Gigwalk Tips–Capturing Panoramas

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Through photographs, the Gigwalk community has given us a small glimpse into the neighborhoods and businesses at the heart of American cities. So it’s only natural that we feel excited to introduce panoramic pictures through the Photosynth App as a new enhanced way for the members of our community to showcase their hometowns.

Capturing Great Panoramas

We’ve learned that capturing exciting panoramas is an art and takes time to master. To help people hone their Photosynth skills, we’ve established the following list of five guidelines and tips.

1. How do I take clear panoramic images?  Moving your phone as you take the shot will increase the possibility of blur. Keep your camera fixed to one location and rotate your wrist to ensure the best results.

Make sure you watch carefully for blurring, so you can use the “undo” button and reshoot that frame as soon as you catch the error; otherwise you will have to undo good shots to reach the blurred ones.

Tip: Moving the phone too fast will trigger the app for a manual screen tap to take a picture (a yellow box). Develop a flow and the panoramas will take themselves.

2. How many degrees should I capture? It depends on the size of the room. Smaller rooms with less space, you should create a panorama of 180 degrees (half a circle). Larger rooms require that you make a full circle and capture 360 degrees.

Tip: Rooms vary in size, so to determine how many degrees you need, stand in the middle of the room. Can you see all of the walls without any large obstructions (i.e. column, etc)? If you can, take the full 360 degrees.

3. How can I avoid customers? If there are other customers in the room, don’t exclude them from the shot, but don’t get them in a close-up. Try to be more than 10 feet away from any customer directly facing you. You can’t avoid the customers, because panoramas should be taken in the main room of the business during normal business operations. The idea is to engulf the viewer into daily operations of the subject matter.

Tip: To avoid interruption during your “slow spins” in the middle of your intended panoramic target, Paul C., a fellow Gigwalker shares this tip—plug your earphones into your phone and act like you are on an important phone call. Your earphones will allow you to listen to the beep of the Photosynth and capture your panoramas with minimal screen tapping. The ubiquitous phone call in public will give you a reason to pace in circles avoid interruption during capture.  

4. What should I capture in a Gig? Don’t forget that these panoramas are used to capture detailed information about the intended targets. Don’t overlook menu boards, the view, a table setting, or anything else that adds interest.  Find the best vantage point to take your panorama and begin shooting.

Tip: The Photosynth app can stitch more than panoramas; it can capture 360 degree, 3-D images also. If the tiled floor is unique or the ceiling catches your eye, include it in the panorama. This will greatly improve the depth of your panorama and allow you to include every detail that contributes to the establishment’s ambiance.

Example details

5. What about Lighting? Lighting can be tricky from one spot to another, but the most important thing to remember when shooting panoramas is to keep consistent lighting. Otherwise, your photos will look unstable. You may want to experiment with the exposure lock in the app.

In general, lighting should not be an issue. The Photosynth app takes amazing panoramas of both dim and bright locations. Below are two examples of panoramas of rooms on the opposite ends of the lighting spectrum. 

Tip: If the Photosynth app is having issues capturing an image, a red box will appear around the intended shot. This happens frequently in dimmer environments, but don’t stress. Simply aim your phone at the last image captured to get you back on track.

Don’t forget to check out the Photosynth Gigs near you. We have introduced additional Library Gigs in each of our supported metro areas to give you a chance to put these panoramic guidelines and tips into practice. 

Happy Gigwalking.


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