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Sam Rohn is one of the early pioneers of 360º panoramic photography. He has been shooting 360º photos since the 1990′s which makes him one of the very earliest of early adopters. He knows his stuff inside and out, and is a great guy. I’ve enjoyed meeting Sam in person from time to time over the years. I thought it would be nice to interview him so he could share some of his thoughts about panoramic photography, New York City, and location scouting.
A native of NYC and a location scout in addition to being a professional photographer, Sam is in one of those truly enviable positions: he gets to go to places that NOBODY else is ever going to see – and he has the panoramas to prove it! And these aren’t just average “ok” panoramas – Sam makes really wonderful images.
I first got the idea to interview Sam when I saw his NYC Ground Zero panoramas which were really quite lovely.

Sam, you must have made hundreds of panos in New York City?

Yes, hundreds all over the world and in NYC, I’ve been a location manager for many years so I have access to a lot of locations that aren’t available to the public. sometimes I accidentally bring my pano gear ;) and shoot some panoramas while i’m in there.

Is panoramic photography useful as a location scout?

Yes and no. Ultimately location scouting photos require using a long lens, wide lens, shooting from different angles, and from every corner of a room. it’s a lot of work. Scouting locations…. i’ll scout 5-10 locations every day, there no way i’m going to shoot 45 panos a day for what a location scout gets paid! But of course some locations are really worth shooting a 360 panorama….

You’re primarily a location scout?

I’ve worked as a location scout on the aesthetic more than the logistic side of things, for 20 years now. So i’ve evolved into a photographer rather than a producer which is what a lot of location scouts do. These days, I work more as a photographer than a location scout.

I miss location scouting when i don’t do it. With photography, you shoot one thing and go home. location scouting, you have to do many things and visit many places, think on your feet. i’m surprised at how little savvy photographers have with location scouting – locations, permits, and so on. for me, it’s second nature.

What kind of stuff are you enjoying photographing lately?

Usually i like shooting empty places, these days i’m enjoying photographing people. locations and interiors just sit there and are easier to shoot. People are difficult — they move and have to be caught off guard. I’m starting to appreciate it.

Do you prefer shooting at night, or during the day?

Traditionally I appreciate shooting at night or blue hour; shooting during the day is less consistent. the light varies quickly. At night, it’s consistent. During the day, from one day to another, as a location scout i shoot a lot of places over and over again – the brooklyn bridge or dumbo, i’ve shot them every day of every time of year, they always look different. You have to pay attention the time of day and year. When it’s easy, you have a nice day, it’s easy. but on marginal days, i like that challenge: clouds, they’re like cats, they do what they want!

How has pano photography changed for you in the last ten years?

It has become less of a specialty and more of a general interest hobby with panoramic software built into cellphones and such, everybody can shoot a panorama of some quality, good or bad. And this has in some way been good — it has increased the awareness that this kind of photography exists, with google street view etc. etc. but it’s also made it seem just like another trick or novelly and people lose the idea that its’ *photography*. Trying to produce good photos is still hard.

Your panoramas on 360Cities are not your standard NYC landmarks – you have a few unique places and times there. Can you speak about that?

A lot of my panos on 360cities are ones that no one else has: the hurricane sandy blackout, or the top of Brooklyn brigde – NO ONE else is going there! Or inside the UN nations general assembly hall – not easy to access – and some private rooftops that are not easy to access.

A few of the places I’ve shot are gone – the atrium at 5 beekman street:

 

 

 

This place might not look like much to you but if you live in nyc you wonder what the hell is inside here. now it’s a 10 billion dollar condo but at one time it was an empty shell, and this is what it looked like:

 

 

 

I really enjoyed shooting panoramas of the dark, empty streets during the blackout that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy: ain’t gonna happen again until there is another blackout!

 

All of the panoramas I put up on 360Cities are special places that nobody else is likely to shoot. If you haven’t heard of the place, it means no one else is going to shoot it!

 

Sam’s photographer profile page: https://www.360cities.net/profile/sam-rohn

Sam’s personal website: http://www.samrohn.com/ and his location scouting website: http://nylocations.com

All of the embedded panorama codes, both need to be updated in order for the fullscreen mode to work as before. It’s quite simple to change the code as it’s just an exercise in copy-and-paste.

