I run a mobile app based service called P360M, which enables users to annotate and share 360 degree photos via the web. A number of our clients, sometimes need to work in low light conditions and unfortunately 360 degree cameras don’t generally come with a flash. Therefore to help out all 360 degree photographers, I thought I’d share a few techniques to solve the problem of taking 360 degree photos in low or no light.
Using the light you have
A good 360 degree camera, like the Ricoh Theta camera range, should provide a user with a high degree of control over the camera experience. It’s possible with the Ricoh cameras to switch the camera to manual mode using the Ricoh app. You can then adjust the exposure, film speed (ISO) and White Balance, to use whatever light is available. If the scene is relatively static, I recommend reducing ISO to around 250 and then use longer exposures. It’s worth taking several photos at different shutter speeds until you get the best image possible. The photo below was taken using 1/90s exposure, 100 ISO and F2.0
360 degree image in P360M
How to take a 360 photo in room with no light
It’s actually easier than you think to take 360 degree photos in spaces where there is little or no light available. You just need an independent light source. A source which is diffuse and produces light across 360 degrees is ideal. An electric camping lantern of around 1000 lumens will work well and can be purchased for less than £20. All you need to do is hang the lantern several feet above the camera or alternatively position the lantern underneath your camera tripod. Your camera will do the rest.
View the 360 degree image in P360M
P360M is a 360 degree photo based mobile app service for sharing annotated 360 degree images
P360M service is designed to work with any 360 degree camera. It’s a mobile app service, which enables a rotate and annotate 360 degree photos. Once the image is annotated, it can be shared to others through emailing a web link. Web users can open the link in any web browser and are able to rotate the view to see the complete 360 degree image and any annotations added to it. They can also view the link on a mobile phone in VR using Google Cardboard goggles.
P360M service is great for construction project management, site auditing, project snagging, health & safety site management and also has applications in forensic work for capturing a complete scene. To learn more, go to https://p360m.co.uk
I am the CEO of P360M. A mobile app service, which works alongside any 360 degree camera and allows a user to annotate, then share 360 degree photos with their teams via simple web views. This article will give you a basic understanding of 360 degree photography and how it can be used in the construction business.
What is 360 degree photography
360 degree camera allows a user in one shot to generate a complete 360 degree image around the camera. There are a number of 360 degree cameras available, which are simple to use and relatively cheap to purchase.
360 degree photography enables with one click, the ability to capture a total scene in front and behind the camera. 360 degree photos can be viewed easily via a specialised web service, either as a rotatable view in a web browser or in Virtual Reality using VR goggles. Using VR goggles puts the user actually in the centre of the photo, so they actually feel they are there.
How to capture 360 degree photos
Let’s start with the basics of 360 degree cameras. A 360 degree camera consists of multiple cameras in one device. When it’s activated, each camera takes a photo, which is then stitched together to form a complete 360 degree view around the camera. Usually, 360 degree cameras work with an accompanying mobile app, so the viewer can see and rotate the 360 degree view on their phone. The phone can also be used to control the camera, enabling the user to place a camera on a tripod and take a photo of a complete space without the photographer being in the photo.
You do not need to spend huge sums on 360 cameras for use in construction. The camera we recommend to use is the Ricoh Theta S, because it’s easy to use, generates great quality pictures, has a good battery life and retails at less than £200. Other options are the Samsung 360 camera or Insta 360.
How to make 360 degree photos useful in your work.
To make 360 degree photos useful, you need to be able to easily add notes and be able to share them. P360M is a mobile app based service (iOS and Android supported), which enables a user to annotate 360 images on their phone and then share them with their teams via simple emailed web links.
A user who receives a P360M web link, can open the 360 degree photo within a web browser. The user can rotate the view to see all 360 degrees of the photo and any annotations added by the P360M app user.
The image can also be viewed in virtual reality goggles, using a mobile phone and low cost Google Cardboard goggles.
Why use 360 degree photography in construction?
A picture says a 1000 words, a 360 degree picture says everything. Here are some basic reasons why 360 degree photography can help in construction:
Where can it be used in construction?
This is by no means an exhaustive list of applications, but here are a number of interesting areas 360 photography can be used:
Find out more at https://p360m.co.uk