May is National Photo Month - here's a brief history of photography and some tips on shooting stills in VR180

May is National Photo Month, a time to celebrate the history of photography and its use as an art-form. The month-long event is widely attributed to an act of Congress in 1987. However last year B&H photo revealed that there is no evidence of this being true, there were cases of “National Photo Week” and “Professional Photography Week” being declared in May and the tradition may have grown out from them. You can read their research here. Just scroll down to the comments section. Either way with winter behind us and spring in bloom it’s a great time to celebrate the history and art of photography.

With high resolution digital cameras in our pockets (smartphones) it can be easy to forget that the art of photography spans back over 100 years. Here is a brief and incomplete timeline of the history of photography.

  • 1827: Joseph Niepce generally credited as the inventor of photography used a primitive camera known as a camera obscura or pinhole camera to produce the oldest surviving photograph of a real-world scene.
  • 1829: Louis Daguerre partners with Joseph Niepce to improve the process and creates the Daguerreotype, employing an iodine-sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapor.
  • 1856: William Thompson takes the first underwater picture using a camera inside a housing made of wood and iron lowered by a rope.
  • 1888: George Eastman invents dry, transparent and flexible photographic film
  • 1900: The Kodak Brownie Camera by Eastman was a long-running popular series of simple and inexpensive cameras that introduced the snapshot to the masses.
  • 1903: First commercial color film, the Autochrome Lumière photography process is patented by the Lumière brothers in France
  • 1936: Development of Kodachrome, the first color multi-layered color film and pioneering single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras
  • 1947: Edwin H. Land introduced the Polaroid-Land process the first instant film development process that produced sepia tone photos
  • 1963: First color instant film development process made by Polaroid followed by its popular line of Instamatic cameras.
  • 1975: Steven Sasson, an engineer at Eastman Kodak, invented and built the first self-contained electronic camera that used a charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensor.
  • 1976: First solo show of color photographs at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
  • 1977: The first mass-produced autofocus camera, the Konica C35 AF
  • 1981: The first filmless camera the Sony Mavica stored pictures on 2-inch floppy disks at a resolution of 570x490.
  • 1986: Nikon introduced the first Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera, the Nikon SVC
  • 1990: Adobe releases Photoshop 1.0
  • 1995: Apple introduced the QuickTime VR (QTVR) file format for storing and viewing 360 panorama images.
  • 2000: Sharp introduced the world's first digital camera phone, the J-SH04 J-Phone, in Japan
  • 2015: YouTube and Facebook add support for 360 videos
  • 2016: HumanEyes Technologies presents the 3D 360 Vuze Camera
  • 2018: HumanEyes Technologies launches the Vuze XR dual 360 / VR180 camera

We have come a long way from the days of pinhole cameras and dangerous chemicals to the ease of photography today. National Photo Month isn’t about the volume of selfies you can take, it’s about being thoughtful about photography as an art. So, get out there and shoot different, shoot someplace or something you wouldn’t normally think to. Find the beauty of and shoot pictures of ordinary objects, not everything needs to be an Instagram ready Unicorn Frappuccino. Think about upping your photo game by taking an online or offline course in photographic technique. Visit your local photography shop and see what kinds of new equipment is out there.

Tips for shooting stills in VR180

I’ll close out with a few tips for shooting VR180 stills, the newest method in the long road of photography:

  • As VR180 is 3D you need to think about your composition with respect to the distance to the camera. You don’t want your subject to be too far away as the 3D effect fades out around 6 meters (about 20 feet). You also don’t want to shoot too close, while half a meter (1.5 feet) will feel quite intimate much closer will have people cross eyed.
  • Keep the camera as level and stable as possible, using a monopod or tripod is recommended.
  • There are many media sharing sites that support the VR180 format including Facebook, VeeR, 360cities, Roundme and Kuula.
  • While you can’t upload a VR180 still to YouTube you can edit them into short video clips.

Here's an example from Vuzer Thoman Hubner:

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Stay tuned for my upcoming post about how to shoot video in VR180, right here on the Vuze Camera blog.

For now, go out and take some photos! Don't forget to share them with us!

About Rob Crasco:

Futurist, thought leader, influencer, consultant, occasional developer, designer. Focus on spatial computing, artificial intelligence, robotics and technology’s impact on society. Background in computer science and marketing. Over a decade experience working with virtual worlds. Currently work with individuals and brands on social amplification, social promotion, content curation and content creation.

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