In an earlier post titled “Ricoh Theta S: The Perfect Blossom” (see below), I did a review of the Ricoh Theta S, a 360 degree camera that took okay pictures and video. I knew when I plunked down $300 that the images were sub-par, however the holidays were approaching and I did not want to miss out on capturing the moment. Unlike traditional cameras, 360 degree cameras are so immersive when viewed using a VR headset that you feel that you are there, at that moment. Truly it destroy’s Thomas Wolfe’s premise that “You can’t go home again.” Yes you can, via 360 photos.
The technology is relatively new which is unfortunate. I wish that I could step back in time and see my 70’s bedroom in New Jersey, covered with posters of Kiss, Bay City Rollers (yes, I liked them but I don’t know why) and other groups. Even better would have been the ability to capture my bedroom from the 80’s and early 90’s when I lived in Illinois, in the home that my parents owned from 1980 until 2016. That house, the pool table & ping pong table in the basement, the outdoor pool, even the kitchen where my three sisters, my parents & I ate, laughed, teased & fought bring back a lot of great memories.
But what really hits home is that shortly after my parents moved out of that house in 2016, my Mom was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, a horrible, debilitating disease that increasingly robs you of all motor skills, while leaving your mental faculties intact. For the mainstream who don’t know what MSA is, basically take Lou Gherig’s Disease & Parkinson’s and roll them into one. Watching my Mom slowly lose her independence and in the end, all dignity, was horrifying.
It wasn’t until the spring of 2017 that I upgraded my camera gear and was able to begin taking panoramic, 360 photos, one year after my parents sold their house. I so wish that I could turn back time and take 360 pictures of their house, even better to stitch those photos together into a virtual tour, similar to the SSPP tour I built (https://bhimagery.com/category/virtual-tours/).
Before Christmas in 2016, my Dad bought a VR headset for my Mom because by then she was house-ridden. God I wish I could of had the skills to transport her back to the one house where she spent more years of her life than anywhere else.In the short time that they lived in their current house, they had yet to make any real memories. Could of….Should of….Would of….
Because of that experience, I’ve made an effort to take panoramic photos of my house. Whether it be the redecoration of my daughter’s room, holiday meals where my extended family is there, or even how my house is decorated for the seasons, I’ve made it a point to record it so my kids can go home. While I am not going to give an entire tour of my house (for security reasons), at the bottom of this post are three examples of my living room during Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s more than likely nothing to you, however to my family, this room holds a lot of memories.Hint – they look better on a VR headset. And yes, these are Philips Hue lights.