Photosphere Photography

Photosphere Photography facilities an immersive, virtual photographic experience by allowing users to rephotograph 360-degree panoramas from Google Street View. It begins by typing a location or address into a webpage form. The location is geocoded and corresponding latitude and longitude coordinates are sent to an IOS app, which displays Google Street View panoramas on an iPhone screen fixed in front of a DSLR camera lens. When peering through the DSLR camera’s viewfinder, the spatial perspective within Street View’s photospheres shifts based on camera orientation, due to input data from the iPhone’s gyroscope and accelerometer motion sensors.

The resulting dynamic photographic frame is accompanied with a shift in the relationship between the photographer’s intentionality and the photographic experience, as agency over the navigation and rendering of these virtual environments is placed within the hands of the user.

Technical Description:

The interactive installation consists of six parts: (1) a monitor displaying a webpage form where users input addresses, (2) a Mac mini computer running a node.js server which parses the webpage form, geocodes the address, and sends the coordinates to an IOS app via server-sent events, (3) an IOS app which listens to server-sent events from the node.js server and updates the displayed Google Street View 360-degree panoramas accordingly, (4) an iPhone fixed to the front of a DSLR camera lens, (5) a DSLR camera, (6) and a monitor which displays the images captured with the DSLR camera.