People who follow Google Earth closely (as we do at 360 Cities) know from the Google Earth Blog about Frank Taylor, who has recently sold all of his land-based pnodaossessions, bought a sailboat, acquired some fantastic devices, gotten some partners, and set sail on a five-year sailing trip all over the world. The boat is called Tahina, and the journey is called the Tahina Expedition.
I first was introduced to Frank by Mano Marks – when I heard about Frank’s planned journey I was very excited to convince him to take some 360 panoramic photgraphy gear with him. (Luckily Frank didn’t need much convincing, as he’d already made some qtvr’s back in the days of Apple’s quicktime vr development studio.)
Later on I had the chance to meet Frank in person at O’Reilly’s Where 2.0 Conference last year (I gave a talk and Frank had a workshop about Google Earth). Since then I’ve been able to help Frank get up to speed in the basics of panoramic photo creation. Prior to his departure, Frank made a partnership with both Nodal Ninja and PTGui; along with his camera and fisheye lens, he has everything he needs to make beautiful panoramas. All that’s left to do is practice, practice, practice
Frank’s first panoramas are really quite good – he obviously already knows how to take a proper photograph, which is of course very helpful. Shooting 360 panoramas requires some slightly different techniques, but a solid grounding in knowing how to expose a photo correctly by changing the f stop (aperture) and shutter speed. Shooting a full spherical image, including the nadir (the “straight down” part, where the tripod should be) also requires a few tricks to achieve perfection. Again, Frank is doing pretty well.
Here is the latest panorama from the Tahina Expedition – taken from the boat itself – this is one of the most challenging places to shoot a panorama – because the boat is rocking back and forth, and the horizon is constantly moving, it’s very tricky to get something perfect. Frank’s attempt isn’t perfect, but it’s very good!
All of us at 360 Cities are looking forward to Frank’s odyssey over the coming years. It will be really interesting to see the world through this unique journey.