The beauty of a 360 video is its ability to transport you to places that only a few lucky people will ever see; to experience amazing 360 moments that only a handful of people will ever enjoy.
A flat, 2D video is a small window on the world, one that keeps the viewer on the outside looking in, seeing only what the filmmaker wants them to see. A 360 video (aka VR video), on the other hand, has the potential to be so much more immersive. You can look anywhere and really feel like you’re there.
As you’ll see below, this opens up the potential for filmmakers to share some thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Get yourself a good 360 video camera and you can do it too.
While the following amazing 360 moments can be viewed in a web browser, they’re best experienced with a virtual reality headset, such as Google’s Daydream View or Samsung’s Gear VR, or any of the full VR systems from Sony, Oculus or HTC.
Expedition to the Heart of an Active Volcano
Technically, you could do this – we’re just not sure you’d want to. In 2016 a group of explorers traveled to Vanuatu in the South Pacific to descend into Mount Benbow – an active volcano that last erupted in 1913.
Photographer Ulla Lohmann and her husband Sebastian Hofmann led a small expedition through the jungle of Ambrym to reach the huge, 12km-wide caldera, and then descend 150 meters into Benbow itself. The 360-degree footage is amazing and, when viewed at the full 4K resolution, you can practically feel the heat emanating from the lava pool.
Dangerous Honey Hunting
Admittedly, searching for honey doesn’t sound like the most perilous of pastimes. But in this case the hunters are dangling high above sheer Nepalese cliffs and surrounded by angry bees. Photographer Renan Ozturk shot this footage as part of a documentary about Mauli, the last honey hunter of his village who defies the risks in order to retrieve the hallucinogenic red honey. The film gives a great sense of the scale of the cliffs and the long drop to the ground below. With buzzing insects clambering all over the lens, the video provides a real sense of just how dangerous this particular task is.
The Summit of Mount Everest
Despite the obvious dangers, the summit of the world’s tallest mountain continues to lure climbers in search of the ultimate climb. Several expeditions have carried 360-degree camera equipment to the 28,704 foot-high peak, but we think this latest offering – shot at 4K resolution and arriving at the summit on a clear sunny day – is one of the best.
The film tracks the efforts of cancer survivor Lisa Thomson and amputee Jeff Glasbrenner as they follow their dreams of beating their condition to reach the roof of the world. The stunning panoramic view across the snow-capped Himalayas, seen by so few, can now be enjoyed by everyone.
Journey To The Edge Of Space
This amazing trip on a helium balloon provides you with a breathtaking view of our planet from a height of 114,000 feet. On the ascent, you pass the elevation of Everest and the cruising height of commercial airliners, on the way to the edge of space, where the air is so thin and the sky above is almost black.
Shot with a four-lens camera system there are some visible seams, but the footage has been cleverly stabilized (so your head doesn’t spin with the camera) and it is accompanied by an on-screen altimeter and an informative voice-over. Seeing this amazing vista in 360-degree video provides a sense of spectacle that standard 2D video can’t hope to match.
Don’t just record a video, capture an experience. Start documenting your own amazing 360 moments today with a VIA VPai 360 camera.