In the early days of Giroptic, we put a lot of effort into focusing on the benefits of 360° cameras for professional real estate use. Fast-forward to 2017, and it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come in terms of employing our products. What about 360° in Nature?

Although we still view 360° as a great way to show off homes on the market, there’s no denying what our favorite user-submitted pics and videos consist of: ah yes, the great outdoors. No we didn’t necessarily create the iO for outdoor-specific use, but we were aware from early on that the format was going to do very well with open spaces, heights, and gnarly, twisted landscapes. Judge for yourself, but I think we were right.

Although this article is instructional in nature, we’re going to keep it light on the technical aspects and focus on tips that any level of photographer can put into practice. So without further ado, here are our top 3 tips for getting the most out of 360° in nature.

 

Tip 1: 360° in Nature, get open

The iO isn’t waterproof, but let’s call it “water-friendly.” In the sense that there’s no better place to get wide open than the open sea (or lake, or river, or whatever), bodies of water are ideal for capturing 360° pictures and videos. But there is something important you have to keep in mind.

The fisheye lens is what makes 360° possible; however, due to the nature of this lens type, it is not ideal for focusing on far-off objects. The reason the above photo works so well is because we have an interesting subject (two humans on a boat) close up in frame, who are contrasting the open water and horizon around them. The 360° format creates a cool effect with the openness of the water, but it would have been a boring shot if a) there was no interesting close-up subject, or b) the intent of the picture had been to capture a far-off subject, such as a passing cruise liner, which would have only appeared as a small, unidentifiable object in the distance.

So does that mean we can’t use the iO to capture far-off objects?

No, actually, the iO 360° is still great for capturing large, looming objects in the distance, such as mountains, sprawling cities, etc. For example, the numerous mountain peaks spread out throughout the distance looks absolutely phenomenal in this shot below:

 

 

Tip 2: 360° in Nature, get high

The photo above demonstrates our second tip quite well. What’s so great about heights? You just have to remember the number one benefit of 360°: fitting as much into frame as possible. The higher you go, the more you can potentially capture: below, above, and all around you. It works whether you have nothing around you, in which case you are simply capturing a great selfie or group shot with the cool effect of the horizon; or,l if you have something massive sprawled out either below or around you (mountains, cities, etc.). Basically, you can’t really go wrong when you go high…unless, of course, you happen to be out on a foggy day ; )

 

Tip 3: 360° in Nature, get gnarly

Flat, open shots looks cool thanks to the horizon and a close-up subject. But another kind of open shot we love is when the landscape is twisting and doing all sorts of funky stuff in the background. In the shot above, it works especially well again because of contrast: the flat, wide open sea on one side, and the gnarly, rocky shore on the other. Here’s another example of the kind of rugged effect we’re talking about:

 

 

You can try to imagine what this picture would have looked like if instead of these cool tiered vineyards, it had just been open and flat. It’s the texture of the landscape that makes the photo great in addition to the close-up subjects.

If you need any more tips for taking great 360° shots in nature, or just taking great shots in general, be sure to check back here for future articles. You can also read back through our archives where we’ve already posted tons of tips and advice on the art of 360.