A photographer in North Macedonia has made one of the largest virtual tours by a single photographer, consisting of almost 3,000 360 photos. (Google Street View videos don’t count.) Here is his story, and a discussion of his gear and his workflow.
Bojan Trenchevski is a photographer who has created a virtual tour of North Macedonia, consisting of almost 3,000 connected 360 photos to date, with more photos still to be added. The tours capture not only landscape but also archeological sites, churches, monasteries, mosques, museums, as well as art exhibitions. Remarkably, he says he has done this all as a service to the public and was not hired by the government or other entity. This is his story.
Bojan began shooting aerial 360 panoramas in 2015 or 2016, with a DJI Phantom 3 Pro. In 2017, he started shooting panoramas on the ground. “Since there was no digital guide for my country that really showed the tourist locations, and I traveled a lot around the country, I decided in 2018 to register the domain [Macedonia From Above] and practically started to travel and record even more intensively. . . In May 2019, I officially launched the website. It was made in HTML and the panoramas were linked from Kuula.” Bojan has since used 3DVista to create a rich virtual tour enhanced with additional textual information about the location, standard photos, videos, background music, location according to Google Maps.
Which cameras he uses
For aerial 360 photos, Bojan currently uses the DJI Air 2S. For 360 photos shot on the ground, he uses 360 cameras. His first 360 camera was the Samsung Gear 360, followed by the Insta360 One X. In 2020, he was choosing between Theta Z1 and XPhase. Ultimately, he decided that the Z1’s resolution wasn’t enough for him and he got the XPhase. He says that the XPhase’s colors aren’t as good as those of the Z1, but “it’s better to have a high resolution, and I can improve the color quality by working on a computer.”
Bojan shoots the XPhase in HDR mode, “usually with 3 shots, with auto setting for outdoor scenes, and manual mode for indoor. Then, with the XPhase application, I convert them to DNG format, which I then process in Adobe Photoshop, and finally reduce their resolution.”
Bojan says he has no plans of stopping his work and that he will continue to add photos to his site, where it will continue to serve as a resource for students and anyone who is interested in learning more about North Macedonia’s rich history. You can explore it here: https://macedoniafromabove.mk/