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