A new perspective
For those looking to explore a new perspective on the world, the RICOH THETA is a revolutionary camera that allows photographers to capture the complete scene, without missing a single detail. In the SR360 competition, photojournalists are submitting their RICOH THETA images, showcasing the creative and journalistic opportunities of a 360 degree camera.
Find out more about RICOH THETA at the official product site
Our two judges selected for the project.
Awards Ceremony and Round Table Discussion
On September 20th, three highly deserving prizewinners, two judges, and related attendees gathered amidst the fall sunshine at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. All were there to participate in the round table discussion and the eagerly awaited awards ceremony for the Spherical Report 360° photo competition. A warm, friendly atmosphere prevailed throughout. We report on the day, including photos and comments from each prizewinner, the judges’ assessments, and more.
Grand Prize Winner: Tom Hanley
Prize: PENTAX K-3 18-135WR kit
The Color Run was founded in March of 2011 as an event to promote healthiness and happiness by bringing the community together to participate in the “Happiest 5k on the Planet”.
Judge's CommentsTom Hanley: “Color Run Savannah”
Ann Johansson: I think this photograph stood out because it was one of the few images that completely filled the 360° frame. What I love about it is that you have the closeness of this group of people with crazy colors on their faces. You see so many different expressions as you explore the image.
I love that this image has a few different layers as well. You have the initial group of people but also people behind them, and the landscape behind that. When you look down on the image, you have more colour on the participants legs and hands, it is a great image to explore.
Christopher Robinson: First of all, it is a wonderful winning the photograph, with all the colors and the expressions on everybody’s faces. But beyond that, the way you can move through the photo and keep seeing new things, there is always something new to look at. The explosion of color and the expressions really capture the event. Everything about it was just really spot on. It also really highlighted the technology of THETA camera, because of the way they really submerge the viewer in a whole scene. It's a wonderful use of the camera.
Gold Prize Winners: Kevin Franz and Wesley Richardson
Prize: RICOH GR Limited Edition
My lovely wife bought me a 15-minute helicopter tour over kansas city. Besides the beauty and fascination, the thrill factor was immense due to no doors or glass to my left or the pilot's right. Notice Pentax K-5 with DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 cradled tightly on my lap!
Judge's CommentsWesley Richardson: “Helicopter tour over KC”
Ann Johansson: With this picture the photographer really thought “How can I use this camera?”, by going up in a helicopter and showing us everything that you can see while you’re up in the air. Typically when we are in helicopters, we just get to see in a single direction. What I really liked was that I can see the people inside the helicopter, the photographer, the pilot, the people behind, as well as the instrument panel and the view outside. There is so much too look at in this image.
Christopher Robinson: I like this photo very much because it shows me very unique view, the aerial view combined with inside of helicopter. You can see the top of the helicopter, you see the passengers in the back seat, all of this is really great use of the camera, and a wonderful piece of aerial photography that Iʼve never seen before. It is a great example of a photograph I would look at. Every time I moved around I was drawn to some other part and would see something new. I was surprised by new details as I moved through the photo. I think this is really what this camera does best.Kevin Franz: “Tornado in progress!”
Ann Johansson: I love this image because it truly put the camera in a photo journalistic environment. From a photo‒journalism perspective it is terrific. It really shows what camera does really well. You have the tornado coming at you, which really looks quite scary with the sky so dark, and then behind you, you can see this clear sky which is something you never get to see with regular pictures of tornados. This camera gives us the whole dramatic picture.
Christopher Robinson: I love this tornado photo because it shows me a view of a tornado that no one ever sees, which is not just the angry sky, but whatʼs happening all around, including the he bright blue sky behind. Again this was such a wonderful use of the camera technology to show that all in the same image.
Winner's Comments on SR360Tom Hanley
Using the RICOH THETA for this competition really made you go out and look for a photo in a totally different way. I’m always taking photos and this taught me to go and try to get photos or video with consideration of full the range of everything that is going on around you.
The contest was fun because you always got a chance to see what other people had done, and the judges were great, highlighting the unique the aspects of the contest and teaching us to improve our photography.
It’s always great to win. It is humbling when i think about some of the other great entries that were submitted. It’s always good to meet with new friends and get more familiar with RICOH’s products. I look forward to sharing RICOH's future products, and knowing that I was a part of it has been incredibly rewarding.
As far as the contest goes, it has been fantastic. I guess I feel I was approaching it a bit differently from these guys with the 360° capability. For me, it’s finally something that I can do quickly and I do not have to go through a long process to prepare for, I just can take out a camera that is ready to go and get the photo.
I’m very excited about the idea for video because it would be great to get a really cool 360° video of a tornado. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s an absolutely great product.
I loved this contest. I found this that I can take this camera anywhere with me. It inspired me to do things like zip lining, a helicopter tour, or taking it to the Niagara Falls. It encouraged me to do things that ordinarily I wouldn’t have done. People asked me about the camera, and when I showed it to them they'd say, “Wow, that is cool”, and I love showing it to people.
The contest has been great, and it keeps me pushing to do bigger and better things. I tried to submit the best photo that judges will like. I went to the online gallery every two or three days to see what other people posted and I looked through all those photos. That inspired me, I'd think “Oh, thatʼs a good idea when you do something like that”. I was extremely excited to see one of my photos as a monthly winner, and I was shocked to see it happen twice! Thank you for that.
Judges Comments on the SR360 CompetitionChristopher Robinson
Judging this competition has been a really refreshing experience. In my job I look at tens of thousands of photos in a year. So to look at these 360° photos actually made me start thinking differently about photography. These photos have the potential to surprise you as you move through the image. I found it very interesting and it was really a great pleasure to be involved. Congratulations to everyone, it was really interesting and inspiring to see what you all did with this technology.
I love the product, and I think it’s good as a photojournalistic tool, and I think it’s going to be really wonderful to work with it more myself.Ann Johansson
It’s been a phenomenal experience. I think it started for me with just seeing the camera. I have to say I like the way it looks, the way it feels, the way you hold it. It’s completely unique. And then playing with it, it really does challenge you to try to really utilize its full of capability.
I loved being a judge for the competition. Looking at these photos has almost become addictive, because when I start to look at an image, I don’t know what’s coming next. What else am I going to see? I love that aspect of it. The idea of surprises makes you want to see the next one, and next one, and next one, just to see what you are going to uncover in the background or above or below. It’s been a terrific experience.
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