There are two methods of capturing in 360 – using either a fish eye lens or a GoPro camera.

Using a fish eye lens
This involves a normal DSLR camera equipped with a fish-eye lens mounted on an adapted monopod.

The fish eye lens is a super wide lens that allows you to capture 180 degrees of a scene, left to right, top to bottom.

In order to capture the 360 degree view with this method, you have to take four pictures – one at every 90 degrees keeping a close eye on the spirit level. The spirit level tells the photographer whether the monopod is vertical.

Using a GoPro
The second method uses six GoPro cameras held together in a 3D printed mount. This method allows the photographer much more freedom because it captures the six images in one go. Again, this can be mounted on a monopod but personally I use a sound boom pole because of its longer length.

To see an example of when I used the fish eye, click here.

To see an example of when I used the GoPro cameras, click here.

I prefer to use the GoPro cameras because it allows me to capture moving subjects.

Software
After capture, the four to six images (depending on the method) are uploaded to a laptop to be stitched together using specialist software.

This is an example of the equirecutangular panorama that is created with the 6 images stitched together which is the raw ingredient which is then transformed into the online 360 degree image.

The 360 images allow the photographer expand his/her horizons and capture the world in a new way.

It brings the viewer in to events in a truly immersive way allowing them to see not only the actual event but the reaction of the crowd also. A great example is when I captured the New Year’s Eve fireworks display in London. I was able to capture the whole picture – from the fireworks to Big Ben to the faces of the people watching.

  • Capturing the floods with the GoPro method. Photo part of Peter Macdiarmid's personal collection.
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  • Capturing the floods with the GoPro method. Photo part of Peter Macdiarmid's personal collection.
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  • AMBERLEY, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 07: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image was created as an Equirectangular Panorama. Import image into a panoramic player to create an interactive 360 degree view. Exclusive Content, outside of all subscription agreements - Premium Pricing applies) A forest suffers flooding after the river Arun burst its banks on January 7, 2014 near Rackham, England. Parts of the United Kingdom are entering a third week of flooding and stormy conditions. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/360/Getty Images)
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About Peter Macdiarmid
Peter was born in Scotland in 1964 and has been a photographer for 26 years starting out on local newspapers in south London. He then progressed to cover assignments all over the world for The Independent and The Daily Telegraph newspapers. He also worked for Reuters before joining Getty Images as Senior News Photographer in 2005.

Peter’s work has been recognized with awards from the Getty Images Picture Editor’s Awards. He has also been named News Photographer of The Year by the ‘Press Photographer’s Year Awards’ and recently was named as Pulitzer finalist for his images of the Arab Spring.

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