  • The embed code that you have now looks like this one:

<iframe src=”http://www.360cities.net/XXXXXXXXXXXXXX width=”910″ height=”460″ frameborder=”0″ bgcolor=”#000000  ” target=”_blank”></iframe>

  • In order to get the fullscreen mode back, you need to update the code as well as allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen. The embed code will look like this:

<iframe src=”http://www.360cities.net/XXXXXXXXXXXXXX” width=”910″ height=”460″ frameborder=”0″ bgcolor=”#000000″ target=”_blank”allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen>

  • You can either:
  1. Manually copy and paste this sequence on all your embedded panos: allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen
  2. Copy and paste the new embed code from your panorama from your 360Cities panorama page which  already has the sequence.

And, if you are a PRO member and using the PRO embed, your beautiful embedded panorama will look like this one:

Apologies for the complication but it couldn’t be avoided.

 

The 360Cities Team

 

Last week, with great excitement and expectations, we launched the first phase of the new 360cities.net.

We would like to thank you, our community, for your overwhelmingly positive reaction. We appreciate your comments, identification of bugs and issues, and suggestions for improvements. Your feedback, whether via Facebook, Twitter, Forum, or email is very important to us and we take it seriously. We are addressing a number of the issues you have reported right now and, while we can’t implement every feature you propose, will strongly consider each of them as we move forward.

Thanks again for your continued loyalty.

The 360Cities Team

We’re thrilled to release the first phase of the new and improved 360cities.net. You’ll notice that the homepage, panorama pages, map, search, photographer profile pages, headers, and footers have been entirely redesigned and features a dramatically improved panorama viewing experience across PC, mobile, and tablets.

 

Highlights of the new design:

- Homepage:

  • The panorama viewer is wider, now the viewing experience is even better.
  • Carrousel: check out other Editors’ Picks by clicking on the carrousel thumbnails.
  • Featured panorama: each week one panorama will be selected by our Editors and it will be featured on our homepage. Write a good title and description for you panoramas and they will have a bigger chance to be featured. Metadata is as important as a good image!

  • Featured Photographers: two photographers will be featured each month. Publish beautiful images and don’t forget to write a nice bio and set a profile image for your account. We want to know a little bit about you!

  • Are you new to 360Cities? Don’t worry, check out “How to make panoramas” video and ask to other photographers your doubts on the 360Cities Forum.
  • We have 4 categories of unimaginable panoramas: underwater, aerial, Mars and panoramas of the imagination. Add your panoramas to these categories using these tags: underwater, aerial, mars and out-of-this-world.

- Panorama page:

There is a new design for your panorama pages! Wider viewer and more info about the panorama: resolution, type, upload and update date… Find more beautiful panoramas easily by clicking on the different tabs: nearby, Editors’ Picks, more from author. Leave your comment below the pano and share it with the world.

 

- Map:

We have an improved map feature. Travel around the world from your sofa.Go to the Map page or click on Open Map just above the pano viewer.

 

 

 

 

 

- Search:

 Type a keyword and choose a category for the search: panoramas, locations or photographers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- About 360Cities:

360Cities is leveraging the growing demand for rich media digital content in publishing, advertising & film, and mobile app & game development and has become the go to resource for those in search of high-quality 360 degree panoramas. Check out the video and meet some of the 360Cities Team members!

 

- Commission a Gigapixel:

We’ll customize your Gigapixel panorama for location and size.Promote Your Large Crowd Event or Online Campaign with an Interactive Gigapixel Panorama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-License a panorama:

Panoramas can be used for different purposes and they increase the engagement with your audience!

Our thanks to Maestro photographer  for his collaboration on writing this blog post. You will be envious of his trip to Melanesia, but maybe it’s the closest you can get to it for the time being ;) . Here you are some interesting facts about the Mount Yasur volcano:

  1. It’s is one of the most easily accessible live volcanos in the world. Anyone can walk right up it (361 meters; 1,184 feet) and peer down into its fiery belly.
  2. Huge explosions from the deep inside shake the ground frequently, so if you stand close to the volcano’s edge, it can be a scary experience. Be careful if you go there: three people have been killed over the years because they wandered down into lower, non-safe areas.
  3. Mount Yasur is called ‘‘the lighthouse of the Pacific.” Any guesses why?

