THETA is a 360-degree camera that is perfectly suitable for natural scenery such as mountains and flower fields.
This time, we interviewed Erika, who takes wonderful views of nature with THETA SC2, and we asked her about how she has fun with THETA.
Please tell us how you got into photography.
I originally liked travel, so I started uploading photos on Instagram just as a record of my trips. At first, I often took photos with my smartphone, but I started to want to capture my memories more beautifully, so I started shooting with a DSLR.
I love photography in spring because I love cherry blossoms. I live in Kyoto, where there are many locations for cherry blossoms. During the cherry blossom season, I take photos all over Kyoto.
Flowers and THETA
You have many photos with your dog, Anko. What do you keep in mind most while shooting?
Anko is an 8-year-old chihuahua, very small. So, I try to lift her up in my arms to get her in the photo, or I squat down to her height.
One of the features of THETA is that it can shoot at a very wide angle even from a very close distance. But on the other hand it means Anko looks like a tiny bean (laugh) if I shoot with THETA even a little distance away from her. So I try to shoot with THETA as close as possible to Anko.
[Erika’s beloved dog, Anko]
Also, I often photograph her with light color backgrounds and a blue sky as much as possible because she mainly has black hair, so she stands out.
This tulip photo really has an impact. How did you shoot this?
[Taken with THETA]
I shot little flowers called ice tulips that bloom in winter in a botanical garden.
Actually, there were only a few dozen tulips planted in a tiny flower bed. I wondered how to shoot this with THETA to make it look like a whole field. Then I tried shooting it by sticking THETA with a monopod right into the tulips.
Oh, I thought the photo was taken on a tripod in the middle of the tulips! But yeah, I can see you hiding behind the flowerbed when looking carefully at the 360-degree image above (laughs).
What did you think of shooting flowers with THETA?
THETA images have a very beautiful contrast between the blue sky and the subject. You can only partially show the sky when you shoot with a normal camera, but THETA can capture the flowers and the entire blue sky in 360 degrees.
I also like taking pictures of the sky as well as flowers, so for me, the beauty of THETA is that I can shoot the entire blue sky and the flowers all in one shot!
[Taken with THETA]
Snowy scenery and THETA
You seem to be very active, not only traveling but also climbing a lot.
Originally, I liked exercise and nature. And I started climbing mountains seriously about three years ago.
When I went to see the Tottori Dunes covered in snow, I took Anko with me.
[Taken with THETA on a monopod in the snow: the Tottori Dunes]
Wow, I had no idea it could snow so much on the Tottori Dunes!
Many people are surprised that it snows on the Tottori Dunes. This year, I heard that it did for the first time in two years, so I went on a trip with a friend to take pictures of the snowy landscape.
[Shooting with THETA SC2 and a monopod: the Tottori Dunes]
I also like rime ice on the trees and branches in the snowy mountains.
Some rime ice would melt and disappear when the sun rises. This time I started climbing with my friends before dawn, and I took the photo below with THETA at around 8 am, when there was still a lot of rime ice left.
How did you hear about THETA?
I liked photography, so I was curious about THETA since it came out. In photography I especially like taking pictures of the sky and flowers, so I was interested in the composition of the sky and subjects such as flowers all in one shot.
[Taken with THETA]
Did you find any differences in shooting with THETA compared to a regular camera?
THETA is different from an ordinary camera that shoots through the viewfinder, so I couldn’t take the images I wanted at first.
However, after trying it out several times, I was able to figure out how to shoot at any angle.
[Taken with THETA]
The field of view is completely different from any ordinary cameras, and I can edit images with the editing app (THETA+) after shooting. I found this a fun aspect of shooting with THETA.
[Taken with THETA: with mountain climbing friends]
How did you use THETA in the mountains?
THETA is light and easy to carry, so it is perfect for mountaineering. Many people who climb the mountains like photography and they usually have DSLR cameras, but those cameras can be heavy and bulky, not ideal for mountain climbing.
THETA is so easy to approach that I could take it out and use it even in situations where I would hesitate to take out my ordinary camera because of the cold.
[Taken with THETA: Yatsugatake viewing Akadake]
Please tell us what you thought about THETA SC2, which was just released in December last year.
It was my first time using THETA, but it was very easy to use. The self-timer button on the main unit was especially useful and I often used it combined with a monopod. I wear gloves when I climb snow-capped mountains, but I didn’t find it difficult to press the button.
For the first time ever, THETA SC2 comes with three presets pre-installed: night view, face, and car window. Have you tried any of them?
The first time I shot with THETA was at a light up event in a bamboo forest in Arashiyama, Kyoto. That time, I used the night view mode, one of the presets, while fixing the monopod on my shoulder so THETA would not move. I was surprised how easy it was and how beautiful the pictures turned out.
[Taken with THETA SC2 in night view mode: Arashiyama]
Well, thank you for the interview, Erika. I hope you enjoy shooting cherry blossom scenery with Anko with your THETA SC2!
Models used: THETA SC2
*This article is an interview of Erika, who was asked to try out THETA SC2 and share episodes from when she used it.