The reason why we traveled around the world for our honeymoon

Hi, everyone! We are Junichi and Azusa, the couple who had a honeymoon world trip! We got married at the end of 2018. Just before that, we quit our jobs so we could fulfill our plan to travel around the world for one year together.

We embarked our world trip with THETA SC as our travel buddy in February 2019. Now, I’m going to show you the world we saw through THETA SC.

[A Masai village in Kenya]  

Before we met, we both loved traveling. And I’ve always dreamed that it would be nice if I could go around the world with my life partner someday.

[Viewing the sunset on Kuta beach in Bali]

My wife was an exchange student overseas, so she has always been interested in other countries. So when I told her about my dream of traveling around the world, she immediately got on board!

The opportunity came as a large-scale honeymoon around the world!

The theme of our trip

We made beaches the theme of our trip. We love the sea and live on the seaside, so we planned to visit as many beaches and seas as we could all over the world.

This trip was going to be a long honeymoon just two months after we got married. Therefore, the goal was also to deepen our bond by experiencing our adventure with laughter, tears, joy, and challenges.

The route of our trip

We named our trip ‘Chasing Summer,’ and tried to visit everlasting summer countries mainly to be on the beach.

[Beach on Comino Island in Malta]

Then my wife came up with the idea that she wanted to visit her previous host family in Melbourne, Australia and the first destination was immediately decided.(laugh)

Other than that, we barely decided any details, just roughly to go around Oceania, Africa, Europe, North America, Central America, and South America.  

[Top of the castle in San Marino]

In fact, it was really hard to decide the route because we had so many countries and people to visit and we argued a lot about it.

The reason why we bought THETA

Before going on the trip, we discussed how we would go through with it. At that time, we got to meet a couple at my wife’s friend’s wedding who had traveled around the world while shooting with drones. So, we asked them about their trip. Their story was really interesting, and I also wondered what we could do. The idea was to share the ’world’ taken with a 360-degree camera.

[‘Beach Club on a whole island’ in Fiji]

However, since we had never used a 360-degree camera before, it took a lot of time to choose one. Based on many reviews and the advice from store clerks, the THETA series was the most suitable for us.

Actually, I wanted THETA V, the best model at the time, and a waterproof case for it. But I didn’t know the potential of a 360-degree camera at that point, so we bought THETA SC as a starter. Later I thought I should have bought the better model.

[On the bridge at the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia]

I purchased THETA SC in February 2019, just before departure. At the beginning I couldn’t use it well, but as I shot in various places, I got used to it and got better and better.

The original plan was to write a blog regularly and share the photos and videos taken with THETA, but eventually I just posted them on Instagram.

[The best resort in Cuba]

I focused on Instagram as a platform to share on SNS. But I noticed later that there’s no function to share photos and videos of the 360-degree images on Instagram. So, I edited photos or movies with ‘Little Planet’ mode or some other way to show the images are 360-degrees when posting on Instagram.

Impressive shots with THETA

I do love stars, so I secretly aimed to shoot amazing starry skies with THETA on this trip. Tekapo village in New Zealand is famous for the most beautiful starry sky in the world, and I was touched by the starry village more than I imagined.

[Tekapo Village, in New Zealand]

When shooting animals, they usually run away from people but it happened sometimes that they curiously approached THETA.

[Giraffe Center in Kenya]

Also, sometimes we couldn’t see anything at a parade or an event. In such moments, THETA can shoot the whole scene from above using the monopod and the remote shooting function.

[Mexico Independence Day in Mexico City]

* In the case of viewing by a smartphone, tap on the video title and see it via the YoutTube app.

When I was walking around the city while shooting with THETA, people looked at me with puzzled faces as it doesn’t look like a camera. (laughs) Sometimes people who knew about THETA talked to us. Once in a while, I saw other people shooting with a 360-degree camera.

In India, I was overwhelmed by the large number of people, and avoided carrying a camera at first. But after I got used to it, I got the courage and tried to shoot with THETA. Then everyone stared at the camera and that was so funny. (laughs)

[Downtown in Chennai, India]

360 degree cameras such as THETA are still rare, so the other people who were on a tour with us were very pleased to have the THETA photos that we gave them. Thanks to THETA, we were able to get along with others and became popular. (laugh)

THETA’s charm for traveling

Unlike existing photos and videos, THETA can capture the entire moment and surroundings as photos or videos. That’s the most attractive point for us.

When I first bought it, I was just vaguely thinking that it would be able to record 360 degrees in all directions. But when I looked at the pictures I actually took, I clearly remember that I was so surprised, excited, and moved!

[Market on Zanzibar Island, Tanzania]

Another great attractive point is that if you use the THETA+ app to edit photos taken with THETA, you can create photos with a completely different impact from 360-degree photos. It’s amazing how you can easily create totally different photos from a single image depending on how you edit or crop it.

Also, if you use VR goggles to view photos and videos, you can feel as if you went back to the atmosphere at that time. In fact, this is what we wanted to do most. I think it will be fun to look back at these shots when we get older.

[Sesriem National Park in Namibia]

Speaking of which, before departure, I showed the video I took with THETA to my grandmother using VR goggles. The video was a simple one in which we and our friends surrounded THETA and talked or waved our hands. But my grandmother was so glad to watch it and she was waving back with a big smile.

I was super happy to realize that I could make her feel like she’s also on our trip even though she can’t travel anymore.

Same as my grandmother’s example, I would like to share THETA’s photos and videos taken during our trip with other people so they could feel like they are there. Ordinary images or videos are beautiful for sure but there’s a lack of realism somehow.

[During the Makgadikgadi Pan Tour in Botswana]

I think people will be able to experience the atmosphere as if the viewers themselves were visiting the places while seeing the THETA images through VR goggles. And the virtual experience may encourage them to go to those places.

How to use the monopod with THETA

To avoid having my fingers take up most of the frame and to create better images, we purchased a monopod during our trip. Actually, I learned how to use the monopod properly at the end of our trip.

We imagined “THETA’s zenith direction” meant “the zenith direction of the image.” For this reason, in most of the pictures we took, we bent the head of the monopod as THETA should stand pointing up. But the handle or a part of the monopod were always in the frame.

However, since THETA has an “auto zenith correction function”, the zenith direction is corrected to the top during playback no matter which direction THETA faces.

In other words, by aligning  the handle of the monopod to the head of THETA, less of the monopod will be in the image.

This is how I shot with the monopod during our trip in Itoshima, Fukuoka after returning from a world trip.

By doing this, I could minimize the monopod in the frame as in the photo below.

[Itoshima in Fukuoka]

THETA SC, which is the one we bought, was the simplest model in the THETA series. But next time, we’d love to get THETA Z1, the flagship model, for our next world trip!

Instagram: @vr_worldtravel

Model used: THETA SC

*This article was written by Junichi and Azusa, who share episodes from when they used THETA SC.