How I did it: A few examples of VR and 360 photos

A flattened version of a 360-degree photo taken with a Samsung Gear 360 camera. If viewed on a headset, the user would feel like they’re in the middle of the photo, surrounded by this imagery. Samples of the author’s VR video are below.

A flattened version of a 360-degree photo taken with a Samsung Gear 360 camera. If viewed on a headset, the user would feel like they’re in the middle of the photo, surrounded by this imagery. Samples of the author’s VR video are below.

A flattened version of a 360-degree photo taken with a Samsung Gear 360 camera. If viewed on a headset, the user would feel like they’re in the middle of the photo, surrounded by this imagery. Samples of the author’s VR video are below.

Just before my honeymoon in 2017, I bought a Samsung Gear 360 to capture some photos and videos in Scotland. I had never used a 360 camera before, and I thought Scotland would be a picturesque destination in which to test one out.

I was right: The scenery didn't disappoint.

In retrospect, I wish I had taken more photos and videos than I did with the 360; they really do capture the destination in a way the 4-by-5 prints in an album stuffed in the back of a closet (or on your social feed) just don't.

To take the photos and videos, I mounted the camera on a small, lightweight, adjustable tripod. I connected to the camera via the Gear 360 app on my phone. The app enables you to control the camera remotely so you can remove yourself from a photo or video if you want to.

That's the route I took: I made myself scarce before I took most photos and videos, and I think that was the right choice. Only my mother enjoyed the videos where you can clearly see me walking along, holding the camera.

The videos are viewable on a desktop in 360 degrees, but to view these videos in virtual reality using a Google Cardboard headset, you should access this article using your smartphone. Click on the videos below, and they should open up directly in the phone's YouTube app (or in the app, search for my channel under username Jamie Biesiada and find them there under my uploads).

When you click on a video, immediately pause it. In the lower right-hand corner of the video you'll see an image that looks like goggles.

Tap it, and the screen will split so you can experience the video in virtual reality.

To take this video, I parked on the side of the road in Cairngorms National Park and made my wife, Kim, crouch on the side of the car. In retrospect, we should have sat in the car because you can clearly see our heads if you look down by the driver's side, but I'll chalk it up to a learning experience. We got a weird look or two from passers-by, but I think the video does at least some justice to the natural beauty of Scotland.

THE VIDEOS

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Scenery along a road in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

Scenery along a road in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

Scenery along a road in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

Scenery along a road in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

Scenery along a road in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

I shot this video in our room at Ardmeanach House in Inverness, near the home of the famed Loch Ness monster. And we got as good as "Nessie" at hiding. We got a clear shot of the charming room; you can't even see our heads as we hid next to the bed.

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A room at Ardmeanach House in Inverness, Scotland

A room at Ardmeanach House in Inverness, Scotland

A room at Ardmeanach House in Inverness, Scotland

A room at Ardmeanach House in Inverness, Scotland

A room at Ardmeanach House in Inverness, Scotland

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