By Nelson Groom
Virtual reality is all around us – and nowhere is that more literal than in the case of these immersive 360-degree photographs of iconic landmarks as you’ve never seen them before.
The eye-opening snapshots put a new spin on familiar landscapes by turning them into miniature worlds that encompass every angle.
Gold Coast photographer Brendon Gee, 44, has been picking up legions of online followers for his depictions of popular settings from the temples of Japan to the beaches of Australia – but says these are only the beginning.
While the photographs are stunning as standalones, combining them with virtual reality headsets allows users to transport to far-flung locations in science fiction fashion.
Brendon said: “It starts with capturing the surrounding environment from multiple images.
“I stitch all these images together to make the 360-degree environment, then you can use them with a VR headset to take a virtual tour around.
“This allows users to completely immerse themselves in that environment.
“From my experience sunrises are the best on social media, they create a great contrast of colours with yellows, reds and oranges against the blue backdrop. Who doesn’t like a sunrise?
“I’m still learning new aspects though. You think you know what makes a good shot, but sometimes it can surprise you once its turned into a tiny planet.”
Brendon uses a variety of cameras and software that lets him blend together footage, including one shot cameras lenses on mutiple sides to create photos that capture everything around him.
The resulting “planet” snaps can be viewed with virtual reality headsets, or on websites that support it, which include Facebook and YouTube.
Brendon believes the technology has a bright future with wide-reaching uses – from education to the elderly.
Brendon said: “Elderly people can put the headset on and view the Australian outback or under the ocean and be immersed in that environment, looking all over without having been there.
“Kids can use it as well, if they haven’t yet travelled or seen the snow they can put on the headset and experience it.
“It can also be used in real estate, for hopeful home-owners to remotely get a realistic view of the inside of a house before making a decision.
“I recently returned from the a big conference in Japan and we will see a lot more of this 360 degree content in the future as it becomes more accessible to the public.”
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