The lovely thing about 360 degree technology is that you can take it pretty much everywhere. Whether it is a 360 degree camera that you carry in your hand – the ‘stick’ type camera. Such as the Samsung Gear 360, or maybe the Vuze. Or one of the bulkier more ‘professional’ level cameras described in a VRFocus interview with Kodak that appeared last week on the website as like a “bowling ball” in comparison to ones they are currently developing. You can get your hands on the right camera for the right job and, as I say, pretty much take them anywhere
So, when I say that some people strapped a 360 degree camera to the bottom of a helicopter and then flew towards an erupting volcano, you know I’m telling you the truth. Besides I’m not going to use a post title like ‘Hellfire and Brimstone’ and then present you with a video about golden retriever puppies, am I?
The creators of this somewhat dicey flight to the edge are AirPano, the project name of a team of Russian photographers who like taking high-resolution aerial 360 degree photos and video by flying ainto/over various locations.
“We usually photograph from radio-controlled drones and helicopters,” They explain on their YouTube channel. “But we also like to shoot from an airplane, a dirigible and a hot air balloon.”
AirPano also claim to be the largest resource in the world “by geographical coverage, number of aerial photographs, and artistic and technical quality of the images that features 360° panoramas and 360° videos of the highest quality shot from a bird’s eye view.” I suspect some services may doubt that description but they certainly have a lot of 360 degree videos on their channel and we’ll be featuring some throughout the week.
This volcano in particular happens to be the Klyuchevskaya Sopka, a stratovolcano (a composite volcano made up of many layers) which is both the highest mountain on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and also the highest active volcano in the entirety of Eurasia. It’s not exactly going off like Mount Etna, nor going ‘kaboom’ Mount St. Helens-style (we wouldn’t have a helicopter crew anymore if it did) but it is billowing smoke aplenty as lava creeps down one side. You’ll never have a view of a volcano quite like this one.