This lighthouse was originally built in 1872 and it has just undergone a complete restoration which took over three years. This panorama is unique since the panorama was made after restoration but before replacement of it huge first order Fresnel lens (8 ft by 12 ft). This image here is just a thumb. Click on the link to see the entire 360 degree view. You can manipulate the image by use of the buttons at the bottom of the downloaded image. You can also navigate the panorama with your mouse and mounse wheel (left, right, up, down, zoom-in and zoom-out)
wow~~the panoramic photo is amazing and attracting! i wanna do this too. may i ask a question? if i have some pictures about aerials and i have panorama software(arcsoft.com/panorama-maker/), can i make panoramic photo like yours?? i wanna have a photo stitching software(arcsoft.com/panorama-maker/) to teach me how to stitch photos(arcsoft.com/panorama-maker/how-to-make-panorama.html) too...i think the effect is 3d panorama will be more wonderful.
The Panorama Maker software will work to create a Cylindrical 360 degree panorama. It will not create a VR 360/360 by 180 panoramas. The cylindrical view will not allow imaging at the top or the bottom of the scene.
As long as there is nothing close to the camera and all of the image elements are some distance away from the camera rotating the camera while level about the axis of the tripod will do. If there are any image elements near the camera then you should use a specialized panoramic head that allows adjustment to the non-parallax point of the lens. A wide angle or a fisheye lens will work well for 360 degree panos.
If you desire a true VR 360/360 by 180 image then you will need a specialized spherical panorama tripod head like those made by Nodal Ninja (I think they are among the best). A fisheye lens or a super wide angle lens can be use for those. Most folks use fisheyes for this. Specialized software like PTGui is used to merge all of the images to create the one 360 degree by 180 degree image. The final flash or HTML5 image is created from Pano2VR.
When creating 360 degree panoramas: (1) Turn off "auto-focus", focus and leave it throughout the the entire 360 degrees (2) Manual Exposure, get a sense of the average scene, set it and leave it thoughout. (HDR imaging has the advantage here) (3) No "Auto White Balance" set the WB appropiately for the scene, set it and leave it (4) Do not use a polarizing filter for 360's. (5) Make sure that your camera remains perfectly level as your rotate through the scene. (6) Most panos will work better if the camera is set in the portrait position.
Here are several excellent sites to learn the craft of Virtual Reality Photography (a.k.a. 360x180's, Spherical Panoramas):
Nice pano Laddie. Years ago I captured an image of the pines west of the Bodie Island Lighthouse parking lot. It looks like many of these tress have sonce disappeared, perhaps because of the reconstruction, but I can't imagine how.
You've uncovered an interesting technical problem. The usual issue with 360°X180 panos is your own shadow somewhere. Here, you've shot within a glass enclosure that allows multiple reflections of the camera and tripod, a really tough problem to eliminate.