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How to take better photos of your business with 3 free apps from Google

Photo of Android phone and Google Cardboard camera.

Image: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic

If your group serves the general public, photographs which might be up-to-date and that precisely present your business might assist deliver you extra clients. I do know that I depend on pictures from Google Maps to view unfamiliar locations. And, as a buyer, what I see modifications the place I’m going—particularly for business journey. I take a look at each photographs and critiques once I select resorts, eating places, and different venues to go to.

To seize and share photos of your business, you can begin with your telephone. All of the next apps can be found for each Android and Apple units. These apps allow you to seize photos that reduce glare, present a 360-degree view of your website inside and out of doors, and share a scene with sound.

Screenshot of iOS Photoscan app showing four corner circle target locations

Google promotes PhotoScan as a means to digitize pictures, however the app reduces glare in different circumstances, too.

Image: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic

1. PhotoScan: Digitize photos…and extra

With PhotoScan, you snap 5 photos as an alternative of one. You seize your complete picture with the primary snap, then level the lens at 4 totally different spots proven on your display. You pause briefly at every to permit the app to take a further picture. The app combines the 5 photographs into one.

PhotoScan may also help you seize in any other case troublesome to shoot photographs, corresponding to an indication displayed in a window or a menu positioned behind protecting plastic. In the uncommon case that the app does not detect the sides of a picture precisely, you possibly can right the sting setting manually earlier than you save your scan.

PhotoScan works not solely to digitize photos, but in addition to take different sq. and rectangular-shaped pictures. I’ve used it to take photos of diagrams and illustrations in books and artworks at museums (the place allowed!). I’ve additionally used the app to snap photos of a pc display: Since the app captures display content material from 5 photographs, it reduces the show refresh sample typically seen in a single shot.

Screenshot of Street View interior of Elliott Bay Bookstore

The Street View app not solely captures exterior photographs, but in addition exhibits inside views. For instance, the picture above is a public picture by Edward Aites of the inside of Elliott Bay Bookstore.

Screenshot from Street View inside by Edward Aites

2. Street View: Photo spheres

Street View provides a digital camera mode that allows you to take your personal 360-degree photograph sphere. Street View works for exterior photos and inside photographs. For instance, see the interior of a mall, a performing arts hall, a garden, a bookstore, and a restaurant.

To create a photograph sphere with your telephone, you will take an entire bunch of photos that overlap from the Smart View app. As with PhotoScan, the app guides you: As you progress the telephone, the app shows a circle on the display. You rotate the telephone, middle it on the circle, seize a photograph, then repeat the method till you’ve got taken photos in each course. Move your telephone as little as attainable when taking the photos, rotating it on a central axis—use a tripod, when you can. If you flail the telephone round, the app will not sew the pictures collectively easily, as an alternative, you will see gaps or edges in your photograph sphere.

Example 360-degree view captured with the Cardboard Camera app

You can seize a round panorama, together with sound, with the Cardboard Camera app. When shared by way of Google Drive, the scene could be seen in a browser with out sound (as proven) or in Google Cardboard.

Image: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic

3. Cardboard Camera: 360-panorama with sound

The Google Cardboard Camera app captures a panoramic circle view of a scene, with sound. With the Cardboard Camera app, you maintain the telephone shut to your physique, faucet the report button, and rotate slowly in an entire circle. I discovered I might create an honest picture with the Cardboard Camera app, whereas I struggled to create an honest Street View picture with my telephone. (My Street View photograph spheres typically seemed like the world had skilled a minor earthquake—when it hadn’t.) The single-circle panorama movement was simpler for me to grasp.

You’ll want a Google Cardboard gadget for one of the best view of a scene captured with the Cardboard Camera app. When seen with Cardboard, you progress your physique to view all the picture, and the sound modifications as you rotate. Street View photograph spheres may be seen in Cardboard, too; they’ve a higher viewing vary, however lack sound.

If you do not have Google Cardboard, you possibly can nonetheless view the photos in your browser, with out sound. When you share a scene from the Cardboard Camera app, Google shops it on Google Drive in a “Shared VR photos” folder. (See a sample image I took in the summertime of 2016.)

We’re a visible society today. Take ten minutes, attempt one of these apps, and maintain your group’s pictures up to date on-line.

Have you used PhotoScan, Street View, or the Cardboard Camera app to present your business? Let us understand how you’ve got used these apps — both within the feedback under or on Twitter!

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