Thank you High Park Fire for my new iPhone addiction

If you’ve been following Colorado news recently, you’ve no doubt seen images of the High Park Fire which has burned 46,000 acres in Northern Colorado. As I was scanning through hundreds of smokey landscapes on the web this morning, I found one image in particular, found on The Denver Post, caught my eye.

This photo was taken by Doug Conorroe, of North Forty News, using 360° technology.

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A 360° stereographic view of the High Park Fire. Photograph taken by Doug Conorroe, North Forty News.

The coolest part about this image, however, is its interactive functionality which allows you to scan the image in a complete circle as well as view the image from three different perspectives.

As I explored the image, I was overcome by two emotions: (1) complete awe at how cool the technology has become for photography and (2) insane jealousy due to the assumption that I would never be able to afford such technology.

It wasn’t until I clicked on a link in the top left corner of the image that that my jealousy transformed into elation. Turn’s out, the photographer didn’t use fancy and obsorbantly priced equipment to take this photo.

He used an iPhone and a 99 cent app.  Score.

I downloaded the app almost immediately, determined to make an image of my own. To create an image, you hold your iPhone in front of you and spin slowly in a circle. Each time you pause, the app captures an image. When you complete the circle, the app ‘magically’ pieces everything together in a fairly cohesive shot. It’s that simple.

Here’s the result of my trial…(you can also view this photo viewed interactively.)

A 360° photograph of our newsroom taken with 360 Panorama. Photograph by Kaitie Huss.
A 360° photograph of our newsroom taken with 360 Panorama. Photograph by Kaitie Huss.

Well, a little choppy and our manager looks somewhat ghostlike — but hey, for the first time I’d say not bad. More importantly, this app makes me incredibly excited about its potential. With a little creativity — and a tripod— I’m sure this app could be incredibly powerful.