We got the chance to speak with Julia Thompson, travel photographer and influencer based in British Columbia. She shares a bit about what inspired her to originally start traveling the world and why the RICOH THETA SC2 is one of her new favorite tools to bring along!

Photography life

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Can you introduce yourself and share a bit about yourself?

I’m Julia Thompson, an outdoor enthusiast, and photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. I was lucky enough to be brought up by a family that valued nature, and I was always immersed in it from a young age, which ultimately fueled my passion for it today. After dealing with personal struggles and feeling lost throughout my teenage years, I decided to take control of my own life and make a huge change.

In 2015 I sold all my belongings and bought a one-way ticket to New Zealand, to embark on an adventure that would take me on a lap around the world, and ultimately change my life.  It was the start of an incredible two full years spent exploring, learning, documenting and I never looked back. Travel has always been a huge part of my life, but these two years revitalized my life and turned it around in a way I never thought would be possible.

Thank you for sharing! Traveling seems to be something that you have been passionate about for years. What made you start experimenting with photography on your adventures?

I began my photography journey with a passion for travel and used photography as a way to capture my experiences. It started out as personal documentation, and over the years it became something much bigger. After years of growth, hard work, and following my passions, my photography went from a hobby to a full-time career.  Now, I take my camera everywhere with me and love the creative aspect of photography. It’s not just about getting the perfect picture, but capturing the fleeting moments that make life so special.

You’ve been using our RICOH THETA SC2 camera for a few weeks now. How have you been enjoying it?

I love how easy this camera is to use, and the way it is designed makes it user-friendly for anyone with or without camera knowledge. There are manual settings for those who want to fine-tune their images or auto settings for getting a quick shot. Post editing was surprisingly simple and edited just like a regular image – no need for special software. Editing wasn’t completely necessary, I just like to personalize my images a little bit more.

One of the main reasons why I loved using this camera was being able to capture local areas with a new perspective. I’m thrilled at the idea that the viewer is able to immerse themselves in the image and get a better idea about how it may have felt to be in that scene themselves – something that a regular image might not give you. It’s a much more interactive form of content!

Your favorite 360 degree images

We love the photos that you’ve captured with RICOH THETA on your adventures! Can you tell us a bit more about them?

▼Try moving the image around in any direction!▼

Canoeing has always been one of my favorite outdoor activities. On this particular morning, we brought the canoe to the water, and just as we were paddling out, the sun peeked over the horizon casting a warm glow around us. It was one of those days that felt especially bright and warm, signaling that winter is coming to an end. You could really feel that spring was on its way.

The joy of finding a new campsite was high that day – it was the first time any of us had ever been there, and it surpassed our expectations. It was on the edge of a hill and overlooked the tallest mountain on the North Shore. This was moments before the sunset, and we sat around the campfire for the rest of the night, as the stars slowly appeared.

In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful lakes in British Columbia. This was my first paddleboard of the season, and the lake was incredibly calm for how large this body of water is. The morning sun lit up the lake to show off its deep, misty green color. We spent all day exploring the lakeshore and ended the evening hanging out by the fire at our campground in the valley.

Tricks and tips

What is your editing process like?

I try to keep the images as natural as possible, and use both Photoshop and Lightroom when editing. The focus for these images was to make sure that I adjusted the highlights and the shadows to create even lighting all the way through. THETA did an amazing job of exposing the images properly, especially in HDR mode, so the tweaks were minor.

Next, I work on the temperature – I love warmer images, especially when the sun is shining, so I increased the warmth. Color is my favorite part about editing, and really helps you to create a unique look in your images. There isn’t one specific way I like to edit colors, but find that I edit each image differently depending on the conditions. For example, in a forest I like to desaturate greens slightly to give it a deeper look, and when an image is very blue, I like to adjust the hue to be less purple, and more cyan.  

For the final touches, I bring the images into Photoshop to remove small objects that may take away from the overall images, such as light flares, things floating in the water, and even people. This is to avoid any distractions and make the image look cleaner. All the images from the Ricoh Theta were very simple to use on editing platforms, and integrated seamlessly into my normal workflow.

Wow, your photos are amazing! We love seeing the different ways our RICOH THETA 360-degree camera is used to offer fresh perspectives on personal experiences.

For more details, please visit the product page on theta360.com.

Credit: Julia Thompson, SUU

You can follow Julia’s next outdoor adventure on Instagram and check out her blog post that shares more details on her experience using the RICOH THETA SC2 camera.