Learning to use Photo Spheres

When it comes to mobile phones, I tend to be something of a dinosaur. Although I have had a mobile phone for about 15 years now, like many people of my generation they have tended to be a rarely used tool, mainly for emergencies than anything else. To a certain degree I think that is possibly the right attitude to adopt especially when I see hordes of the mainly younger generation walking the streets with their eyes glued to tiny LCD screens held in their hands. I cannot help but sometimes wonder how much of life is being missed or passed-by unnoticed by those who find the need to incessantly chat away to some other ethereal being on the receiving end with the same recently developed insatiable need.

After many years of faithful service my old mobile phone started to develop problems forcing me to look what is currently on the market. I am not the sort of person to worry about every nuance of a mobile phones design, with my main criteria being the simple question of does it work? I found the prices of new mobile phones ranged from the astronomical for the latest models to those more modestly priced with almost the same functions except they were last years model. Irrelevant of the price, they all had the same and probably the most important function of being able to make a phone call.

One of my hobbies is photography and even my old cell phone had a camera built into it. Unfortunately is was quiet low resolution giving poor results. After a few experimental photographs I found using the camera served little purpose. Camera resolution in mobile phones has however dramatically improved over recent years, some giving better quality “standard” pictures than digital cameras that were on the market only a few years ago. One aspect of my new mobile which pleased me is I found it take a special type of photograph know as a photo sphere. This involves taking a series of overlapping photographs on a 360° axis including the sky and the ground. The end result when viewing a photo sphere is like standing in the centre of a globe and being able to completely view the world around you including the sky and the earth.

I have experimented with making a few of these special photographs and although I have a lot to learn including how to make them on my much higher resolution digital camera, I am still pleased with my beginners results.

Below is one I recently created and shows St Bartholomew’s Church and the attached military cemetery in Yeovilton Village and which is now on Google Maps. By clicking and holding the left mouse button it is possible to rotate the picture full circle including up and down. Using the mouse wheel also allows one to zoom in and out. I think it likely I will be making many more of these pictures in the future.

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