Walk date: February, 2022
To make a change from chronicling my road trip around Scotland, today’s post jumps back to the beginning of the year, to when my experimentations with VR photography had just begun in earnest. I’m going to say up front – there is only one image in the VR gallery today – but the trip overall was so spectacular that I hope the 2D images and nature of the wild, Arctic landscape will make up for this!
I was using an Insta360 Evo at that point, a small camera with a similar form factor to the GoPro range that can record in VR180 or 2D 360. I was disappointed with the quality of VR video that this camera produced, however, the photographs are reasonable enough and it’s a unique experience I wanted to share.
Excuses out of the way – I am hopeful this is a post I can recreate this winter with much greater success!
I stayed in the US for a few months over winter, in Utah – known for numerous sites of natural beauty. During this time, I visited West Yellowstone (in Montana), as well as Moab (in Utah) which has Arches, Dead Horse Point, and Canyonlands on the doorstep – some of the most stunning sights I have ever seen. All of these will likely feature in future blog posts.
Today’s photo comes from a small reservoir, a trip that I made on a spare afternoon, without knowing what to expect. The town I was staying in was not particularly snowy, but on the drive, I passed frozen lakes, and by the time I came to the turn-off, the parking lot seemed perched on the edge of the tundra. It surprised me to find that I wasn’t the only one there!
The sky was as dramatic and beautiful as the wild, bleakness of the environment. What looked to my eyes to be like arctic outposts, tents, and observation posts to record readings from the edge of the world – were later explained to be ice fishers!
The following image shows my setup at the time – the Insta360 Evo mounted on the end of a tripod with a horizontal head (an aim to keep the tripod legs out of frame). A battery pack duct taped to one of the legs, and a Zoom H1n was used for recording audio on a smaller tripod at the base.
All of this was hastily erected before I put my gloves back on and walked in the other direction to avoid making noise on the recording. To the left, you can see multiple snowmobile tracks that eventually wound down to the vehicles parked outside the tents. Walking, even to this point, was a struggle, as the snow gave way beneath you and you had to gingerly check for where you could walk – your weight being spread much less on two feet, than on the snowmobile skies!
Please click the image below to enjoy the VR experience of standing in this frozen wasteland:
The mapbox widget does not allow me to pinpoint Strawberry Reservoir even though it is labelled in the map, so this marker is not exactly the spot where the images were taken…