Take a look at these awe-(and dizziness?) inducing 360° photographs, and you'll likely think it's the product of some multi-thousand dollar lens, or at least some very clever photoshopping.
Turns out, it's not. You can create the effect with even the most basic of point-and-shoot cameras and a tripod.
Okay, well and some panorama software, but that's just to assemble them together. The real trick is the technique. Here's a brief excerpt on how it's done.
Shoot the first frame, rotate the camera so that the first and second frames overlap by 30 to 50 percent. Many cameras have a special panorama mode that displays guidelines on the LCD for overlapping the shots. We also suggest using a level, to ensure consistency in the shooting angle as you rotate the tripod head. Continue to rotate the camera clockwise in approximately 25-degree increments, overlapping each photo as before.
As for the panorama software, there are plenty of free options available for download. Check out this write-up at LifeHacker to get started.
How To: Take 360° "Reverse" Photographs [My Photography Tutorials]
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