Stop right now – are you reading this on your smartphone? If not, you need to be. (OK, compromise: you can watch it in Chrome and Firefox browsers in your desktop. But really, grab your phone.)
Why? The video of a ski mountaineering trip in the Alps below is shot in 360 degrees – and to see the whole view, all you’ve got to do is move your phone. Up, down, and spin around – there’s no ‘field of view’ in this video, it’s simply everywhere.
Climb and ski a mountain in 360 degrees
OK – now that we’ve established that, a little more about this sketchy (looking) climb and ski from mountain guide and movie-maker-extraordinaire Seb Montaz. “I did this climb with my regular ski-mountaineering partner, Vivian Bruchez, who is a mountain guide in Chamonix,” he says. “This is right in our backyard – we take the Helbronner lift, then it’s about a two-and-a-half-hour hike to the Col du Diable, then we ski down the Macho Couloir.” (Editor’s note: yes, ‘diable’ is French for ‘devil’.)
One heck of a selfie
And what about all that air on each side of them? It's less steep than it looks – the wide-angle of the 360-degree video distorts the field of view. But this little adventure is not-so-serious stuff compared to some of Seb's other projetcts – in fact, he snuck this little half-day adventure in just before he had to pick his daughter up at school. "Everything we do, we do it in a very safe way. It’s a culture of safety.” But there’s no doubt those airy views make for particularly dramatic 360-degree video – which which is Seb’s favourite new way to shoot.
Check out this ‘tiny world’ shot
"I have to respect my friend as a skier,” he says. "To get the best of him, I shoot the most intense moments. I know I need to shoot the steep stuff, with a lot of air on each side – when people pull down the phone, that’s what amazing.” (You did do that, right?)
For Montaz, the 360-degree video takes the viewer and makes him a part of the story. “The 360-degree view is a revolution because you become active. You can watch half a dozen times, and still discover new things.”
Like this stuff? Check out more of Seb’s work here.