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How to transform your non profit project into a world wide oganization

Our today's article is devoted to a transformation from one non-profit model to another, following the example of the Airpano project launched in far 2006 but has gained a world recognition so far.


The formula of success

Sometimes it seems that behind every success stands a secret formula nobody will ever reveal. In fact, everything is simple: an original idea, the ability to work and achieve goals, as well as a good team -  all these components make up the very successful formula everyone is trying to figure out. Today I’d like to give an example of how ordinary non-profit project might become a worldwide campaign.



Bring the idea!

Everything starts with an idea. Twelve years 2 enthusiasts from Russia decided to expand the technological possibilities of photography. And they succeed!

Nowadays Digital cameras and Smartphones have a particular panorama mode, and no tripod is required for shooting. Modern image editing software has multiple features like background removal and editing or photo blending but I can’t make a panorama from separate shots.   The dreams of photographers, brought up in the harsh conditions of analog technology, came true, but our heroes were aimed to achieve an even more significant effect of presence. They thought how not only to capture the space but literally immerse the viewer in it. That is how 360 ° panoramas were born. In 2006 it was just a domestic project AirPano, which gained world recognition in the field of shooting spherical panoramas.



Implement the idea

The initiators of the AirPano project in 2006 were photographers Oleg Gaponyuk and Andrey Zubets. They were among the first to make spherical panoramas from the air, from a bird's-eye view, using a helicopter. At that time they Immediately faced with quite serious technical difficulties and it took them several months to solve all the issues.

It should be noted that the AirPano project is a non-profit, i.e. it does not have a goal to make a profit, all its participants are obsessed with the idea to capture unique stories. "Initially, we set ourselves the task to shoot "one hundred of the most beautiful places on the planet," Sergey Rumyantsev explains. - When we reached it, we understood that it is necessary not to stop and move forward. Today our website, which was launched in 2009, has already presented about 220 of the most interesting corners of the globe, and all here you can see 2000 spherical panoramas made from the air."



Build a team

AirPano team consists of 11 participants, 8 of which are photographers and presented their works on the website: Oleg Gaponyuk, Andrey Zubets, Sergey Semenov, Sergey Rumyantsev, Dmitry Moiseenko, Mikhail Reifman, Stanislav Sedov, Ivan Roslyakov. The other three specialists are engaged in software development and support. For all time from project no one has left the project.

Panoramic Photo 360 °  is taken by a small aircraft-drone, called "copter", usually carried out by two people — a photographer and a pilot. Unlike helicopters, copters provide greater flexibility, and they are cheaper... Copter, controlled by the pilot, lifts  Nikon D810 into the air, the photographer operates the process via the monitor. The entire shooting of spherical panorama lasts about 5 minutes.



Face the challenges

It might seem an easy process but it is doesn't. The preparation for shooting implies obtaining permits which could sometimes go on for six months, and the expedition itself lasts 1-3 weeks. The hardest part of the process is waiting for the excellent weather and the proper illumination. Photos taken with the help of the copter are stitched together with the help of software into panoramas.

— so it turns out an extended viewing angle. Then the panoramas are combined into virtual photo tours and posted on the website. Thus, after viewing one panorama (you can "turn your head" in any direction, zoom in and out the image), it is possible to move to another, where the same place will be shown from a different angle. All panoramas have sound. AirPano project shoots video in 360° format, as well as experimenting with stereo panes. It is clear that the paper magazine is not able to convey all the charm of spherical panoramas, but even traditional two-dimensional images can admire. Most of them were included in the photo publication "AirPano: the world from above. Best photos".

Sergei talks about the immediate plans, about the complex shooting, which AirPano is now preparing for, and we are all amazed how a small team managed in just less than 5 years to make unique things that cause real rave around the world. The virtual tours AirPano are recommended for use in schools in geography lessons.


Page last edited Oct 22, 2018 History

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