What are 360-degree photos?
Before we can get into the possible benefits of 360-degree photography, it is good to establish precisely what we are referring to. Although the concept of 360-degree photography isn't entirely new, a few details often need clarification. The production process for this photography is relatively straightforward.
If you are dealing with products, a photographer usually places the item on a turntable or suspended from a fishline against an all-white background. With the proper lighting, the product can be deliberately turned to allow for uniform images to be taken from every angle. In post-production, the turntable/fishline is typically removed with editing software. The image will then be touched up to ensure that identical coloring and lighting are shown from every angle.
Similarly, with real estate, a professional photographer will start in an open interior area of a home with their camera set on a gimbal(camera balancing device) or a maneuverable tripod. They will then be able to grab images in a calculated circular motion to once again catch details from all around their position. The images can be softly edited in post-production to ensure the lighting shows the property in its truest form and color.
There are three standard formats of 360-degree photography. They would include: Still Shots, 360-Degree High-Resolution Video, and 360-Degree Interactive Photos.
- Still shots would be a collection of about ten or more images (highly dependent on the product's shape) that show the item at every angle.
- 360-Degree High-Resolution Video would be exactly what it sounds like. It pertains to a video that smoothly turns the item or vantage point for real estate (as discussed earlier) to show a smooth view of the subject and its angles.
- And finally, 360-Degree Interactive Photos are an amalgamation of a photo from every angle typically run through special software. The result is an image that seamlessly shows all angles of the subject that can be maneuvered in real-time on a website with a mouse or fingertip (for mobile browsing). This third option arguably gives the consumer the most interactive experience that mimics the product in hand at a brick-and-mortar store.