Now, let’s enjoy Gregory’s trip without the risk of falling into the volcano:   I arrived at Evergreen Resort :

Tanna, Vanuatu : EverGreen Resort Garden

I went for a swim on the reef :

Tanna, Vanuatu : Evergreen Resort Reef at Low Tide

Then I had a rest in my room :

Tanna, Vanuatu : EverGreen Resort Garden

The day after…Tanna Island has very poor roads, so when they say 4wd they mean 4wd. A very bumpy couple of hours … This is a view from inside a typical banyan where locals can go have a shelter whenever there are cyclones.

Tanna, Vanuatu : Inside a banyan

After having visited this little cascade :

Vanuatu – Tanna Jungle

We continued our tour on our way to Mount Yasur . They call this place “The Belly of Mount Yasur”:

Tanna Island, Mont Yasur Volcano : On my way to the Volcano

This is down the other side of Mount Yasur :

Tanna Island, Mont Yasur : Down the Volcano

On the edge of the crater, first shot at 17h00: There is a bit of a climb up the side of the volcano and there are no real safety arrangements up there, so be careful. It was interesting in daylight, but amazing at night.

Tanna Island, Mont Yasur Volcano, 17h00

17h30 The sun is disappearing, it’s getting harder to shoot …

Tanna Island, Mont Yasur Volcano, 17h30

17h45 shot :

Tanna Island, Mont Yasur Volcano, 17h45

Last shot, at 18h00 :

Tanna Island, Mont Yasur Volcano, 18h00 – The Lighthouse Of The Pacific

The riots on Kiev’s Independence Square ended on February 21. These panoramas were shot by 360Cities contributor Deema on February 22. He says, “that was the first day I had the possibility to take my camera and lens after several months.”

Deema has also spoken of his opinion and thoughts about the events in Kiev.

 

The barricade near Maidan, Kiev.

 

- What was it like away from Independence Square?

 

Euromaidan upper view, Kiev

 

  Almost during the whole time Kiev lived an ordinary life. Indeed, the Government city region (Maidan, Khreschatyk, Grushevskogo, Institutskaya) changed significantly. Other areas were affected for only 3 days, from February 19 – 22, when the Government planned to use brute force and closed the underground transportation.

 

The main barricade, Kiev.

 

Another problem was at night time. The Government brought in many paid provocateurs, called “titushki”, to terrorize the city. I spent several nights as part of a patrol in my neighborhood to maintain the peace.

 

Dynamo stadium, Kiev.

 

The Hill of Cry, Kiev.


 
- What were your feelings after it was over?

People were very upset because of the murders and because they understood that the end is still far off. As for me: I’m still thinking the revolution is the ‘wrong way to solve the wrong problem’, but I’m not ashamed and I helped people to remove the dangerous criminals from authority. “Do, what You must to do, and let it be”.

 

Crowd near the Maidan, Kiev. 

 

- Has Kiev returned to normal life?

Physically yes, psychologically no, and I’m suspecting that ordinary life will not be restored for a long time.

 

Zhovtnevy Palats, Kiev.

Zhovtnevy Palats, Kiev.

We want to thank Deema for his images and remarks. We are always interested in new panoramas of significant events. Let us help you share them with a wider audience.

Las Vegas 2014 - IVRPA Conferences

I’m happy to announce that I will be attending and speaking at what promises to be one of the great 360 photography events of the year – the annual IVRPA Conference in Las Vegas.

360Cities will be unveiling some awesome new stuff, talking about recent developments, and sharing some insights about the business of 360 Photography.

But everyone knows the most important and fun part of a conference like this is for everyone to meet in person. Some of you I have met many times before, others I have communicated with many times over email, facebook, etc. It is always a fun experience for 360 photographers to meet in person. What better place to do it than Sin City itself? ;-)

If you are a 360 photographer, you simply must make some time in your busy schedule and join us in Vegas!

