360 of the month

Sports Illustrated 360 video - U.S. rowing team

In June 2016 we were commissioned by Sports Illustrated to produce a ground breaking 360 degree video of the women's eight U.S. Olympic rowing team on one of their training sessions. Shot on Lake Carnegie, the GoPro multi-camera rig required a specially constructed carbon fibre support to minimise vibrations from the boat. The 360° video is ground breaking material as it provides the closest experience of riding on-board with an Olympic rowing team in full flow. The resulting footage provides a unique and dynamic perspective for the viewer.

Mounting 360° camera rigs has become something of a speciality for the Gardner Creative team; we have had huge success with our unique mounting system which allows the viewer to access places where no human can go. The 360 video from the boat illustrates just how powerful a tool it is for storytelling. You’re actually ‘on’ the boat when Coxswain Katelin Snyder gets the news that her fiancé Nareg Guregian and his team mates Anders Weiss have been selected for the USA team rowing pairs at Rio. This was not a setup it was totally spontaneous.

In addition to the 360° video we produced an interactive 360° image and a stunning portrait of the team. The interactive 360° image puts the viewer in the incredible boathouse surrounded by the rowing team. On each team member is a hotspot which the user can click on to see a video interview – a ground breaking piece of 360° content for Sports Illustrated. Never before have users been able to get so close to the crew and the boats, and get a real insight into how the team prepares for the Olympics. Click here to view the 360° interactive image. The portrait, which is being used for the Sports Illustrated magazine and as a lead-in image for the online article, features all of the Women’s Eight rowing team. Click here to view the full article and see how all three content pieces feature in the online article.

You can read about how this project came together in our recent behind the scenes blog post.

The 360° video, combined with the 360° interactive image, represent the future of storytelling. Creatively using a combination of these different mediums we were able to give a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the team. We really ‘pushed the boat out’ with this project; delivering something that simply cannot be achieved using traditional techniques.

360 Steel making

The very future of the Steel industry in UK is a pretty hot topic at the moment with thousands of jobs at stake. Before SSI steel closed in Hartlepool I was lucky enough to shoot a 360 panorama inside the steel works of steel being cast. The heat was so intense it really is difficult to convey just how hot it was(made all the more unbearable by the thick wool safety clothing we had to wear, the plastic surfaces on the camera were getting  tacky and the cables were becoming worryingly 'floppy'.

Catalan Castellers

We were commissioned to shoot a 360 of the "Human Towers" in Catalonia for the Telegraph Witness the incredible tradition of the Human Towers in this breath taking and emotional 360 still and video. 600 people of all ages take part in an attempt to create one of the most difficult towers not successfully achieved since 1881. A masterpiece of solidarity and cohesion.

In 2010 UNESCO declared the tradition ‘A Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’.

The video is best viewed on a smartphone or tablet using the Youtube app. Alternatively use Chrome or Firefox.

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The Montlouis Caves des Producteurs

We recently had the opportunity to photograph one of the Montlouis Caves des Producteurs, near Tours in France, where they mature wine in large caves deep in the hillside. This particular cave holds around 200,000 bottles of sparkling white wine. [pano file="/panoramas/montlouis/montlouiscave.html" width="650" height="325"]

That's me kneeling on top of the stack. It's surprisingly uncomfortable sitting on top of that many bottles!

Somerset Floods-One year on

This time last year the Somerset levels were completely flooded. We were commissioned to record the extent of the floods and found it difficult to take in the sheer scale of the floods around the village of Moorland where there was water as far as the eye could see, and the only way to use the roads was with a boat. Shot with a Carl Zeiss 15mm lens on a Canon 6D[pano file="/panoramas/floods/floods.html" width="650" height="325"]

Going Underground with Crossrail

Right under the feet Londoners 24 hours a day 7 days a week one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Europe it taking place - though many people don't realise it. Crossrail is the new high frequency, 73 mile long capacity railway for London and the South East which will open in 2018. This panorama is the perfect way to the public what is happening 30 meters underground. What I like about this 360 at the Finsbury Circus site is that it at first sight appears to be a relatively ordinary 360 panorama on a construction site and then you tilt up and you see just how far underground all this is going on.

I shot this with the stunning Carl Zeiss 15mm F2.8 on a Canon 6D.

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The Royal Signals White Helmets Motorcycle Display Team

360 panoramas come no more challenging than this one. Sure we could shoot some 360s of the world renowned Royal Corps of Signals motorcycle display team 'The White Helmets' performing some of their highly impressive moves like their pyramids, but would it be possible to shoot a 360 as one of their riders leapt through a wall of fire? It involved quite a little bit of research and development work to ensure that the cameras triggered at the same moment but it was really worth it. The viewer gets to see it from the stunt riders view point - without getting their eyebrows singed! This 360 won a Silver Award in the 2014 Epson Pano Awards.

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