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Sea, Sky, and Islands through the eyes of THETA

Interview

Posted date : 2020.04.02

THETA can capture 360-degree photos of the sea, landscapes, and even starry skies.

Let’s take a look attakapyon_gram’s way of having fun with THETA. He photographs beautiful underwater seascapes, the island’s natural views, and the starry sky of Miyakojima in Okinawa.

THETA and Scuba diving

So, what made you do underwater photography using THETA while scuba diving.

Originally, my hobby was photography irrespective of underwater or not. I’ve had a scuba license for a long time, but I started it in earnest about seven years ago. I have done more than 300 dives so far, but in the last few years, I’ve done only about 10 dives. It’s because I gradually felt dissatisfied with underwater photography with a compact digital camera. I really wanted to use a DSLR camera underwater, but it was difficult because it would cost nearly a million yen, including the housing.

I happened to hear about THETA, a 360-degree camera, and that made me decide to try shooting underwater again.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA


When did you purchase THETA?

I bought THETA V around this June and the first time I used it was in Miyakojima.

Wow, that was your first time taking photos on Miyakojima! I’m surprised because all the photos are stunning!

Actually, I wanted a THETA Z1 which can shoot in raw but its housing wasn’t on sale. Therefore I purchased a THETA V which supports the housing.

What did you think of the 360-degree images taken underwater?

With a normal camera, I shoot while checking the composition, but with THETA, I just take a lot of pictures without thinking about the composition so much. Later I enjoy editing while viewing the images. It’s fun to trim and edit 360-degree images while spinning around the image with the THETA+ app. A single shot can result in many different images depending on the editing style, and it is a great aspect of shooting with THETA that allows you to enjoy the creative process twice.


What particularly did you find difficult when shooting with THETA underwater for the first time?

I wanted to make underwater images in which the scene surrounds the viewer, similar to the flower photos on the THETA Instagram account (flipped flower image edited with ‘Little Planet’ mode). So, I shot the blue coral and created the image by editing with ‘Little Planet.’ I did what I expected and it is my favorite image from this shoot.

It was a small coral of only about 30 cm, but it became such an amazing image by bringing THETA so close to the coral.

This image is also fantastic! How did you shoot and edit this one?

This is the moment that my friend was swimming down to the bottom. I trimmed and edited the 360-degree image. I inverted the image as the sea bottom is on top on purpose.

The original 360-degree image:

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

The most exciting part of THETA is that you can edit 360-degree images later. By editing, it becomes an image that can only be created by THETA. In the image below, I edited the sea surface to be round. I think this is an image only THETA can produce. One challenge is that you can’t change the setting underwater—you only can press the shutter button. Although, the tone can be corrected using Lightroom.

How was shooting on land? 

There’s a famous but high and dangerous cliff called ‘the triangular point.’ Tourists visit there and enjoy the scenery. With THETA I took a photo of a family I met there, and edited the image as below.

It looks like a very peaceful landscape in the edited image, but in the original 360-degree image as below, this is certainly a dangerous place! The shadow of THETA and the selfie stick is in the frame around the bushes on the left. Were you hiding in the bushes because you didn’t want to be in the image?

No, that’s not the reason. (laughs) I’m afraid of heights so I couldn’t get close to the cliff. Therefore, with the selfie stick I held out THETA from the edge of the cliff, and that was my limit. (laughs)

The original 360-degree image:

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

What other photos did you take on land?

The shot of the starry sky turned out much better than I expected. I’ve never imagined that I was able to shoot such a beautiful starry sky so easily with THETA. I changed some settings, but I was able to shoot the Milky Way in all its glory!

Also, ‘Little Planet’ mode on the THETA+ app is popular for editing THETA images, but I think ‘straight’ mode is nice as well. The image below was taken on a bridge and I was able to really express the feeling of speed and dynamism by editing it with ‘straight’ mode.

Where do you plan to shoot with THETA next time?

I will go to Koh Tao in autumn. I couldn’t shoot many fish on Miyako Island, so on Koh Tao I’d like to take lots of photos surrounded by fish.

Well, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful shots on Miyako Island, Takeharu. Please enjoy your trip in Koh Tao with THETA!

 

Instagram:takapyon_gram

Models used: THETA V

*This article is an interview of Takahiro, who was asked to try out  THETA V and share episodes from when she used it.

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