How to compose one 360 deg photo with a digital camera

Real Estate Agent with (408) 425-1601 CA bre 1519182

                                                        Sam Shueh

                                                    Realty One Group

                                                     Campbell, CA


I shot black and white photographs won prices when I was a teen. It was way more technical working with rolls of films and developed and enlarged by myself.   My dad's Swedish Hasselblad 1000F camera was the one I used one of the most sophisticated camera one ever developed.  It can shoot 120, 620, 135 size formats with different cartridges. Rather use contrast or bright feature I just let it expose on film paper longer during shooting or enlarging. You get only one chance with these expensive films that was when I developed the skill studying angles and lighting well.  External flash is what I used then and today. Consequently, I rarely use any software to correct as many amateur photographers do today. In photography or real estate photography composition is the key. There are rules of 3rds. Draw imaginary lines on your camera's screen or viewfinder and create nine equal sections. Your eyes will tend to go to the intersections first, so it's best to place your subject one one of those. Use leading lines to get viewer attention and put a frame which is part of a picture. My favorite is use flower or trees to make a frame and shoot the subject in one of the 9 sectors.  A doorway leading to a room. A few roses that act like framing to a subject.  


The rules of owning software like Photoshop has changed. Now one has to lease by the month and gave them your credit card information.  Creative Cloud can not be purchased anymore. Again, I merely use a crop function and often MS Paint function that comes with Microsoft has it. 


This is composed by multiple portrait images to be exact 15 images each encompass 24 degrees on a tripod with a rotator. One needs to make sure the 16th image will line up with initial one angle wise. Digital camera is a heavy equipment and it has the tendency to droop over movement.  One needs to have a tri-axial bubble device which I also to measure floor leveling from foundation and soil sediment. The rest is a matter of stitching these images together and crop out the misalignment at top and bottom. One can scan it slowly and add music to make virtual tour a worth awhile experience. 


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The origin of the "Virtual Tour" started about 12 years ago. The example used was animation of  Dudley Castle in England. This consisted of a computer controlled laser-disc based system designed by British-based engineer on a rotating axis. Queen Elizabeth II, was one of the earliest user when she officially opened the visitor center. Because the Queen's officials and duties. The system was named and described as-"Virtual Tour, a cross between virtual reality and royal tour."


The drone photography used in smaller size western state homes does no justice. Unless one has an estate and beautiful yard. Homes with junk in neighbor backyard, debris, balls on the roof.  I personally think virtual tour will stay in real estate photography while others will disappear over time. User can rotate as Cartesian, cylindrical or cubical coordinates. Some rotate 360 degrees and some is panoramic with user defined angle.


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Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

The stitched composite image has the tendency to change its image. So are the images uploaded there are 15 before the disappearance of images on AR....

I can only state our AR upload  image tool is full of surprises...

May 27, 2017 06:28 PM #1
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Sam Shueh my profession photographer gives me only 11 images - so that may be the reason sometimes I do not get full 360 in a nice way!

There are stitching software that does the job very nicely. ICE from  Microsoft and Hugin are just a couple of examples.

May 27, 2017 06:47 PM #2
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

The simple way to do similar thing: panoramic image with your iphone:) 

May 27, 2017 10:23 PM #3
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks Sam, this looks like something that would be good to use with some of our forest landscapes.


May 27, 2017 11:35 PM #4
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Technological advancement is constantly making things easier to do.  That must have been very time-consuming, Sam.

May 31, 2017 07:54 AM #5
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