Shot or Panorama mode to take the photos. But then again, I’d recommend you use the above apps to get a better image.
I completely understand it can be quite a challenge to take 360-degree images using only one camera that is too connected to your screen. But then think about how the picture from your next trip would appear from an exotic location with the 360 degree view. So try it, and let us know about your experience with them
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