This time we interviewed Sao, a mom who loves photography and lives in Hokkaido. Check out her wonderful shots taken by THETA in a beautiful natural setting.

The difference between THETA and ordinary cameras

Have you heard of THETA before?

I got to know about THETA via an Instagram campaign. I’ve been curious about it. I thought to myself, “a 360-degree camera would be great for wonderful landscapes.”

* A360-degree image taken by THETA SC and edited into a flat image using the THETA+ app.

What was your impression after using THETA?

I thought, at first, the pictures would be a little distorted as it’s 360-degrees, but I was surprised that I could shoot such natural and beautiful full 360 degree scenery so easily just by holding it in my hand like a smartphone.

Since children move around a lot, sometimes it’s difficult to shoot with a normal camera. But with THETA I can quickly shoot my kids, myself, and the surroundings, and get it all in the frame even while walking around.

Do you get confused by the different shooting style compared with the DSLR you usually use?

With DSLR cameras, I can shoot photos while checking the composition I want by looking at the image immediately after shooting, while with THETA, I can’t check the image unless it is connected to the smartphone with Wifi.

Tips for enjoying photography with children

It is impressive that your child looks so happy in all of your photos. Let us know if you have any tips for shooting children while they’re having fun and smiling so much.

I often take pictures while playing with my daughter. Telling her things like “there’s a bee over there!” Or sometimes I take a picture while playing tag with her. When we take a selfie together, I try to make her laugh by tickling her or making funny faces. (laughs)

The photo below was taken at a park called Hoshimi Ryokuchi. It is close to our house, so we often go there for a walk. I shot it using the self-timer mode with a tripod. At this moment we were shouting “yahoo!” to the trees together.

Various ways to have fun with THETA

In your photo taken by THETA, the image with flowers really stands out.

As I saw THETA’s Instagram, I wanted to take pictures in which we are surrounded by flowers. At first I wondered how to take that kind of shot, but I realized that I need to shoot by putting THETA as close to the flowers as I can.

The picture below was taken while sticking THETA right into the cluster of hydrangea flowers, and then it was edited with THETA+ app in ‘Little Planet’ mode and flipped around.

Original 360-degree image;

The image edited with the THETA+ app in ‘Little Planet’ mode and flipped around;

Every photo is taken with the flowers close to THETA, so the beautiful flowers stand out a lot!

Are there any special points or tips when editing THETA images?

I adjust the brightness and color with the Lightroom smartphone app.

THETA captures very beautiful colors in the blue sky, so I tried to edit them to complement the sky. Besides, I made sure to beautifully expose the colors of the flowers and green foliage.

Do you have any other impressive scenes shot with THETA?

It’s when I was able to shoot a full starry sky. I went camping several times during this summer, and finally saw the starry sky in late August.

Did you learn any pointers when shooting the starry sky?

For shooting the starry sky, I looked for places with little artificial light. Also, it is better if there’s as little moonlight as possible. This time, I shot with a big river in the background.

It was quite bright, with a few lights there, so I set the shutter speed to 15 seconds and ISO sensitivity to about 800. And I was careful to keep still while the shutter was open.

Situations in which THETA is more useful than ordinary cameras

How do you think you can get the most out of THETA and your DSLR?

I think THETA is useful for taking selfies with family in open spaces and beautiful landscapes. I like how THETA makes it easy to take wide-angle shots.

The background might not be in frame when taking a selfie with a smartphone. Also it is difficult to shoot as children are playful and move around especially when shooting remotely with the DSLR camera on a tripod. But then with THETA it was easy for everything—me, my family, and the background—to be in frame and I thought that’s so great!

As you said, it happens a lot that photographers usually aren’t in frame when looking back through their images later.

My daughter likes THETA’s adorable shutter sound, so she often wants to press the shutter button. The photo below was taken with my daughter holding THETA together with me.

She looks like she’s having so much fun, as if she is playing with a toy!

Well, Sao, thank you for the wonderful 360-degree photos with all the great mother and daughter moments!!

I am looking forward to seeing more of your lovely family photos.


Models used: THETA SC

*This article is an interview of Sao, who was asked to try out  THETA SC and share episodes from when she used it.