This a warning, a serious warning: Reading this post can lead to disappearing down a rabbit hole from which you might not escape for hours. The spherical, aerial panoramas produced by Airpano, a group of three Russian photographers, are off-the-charts amazing, addictive, and inspiring. Grab the biggest screen you can, turn off the lights, and jump in.
Oleg Gaponyuk, Sergei Rumyantsev, and Sergei Semenov are on a multiyear project to produce these mindblowing panoramas of the world’s most iconic locations, and so far they have created 82. Most were shot from helicopters, but they also used jets, balloons, and radio-controlled choppers. Airpano is a noncommercial effort, god love ‘em.
I’ve tinkered with making a few spherical panoramas myself, and let me tell you, it’s not easy. Getting the gear calibrated is a lot of work, and then there’s getting your exposures right and making sure you’ve shot what you need to shoot correctly. And then comes the really tricky part — stitching it together in post-production to make it seamless and look good. Panorama software has improved, but it’s still an art — an art these guys have perfected.
Declination is other places, other spaces, and the things that happen there.