As of this blog post, all the early bird tickets are gone…. there are still some “cheaper” tickets, and there are still some $65 hotel rooms (a gigantic bargain) – so hurry up and start making plans! See you all there! :-)

Home

The term selfie became popular when the first social networks were launched almost ten years ago. The word describes self-taken photographs. Nowadays, selfies are trending thanks to celebrities, politicians, and artists who share their selfies with the rest of the world.

 Of course, our photographers have created their own selfies…or panofies.

So, here you have some great panofies:

 

Self Portrait, Caribbean. Panorama created by 

Me, Myself and I (360 Self Portrait), Dubai. Panorama created by Roderz Itzme.

Camping in Grimbergen, Grimbergen, Belgium. Panorama created by Littleplanet.nl – Roelof de Vries 

Olbersdorfer See. Panorama created by Mike Weidner – www.panomorph.de

Vía ferrata en Villena, Alicante. Panorama created by Jaime Brotons

Self Portrait, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Panorama created by 

Yalung glasier selfy))), Nepal. Panorama created by

Elevator to heaven, Switzerland. Panorama created by  

Gotcha, Timisoara – Banat, Romania. Panorama created by Valentin Arfire.

Mars Panorama – Curiosity rover: Martian night. Panorama created by Andrew Bodrov

 

 

Tomorrow, February 7th, the XXII Olympic Winter Games will commence with the Games Opening Ceremony in Sochi, Russian Federation. It is interesting to learn that this Olympic Games will be the first Olympics in the Russian Federation since the breakup of the USSR in 1991. The USSR hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

Watch the Sochi Olympics-2014. Panorama created by Andrey Golubev.

We can take a travel back in time in these two panoramas created on March 2012 by Dashkov Vladimir and observer the construction of the Olympic Village.

Future Olympic village. Panorama created by Dashkov Vladimir.

 

Olympic village. Panorama created by Dashkov Vladimir

 

There are 15 winter sports disciplines: alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, luge, nordic combined, short track speed skating, skeleton, ski jumping, snowboarding and speed skating.

Here’s a small collection of winter sports-themed panoramas from the always interesting 360Cities database of images contributed by our thousands of members around the world.

If any 360Cities member is attending the Sochi games, we will be more than happy to see your panoramas soon!

59. Vierschanzentournee Oberstdorf – Qualification Day. Panorama created by Marcus Hartmann.

 

Oberhof, Kanzlersgrund, ski jumping arena. Panorama created by Frank Ellmerich.

 

Abandoned bobsleigh track in Vyshgorod (on the track). Panorama created by Malinnikov Ruslan.

 

Vilnius Curling Cup 2010. Panorama created by Aleksandr Reznik.

 

Biathlon Osrblie. Panorama created by Cibula Vincent

 

Bessans Nordic Ski Race. Panorama created by Stephane Craffe.

 

 Latvian snowboard championship at Milzkalns skiing resort, Latvia

Latvian snowboard championship at Milzkalns skiing resort, Latvia. Panorama created by Vil Muhametshin.

 

Ice Hockey match in Kajot Arena, Masaryk University vs Brno University of . Panorama created by Vlastislav Tauterman.

 

Skating In Hurghada. Panorama created by www.360tourist.net.

Good luck Curiosity!

Presenting, the brand new panorama from Mars created by Andrew Bodrov, our official Martian panomaker.

This new interactive panorama (Sol 530) from NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the Dingo Gap – about 3 feet (1 meter) high sand dune.

The team operating the Curiosity rover will likely drive the rover over a dune and across a valley with fewer sharp rock hazards than alternative routes. The Curiosity Mars rover may traverse the valley, on the east side of the dune, this month. We’d like to wish Curiosity a good trip!


Mars Panorama – Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 530

 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The images for panorama obtained by the rover’s 34-millimeter Mast Camera. The mosaic, which stretches about 30,000 pixels width, includes 101 images taken on Sol 530.

Discover other panoramas of Mars by Curiosity rover:

  • Sol 437 (Martian solar day 437)
  • Sol 177 (Self-portrait of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity)
  • Sol 136-149 (First 4 billion pixels panorama of Mars)
  • Sol 4 (First color panorama of Mars)
  • Sol 2 (First panorama of Mars by Curiosity rover)