We Get Around (and Up Side Down) at Atlanta Tech Village

360º Photo Sphere Aerial View. The Ricoh Theta 360º 1-click camera is duck taped to the ball attached to the ginormous crane.

by We Get Around Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod

How do you shoot an aerial 360º photo sphere view of the roof of Atlanta Tech Village, when you don't have a drone, helicopter or plane ... and you're not Superman?

No problem.  Just duck tape a Ricoh Theta 360º 1-click camera to a "headache ball" attached to a ginormous Southway Crane and Rigging crane and use the Ricoh Theta iPhone iPhone app to trigger the photos remotely.

(It helps if the crane is already on-site.)

In less than 10 minutes last week, we shot nearly 30 360º photo spheres showing off the Atlanta Tech Village 'Steel Week' including progress of transporting steel to the roof for the construction of a rooftop Village lounge for the 600+ tech entrepreneur community members fueling Atlanta's rise to a top five tech startup center in the U.S. (I am a member.)

With "my" hard hat firmly in place, I stood on the roof of the Village with Choate Construction Superintendent Bo Webb to my left and Crump LLC Steel Worker Bobby Tutton to my right. Minutes before we took the construction elevator to the top after conferring with Crane Operator Danny Woodall (and Crump Project Manager Ronnie Crump by radio). Once I double-checked the wireless connectivity between the Ricoh Theta to the Theta iPhone app one last time, I asked Bobby to radio Danny in the crane cab below to "take 'er up and to the right please."

"Any worry about your camera," asked one construction worker. "Getting this shot is totally worth it," I replied. Plus, Bobby, Dillon McDowell  and the rest of the steel worker team were very careful not to touch the camera's fish-eye lenses.

To round out the photo shoot, Danny placed the Ricoh Theta inside the crane cab and on the roof of the crane cab while I remotely triggered the 360ºs. Plus, I fired off the camera – attached to a 6' pole – from the third floor parking deck for another perspective.

Thanks to the team for allowing this photographer to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

For more aerial 360º photos spheres shot from the "headache ball" – and other 360º photo spheres I've shot inside Atlanta Tech Village, please get the free We Get Around Atlanta iOS app and look for the Atlanta Tech Village collection. 

Photographer's Bucket List

I've been lucky enough to shoot photos on a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker aerial Air National Guard refueling mission of five F16s while laying down prone next to the boom operator; the F16 pilots just yards from us. Plus, I've been embedded with 52 Miss America contestants for nearly a week-long Los Angeles publicity tour.  Shooting aerial 360ºs from a giant crane goes on this photographer's bucket list of "done that, let's do it again!"

360º photo sphere – Atlanta Tech Village rooftop lounge progress and Atlanta skyline.

We Get Around Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod (purple shirt) and Choate Construction Supervisor Bo West (orange vest) give "thumbs up" as Crump LLC Steel Worker Bobby Tutton radios Southway Crane and Rigging crane operator Danny Woodall in crane cabe below.