The BBC News article UK Antarctic meteorite hunt bags large haul shows this ultra wide angle and likely "little planet"-type of self portrait. I can't understand how this effect is produced.

While example images given in in answers to a previous question How are “Little Planet” photos created? show only the ground at the bottom:

  1. These show the photographer and another person - there were only two people on this magnetic meteor-hunting arctic expedition.

  2. There's no evidence of stitching or movement of the subjects during multiple exposures

  3. The formats are rectangular (though that could be imposed for publication)

Could these have been imaged with a single, extremely wide format lens and a single exposure?

If so, what kind of lenses, optics, or other equipment are used to do this? While it seems that stitching several images together might be the solution, would the subjects simply hold very still as a drone rotates? Or is there a pole supporting the camera that's been edited out (a bit like the Mars Rover "selfies")? I've cropped a bit of the photo - there seems to be something in one person's hand.

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Most of the space rocks in collections were picked up in the Antarctic. KATHERINE JOY / UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, tiny planet is now a built-in processing mode on some inexpensive devices (I can't recall which one(s), maybe the Ricoh Theta, or perhaps even an Android phone). But the principle is still the same: warp wide-angle imagery to create what looks like a tiny planet. The images in the proposed dupe don't have to be created from a single photo — a 360° pano is all that's needed. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 5:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ This effect can be accomplished with e.g. some GoPro’s. \$\endgroup\$
    – ssn
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 7:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is 100% achieved by using the DJI drones. I have a DJI spark and it hovers and stitches an image just like this. @scottbb is absolutely right about little planet as that's what's used to view this effect. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 8:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AbdulQuraishi or maybe the top guy is holding the camera on a pole in his left hand and the image processing partially remove the pole (like many 360° camera / image processing app could do). That would explains the stick he is holding \$\endgroup\$
    – jhamon
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 8:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ This question adds nothing to the duplicate. There's little doubt that the guy with the orange hood is holding a 360 camera. They can be purchased from many of your favorite shopping sites. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 5:00

1 Answer 1


Depends how you define "single exposure". If we're talking about a single lens projecting light onto a single sensor this is a physical impossibility. With a DSLR or a (regular) smartphone, you always end up with multiple pictures being stitched together.

But there are cameras out there specifically for 360° pictures that come with multiple lenses and multiple sensors, so the moment you take a picture you actually take multiple pictures that are stitched together automatically. The Samsung Galaxy Gear 360 is an example for this kind of thing that can be combined with VR-Gear which - in my eyes - is a sure way of getting sea sickness ;-)

That particular picture might be done by setting the timer of the camera and throwing it up. There are cameras that are intended to be thrown into the air in order to do 360°-panos, e.g. this one.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Bingo! This makes perfect sense, thanks! The throwable-type multi-lens-on-a-stick concept is new to me. It's like a real-world version of the Lytro Imerge but without all the startup hype. (Is a “Light Field” useful in mathematics, or just in marketing?) \$\endgroup\$
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 14:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, except you can see the pole the photographer is holding in the shadow cast on the snow. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 4:11

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