Exploring VR with Daniel

I spent a very entertaining and illuminating couple of hours with Daniel Camilleri this morning during a break in his VR Testing at Adelaide University.

Here I'm testing the Oculus Rift and looking at a 360˚ panorama I shot from the walls of Dubrovnik, one of several of my panoramas Daniel is using as an introduction before the test begins.

Daniels doing research into reaction times to locate specific objects in 360˚ panoramas using Oculus Rift VR Headsets and driving game controllers. I helped him with loaner equipment and a lesson on shooting and without ever having shot or stitched a 360˚ panorama he went out to the Botanical Gardens in Adelaide and shot 200 panoramas that he incorporated into his testing platform. A fantastic effort and the results are very good.

He has also created a quick way to test for IPD, interpupillary distance, the distance between the center of the pupils of the two eyes with a funky pair of glasses that I'm modelling.

If you get the opportunity to try out the Oculus Rift I'd recommend it, some of the demonstration pieces that come with the gear are spectacular.

Captain Oliver Marien

Captain Olivier Marien on the bridge of L'Austral

On the 15th of December 2015 we boarded the PONANT Expedition Ship L'Austral for a 16 night expedition cruise called the "Austral Loop'. Sailing from the town at the End of the World, Ushuaia we visited the Falkland, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. My role, aside from enjoying the amazing views, wildlife and icebergs, was to shoot 360˚ panoramas that PONANT would use to populate Google Maps.

The Captain, Crew, Photographers and Expedition Team couldn't have been more welcoming and accepting of our presence during the cruise. We had the opportunity to join the expedition team every morning as they set out to check locations for suitability and had almost unrestricted access to the bridge.

The Captain was more than happy for me to shoot from the deck in front of the bridge and I was happy to have the opportunity to shoot a 360˚ panorama of him in what is his office.

The 360˚ Panorama was shot on a Canon EOS 6D, 8-15mm Canon Fisheye Zoom lens, 6 images around and 1 up, 1/100 second at f8 on a Nodal Ninja rotator. The 7 images were stitched using PTGui, and published through Pano2VR.

Nick Rains - Capturing the World

Nick Rains - Capturing the World

On the 9th of May I attended Nick Rains’s new book launch and seminar. This book (his 10th) encompasses 30 plus years of photography experience within one cover. Nick discusses how he achieves the sorts of travel photos that earned him the award of Travel Photographer of the Year 2014 (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) from the point of view of practical problem solving rather than what aperture or lens to use. Whilst there are some necessary technical ‘breakouts’, the main drive of the book is looking at how travel and documentary images are created and what thought processes go on before, during and after shooting along with some anecdotes from Nick’s travels.

Argentina & Antarctica - trip of a lifetime

Kelly and I have recently returned from what can only be described as the trip of a lifetime. Travelling with PONANT, a French cruising company, we had the opportunity to visit one of the remotest areas on earth, Antarctica and several other islands in that region. We sailed from Ushuaia commonly refered to as "The End of the World" to the Falkland Islands or Maldivas, then to South Georgia, Half Moon Island, Deception Bay, Brown Bluff (Antarctica) the Weddel Sea, the coldest sea on the planet and home to the massive Tabular Icebergs then back to Ushuaia. From there we went back to Buenos Aires and a week in that fantastic city.

Here is a little of what we experienced.