I’ve said before that there’s a restless quality in some of us that keeps us constantly looking and learning, trying new things and experimenting with new ways to do things. For me it is my photography that provides this platform for experimentation and as I’ve said before I often take on new challenges before the previous one has been fully mastered. Restless you see.
I hit 60 last month (I know, you all thought I was about 12) and wanting to buy me something a little different my wife plumped for the INSTA360 One camera. The clue is in the name – it shoots 360 video and stills. Now, we are not taking DSLR image quality here and at a point when I’ve just upgraded the little Fuji X-T20 for the X-T3 (more of which another day) it seems counterintuitive to be buying a camera with some serious limitations in respect of image quality. But, and this is important, the purpose of buying such a camera, for me, was not to produce 20×16 inch exhibition prints, but to have a bit of fun. At present the biggest audience for 360 images is to be found on social media. The tiny 24mb/4K sensor in the One is more than adequate for the purpose and indeed obsessing about image quality is to miss the point of owning this camera.
One of the side tracks I sometimes take with the drone, especially when the conditions aren’t exactly what I’m looking for in respect of landscape photography, is shooting 360 degree, spherical panoramas and then turning these into “tiny planets”. It’s a niche interest but for a “twelve-at-heart” sixty year old it has proven irresistible. Now, not all of my photographer contacts think so highly of this pastime as I do but I’m not doing this for them, I’m doing it for my inner child. That said, I have now set up a separate Instagram account (Oldie360) to share my 360 images.
The small 360 camera therefore gives me access to another outlet for my photographic exploits. Up until now I’ve not been using is “seriously” as I’m enjoying the fun of creating little selfie-worlds but whilst playing I’m learning. I’ve already realised that using my phone as a Bluetooth trigger is a little limiting so have ordered the small, but relatively pricey (as it currently has to be bought from abroad) INSTA360 remote trigger. This can be used discretely in the hand or if using the selfie stick it can be attached to the stick itself.
I shall write more about this new photographic offshoot over time as I get to grips with its idiosyncrasies but in the meantime enjoy the couple of 360-Selfies I’ve included here.
Me. Selfies. Who’d have thought it!