Interview with AirPano

AirPano is a team of Russian photographers who traveling the world to capture aerial photographs of the world’s most eye-catching locations.

Guys tell us a bit about yourself! Where did AirPano began?

AirPano is a project created by a team of Russian photographers focused on taking high-resolution aerial 360° photographs and 360° videos. Although we usually photograph from radio-controlled drones and helicopters, we also like to shoot from an airplane, a dirigible, and a hot air balloon. Today AirPano is the largest resource in the world — by geographical coverage, a number of aerial photographs, and artistic and technical quality of the images — featuring 360° panoramas and 360° videos of the highest quality shot from a bird’s eye view.

Since the beginning of the project, AirPano team has created panoramas of the majority of the most interesting and significant places and cities of the Earth. There are about 3000 aerial panoramas on our website showing more than 300 famous locations of our planet, including North Pole, Antarctica, Mariana Trench, and even the Earth’s view from the stratosphere. New virtual tours are published on every week.

Unlike viewing a traditional photograph limited by its frame, or watching a film that follows its director’s idea, a spherical panorama gives you a freedom of being on location, where you can turn around 360° and have a closer look at every detail.

When viewed on a large screen the panorama technology creates a complete illusion of a personal presence on the spot, it makes you feel as if you are in the sky above New York City, underwater, above the raging waterfall, and even inside a microwave oven. You can take the time to move in closer and study interesting objects, or “fly” to a new place by simply moving your hand. Although there is a downside that nothing can be touched, but we are working on it 🙂

In 2012 AirPano project won “RuNet Awards 2012” contest. In 2013 we received a grant from Russian Geographic Society (RGO) for further development of the project. Russian President V. V. Putin personally presented the grant to our colleague Sergey Semenov. AirPano photographs and panoramas were published in “National Geographic”, “GEO”, “Der Spiegel”, “Daily Mail”, and many other publications on multiple occasions. Year after year we continue winning numerous international and national photo contests. During the whole five years since 2011 to 2015 AirPano has been permanently winning in the prestigious international panoramic photography contest “Epson International Pano Awards“.


What first drew you to Aerial videography and what keeps you there?

We started our project in 2006-2008 with 360° aerial photos, and in 2011 we made first successful tries to capture and stitch 360° video. Then we managed to create 360° aerial videos.
It is quite difficult to create high quality aerial 360° video, and we do our best to capture the most interesting and beautiful locations and moments around the world in 360°.

Your panoramic 360° videos,and photographs are breathtaking! How did you get into capturing your adventures?

All members of our team were quite good landscape photographers and we decided to shoot “100 best places on the Earth” in 360° format. Now we have more than 300 places around the world, so I can confirm that our main goal has been achieved. As soon as technology turned to be good enough for 360° video we immediately tried the new solutions. Since that we are creating not just 360° photo but 360° video too.

Do you, or have you ever, looked to other artists for inspiration or education?

Yes, definitely. The famous movie Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand gives us a huge inspiration. Definitely it is usual plain video, not 360°, but the beauty and quality of the camera work is just outstanding.

What other projects are you currently working on?

We publish new content (360° photos, 360° videos and photos) every week. Also we’ve recently launched our new app for iOS:

Closing Thoughts … How do you think photography and traveling have changed your view of the world?

We just got confirmation that our world is very beautiful and everywhere lots of nice people are living. Everyday we read about problems in different parts of the World. That’s true, many problems can be found. But still there are many people who can help you and many places you want return more and more.

We are not sure yet how 360° video will be popular in the near future. But we hope that lots of people will like our videos.