What is 360-degree Aerial Photography?

360-degree photography (or VR photography) has been popping up here and there for the last few years, but nowadays 360-degree photos and videos are everywhere and can be captured by camera, drone, or professional scanning equipment to create additional perspectives and incredible immersive marketing content for your business.

The surge in 360-degree photography is mainly thanks to the rise in popularity of Virtual Reality, which has shown that people crave an immersive experience. But 360 degree aerial photography is still emerging as it requires the additional skills of drone piloting to get right. Let’s take a dive into the world of 360° aerial photography…

What is 360-degree aerial photography?

Aerial 360-degree photography provides a greater, broader vision than that of a normal image as it captures the full 360° around the camera together with the context of a construction site or your subject – with the addition of height. We take aerial 360 degree images by drone, using our expertise as UAV pilots and construction experts.

Taking a 360 photo creates a magical experience where the user can interact with the image. This means your customers can explore the environment around them, and the subject from above, as if transported by air to the actual environment where the 360° degree photo was taken.

How does panoramic photography work?

360 cameras have two or three lenses, each of which face in a different direction. Photos are taken from each lens and are then stitched together automatically through software on the 360-degree camera, or manually in post production. Once stitched together, you have a 360-degree photo.

In addition to aerial images around the exterior of a subject, scanning equipment like the Matterport scanner, can add engaging interior 360s that facilitate an immersive and interactive 360 experience for your audiences – allowing them to explore external environments and then ‘dive’ into an interior. Interactive add-ons like information pop-ups and measuring devices add even more detail and depth to the whole experience.

How is an aerial 360-panorama photo captured?

One of the most exciting parts of any new technology is seeing who utilises it first, and what amazing content will be created. 360-degree images are no different. Here’s how 360 panoramic aerial images are captured:

Images can be shot manually or via an app. Manual shooting using a drone requires the pilot to understand how to take well composed individual images and then rotate the camera in sequences to take a series of images at different degree angles. Each of the images must overlap so that the post production platform has enough information to stitch them together to form the panorama.

There are several apps which will – wholly or partly – automate this process for the drone pilot, but most will undertake the same process described above to produce the same results – arguably without the guesswork. Both routes require a level of knowledge both in camera work and aerial piloting to get the best out of the subject.

An important part of our job is to consider the whole environment around the 360° camera. The essential part of shooting great 360 content is making sure that the user has something engaging to look at – and interact with – for every inch of their circular journey.

If things are moving or unfolding around you, it could be the perfect opportunity for a great 360-degree video. See this demonstrated in the 360 video we shot recently, below:

How can I put a 360-degree photograph on a website?

As we touched on earlier, 360 images have been commonly used across social platforms for a few years now, but they are being used by more and more companies as a great way to impress stakeholders. It’s easy to upload 360 photos to your business’ website – your image provider can host them and provide you with a simple embed code or you can make use of a variety of 360 hosting platforms. You can even upload 360-degree photos to Google, so they can be viewed on Street View.

This 360-degree technology has been utilised by estate agents, schools, event companies and more to show tours of properties and venue locations without customers having to leave their homes (especially helpful during the COVID-19 lockdowns). And construction companies are using them as a method of sharing construction progress with stakeholders in a more immersive way.

Dynamic visual content tells a story that words cannot match, and 360-degree photos and videos are fantastically immersive and interactive visual content – so much so that users are more likely to interact with this type of content and therefore dwell on your webpage.

As the demand grows, more and more social media companies are adapting to enable the use of 360° images on their platforms – as it increases customer interaction and sales, and keeps your stakeholders happy.

How to create the best aerial 360 photography

If you want to capture mind-blowing aerial 360 content that will set you apart from your competition, the safest way is to hire professionals in 360-degree aerial photography to get the job done. Make sure your provider has the correct qualifications, experience, accreditations and insurance before allowing them on site.

If you’re looking to create professional-looking 360-degree photos, we can do it for you! With over 25 years’ experience in the construction sector and lots of fantastic construction 360 photos and videos completed; you can trust Sky Revolutions to capture immersive content to enrich your marketing. Find out more about our 360 panoramas here.