016: Virtual Reality with Photographer Griffin Harrington

Photography and Virtual Reality with Griffin Harrington


Photography and Virtual Reality

How are photography and virtual reality combining?  In the future, will your clients expect to see their photos and videos in a 360-degree virtual reality setting? It may sound crazy right now, but technology changes fast and Griffin Harrington is on the forefront of using VR (virtual reality) technology to capture and tell stories.

Griffin is a VR specialist for the Discovery Channel and has traveled all over the world to create immersive 360 video experiences. In this episode of The Bearded Tog, we talk about his experience with the VR format,  how much pre-production is required to create a 360 video, and why he believes that creatives should consider adding this technology to their services. 

Griffin Harrington’s tips on creating Virtual Reality Photos and Videos

  • If you want to know what it’s like to create with the VR format, imagine a world where your camera only had a 10 mm lens, and you still have to tell compelling stories. 
  • You want to minimize the amount of “stitch lines’ because that is not ideal.  This is where the shots from two different cameras are spliced together in post.
  • You can create a great 360 rig with GoPros for around $5,000-$6,000. 
  • The storage required for the 360 video footage is insane. You have 6 video streams, recording in 2.7k. They will usually record around 15 minutes of footage at a time, with each stream being around 8 GBs. For the Discovery video projects they will have 5-6 days of filming. At the end of the job, you can easily have 4 terabytes of footage for one video. And that’s before backups!
  • Pre-production is very important in creating VR videos. The gear and crew needed take up a large footprint and logistics need to be planned out meticulous before filming. 

Things to Think On:

  • You have to plan your videos knowing that everything around you will be seen by the viewer. Because of this, Griffin often has to plan where he will run and hide after turning on the camera so that he, the operator, is not in the video. 
  • In VR you have to stage and choreograph your subjects and environment very differently than in a traditional format. In turn, people seem larger and more important to the viewer if they are closer to the camera. Because of this you also want to stage your action, like a conversation between two people, so the view doesn’t have to turn their head back and forth to follow what is happening. 
  • Because VR is still in the early stages, Griffin believes it will drive technology in the future and encourages all creatives to considering adding it to their packages and services in some way. If you are an early adopter, in a few years you could be the expert in your area or field of the technology. 

WARNING: We get pretty nerdy, be ready!

Listen to Griffin Harrington on The Bearded Tog Podcast

Connect with Griffin Harrington

Instagram: @griffinh

Connect with Adam Mason

Website: https://adammason.com/

Instagram: @masonphotography

Full show notes: adammason.com/blog

What did you learn from this episode? What are you most afraid of? Email me: [email protected]

The Bearded Tog podcast is created by Washington DC Wedding Photographer Adam Mason

Please leave a review: bit.ly/beardedtog

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