Whether it’s wading crocodile-infested rivers in Papa New Guinea or trekking across the Sahara desert, in the last two decades, photographer, director, and extreme sport enthusiast, Corey Rich has documented some of the world’s greatest adventure athletes across the globe. When we needed someone to test out an early version of the Key Mission 360 in action, we couldn’t think of anyone better for the job. Here’s his experience and tips when capturing 360 imagery and video footage… it’s more challenging than you would think.
Sharing my mission with the world
“Given my passion for adventure sport, I was thrilled to be involved in this project from the off, and was given an early version of the 360-degree camera by Nikon to see exactly what it could do in real-life, extreme situations.
The KeyMission 360 is a new action camera that shoots 360-degree 4K video footage, all controlled by your smartphone. This light, small and easy to operate camera is built to withstand the most challenging of elements. The body is waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and freezeproof, opening a world of exhilarating photography opportunities for any budding adventurer.
Luckily for me and my team, this took the form of a dream project, shooting kayaking in Mexico, rock climbing in California and mountain biking in Utah. This is the subject matter that I am most passionate about, so I was pretty thrilled to be able to share my experience with others.
‘This is not a camera, it’s technology and this technology has the power to change the way that we all think, share, experience and see the world around us.’
– Corey Rich
A whole new paradigm
Every now and again a technology lands in our laps that makes a difference, and the Nikon Key Mission 360 blew my mind! Unlike any other camera, it sees in a sphere – meaning it can take photos and capture footage in all directions. This was a completely new world and paradigm for me, where my career has been based on shooting stills and motion from “behind the camera” or “in front of the lens”.
With the KeyMission 360, there is no more hiding behind the camera – it puts the audience in control and requires a whole new way of thinking.
For the very first time, the KeyMission 360, KeyMission170 and KeyMission 80 are available to purchase direclty from the Nikon store for the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Shooting in 360-degrees
I had no “guide” or “set of rules” to follow when I took to the rivers of Veracuz, Mexico with Alec Voorhees and Seth Stoenner, two of the best young kayakers in the world. For one, technology had to lead the way, and I also had to let the athletes feel as comfortable with the camera as I did.
Following their first run down the river (which was insane!), Alec and Seth said to me how impressed they were with the KeyMission 360. The footage answers all the questions their kayaking colleagues would have about the run – what line he took, how he held his paddle etc., essentially giving them a self-guided tour.
This is because with the KeyMission 360, the viewer has the revolutionary ability to navigate and explore the visual to see what they want to see. For me, this was the ‘eurika!’ moment.
Over the next few days, I realized that I was learning from these athletes; their willingness to experiment and embrace new technology, and in a way, they were learning from me; my experience in photography and filmmaking (telling a story visually), light, composition and moment.
What’s more, my role as a storyteller certainly changed, to start thinking in, literally, 360 degrees, while helping the athletes get into unique locations and operate the cameras. As you can see, the results are one of a kind!
Corey’s tips and tricks to get the most out of the KeyMission 360:
- Nikon logo indicates the front lens. It is always better to have the main subject in that area
- Allow each scene to be long enough to allow time for users to orient and navigate
- It is best to keep key subjects roughly 2 meters away from side of the camera. By maintaining the distance from the camera it prevents images and details from being clipped off
Think about the potential of the KeyMission 360, 170, 80: walk with endangered species in Africa, traverse glaciers with scientists in the Arctic, walk on the moon with an astronaut, or kayak down an unexplored river. And we, the viewer, decides what portion of that experience we want to see – that’s revolutionary, and I can’t wait to take the camera on similar projects in the future.
More importantly, I pose the question to you: what’s your next mission, and how will you tell the story?
Based in South Lake Tahoe, California, Corey Rich is a photographer and director of Corey Rich Productions. Throughout his career and following his passion for extreme sport and athletics, Corey has worked with huge brands including Apple, and The North Face. You can find out more by following them on Instagram and Twitter: @coreyrich