While Regular two-dimensional photos are still a standard on the web, 360 degree photos are being increasingly used by smartphone users to capture beautiful 360 panoramas. It has been quite difficult for users to share and embed 360° photos but you can now do it easily and for free, so it’s definitely time to harness the power of this new technology.
If you are serious about 360, we recommend that you get a specific device as they are getting more and more affordable. But if you want to share or embed a beautiful panorama, it’s still possible to do it with your smartphone, and it does not require any spending. You just need to install the right app.
So, to help you make your first experience with 360 degree photos, we have prepared this guide on how to shoot them with your smartphone.
Shooting 360 degree photos with a smartphone is easy. Whether you own an Android or an iOS device, you can download the Google Street View app from Google Play or AppStore. The process is almost the same on both operating systems.
Install the app and pick up an interesting spot to try it. After a few screens with tips and welcome messages, you’ll arrive at the homepage of the app. Click on the “Camera” icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen to start. A contextual menu will appear. Choose “Camera,” the third option.
After selecting “Camera,” you’ll be taken to the camera screen. The app will guide you through the capture process – essentially, the user has to stand still , hold the device in the right position, point the camera at the dot, and hit all orange circles appearing on the screen.
This process is illustrated below :
As you move your camera to hit all orange circles, the images are snapped automatically without pushing the shutter button. Don’t forget to catch them in all directions (360°). When you hit all circles and reach the final dot, press the white button in the middle of the screen and the app will take you to the home screen once again.
At this point, the app has already begun “stitching” all images to create a 360 degree panorama. The progress is indicated by an orange loading bar at the bottom of the screen. As soon as the process is completed, the app will notify you by indicating that your 360 photo is “ready to publish.”
The images are now stitched together into one 360 image. While you are able to preview the raw version of the image in both Android and iOS devices, there are some differences in how you access them.
Android users can find the panorama in “Images” in Explorer app (in “Gallery” in newer system versions), iOS users will need to press the “private share” tab and press the “save to device” option.
Now you can access the raw 360 image on your smartphone but what next ?
From your smartphone by uploading your image on Panoraven, you can :
- Share your image on whatsapp, twitter and facebook.
- Share your image by email
- Share your image by SMS
You can also embed your 360 image in a website but it will be easier for you from a desktop computer.
Tips and Tricks
You will see that it requires some skills to make a good 360 from street view. You will firstly make some mistakes when pointing some dots by moving a little bit too much, but after 2-3 attempts, you will come out with a good one. Be patient!
Try making 360 panoramas in open areas, while you can definitely perform indoor, the more far objects are, the more easy the stitching will be. For an indoor use, prefer a specific device. We made a guide to evaluate which are the best ones for 2019.
You will find below an example of a 360° photo taken with the street view app :
360 degree photos are becoming more and more popular. As a cutting edge technology, they offer new opportunities in the world of photography. Whether you want to impress your friends, enhance your souvenirs or use it for commercial purposes, you should harness the power of 360 now! This should be easy for you because, now you know how to take a 360 photo with a smartphone!