Mini World and how to Create one

Mini World

Mini world

Miniature World

How to create a mini world

The image above is taken from a complete 360 degree image creating this mini world.  Although this is only done for fun since I put one of these on a few social media sites I’ve had a lot of interest.  So I thought I would put up some simple instructions on how to create this world.

Step 1 to creating your own mini world:

You can start with any image but the images that work the best are outside images where you have a good skyline, lot’s of different sized building against a skyline work well, or as in the image above a good tree line.  When creating your mini world by picking your subject carefully you can get some really interesting results.  The advantage of using a 360 images is when the two ends come together the image is seamless.  So the first step is to get your image, once you have that we can move on to creating your mini world.

Step 2 to creating your own mini world:

Once you have your starting image, edit the image so you are happy with the finished image.  Then creating your mini world takes just a couple of simple steps.  I use photoshop but the principle is the same whatever software you are using.

First rotate the image 180 degrees so the image is upside down.

You then need to alter the size of the image, so in photoshop it’s edit and image size.  take the tick out of the box that says constrain proportions, then make the height and the width the same.  This will have the effect  of squashing the image.  Click ok.

The last stage is to distort the image.  So go to filter, distort and then select polar coordinates.  You then have your mini world.



I seen a post on facebook earlier with graffiti on a wall saying Hail Satin, Satin obviously was supposed to be Satan.  It got me thinking about other statements that could be written and misunderstood, so see what you make of the following statements.

After a life of working hard I’ve made my decision to retyre at the age of 60.

When my wife went to the staff party she wore a plane black dress.

He can’t help his behaviour it’s in his jeans.

Did you here what they said about you.

I had a boring week last week so I decided to do a bit of reading, by the end of the week I’d red four books.

I parked my car outside the hotel and when I went back it had disappeared down a whole.

We had a lovely meal followed by a dessert of chocolate ice cream.

I find it interesting that a word spelt incorrectly can have such a difference to the outcome of a sentence.

So when I retyre at the age of sixty I will be looking forward to my final staff party, I have no doubt my wife will attend in the same plane black dress as she always where’s for these occasions.  It’s doubtful my son will attend and I’m not sure I would want him too, he’s always been a problem child they say it’s in his jeans.

It will be interesting to here what they say about me at the party, but I’m really hoping for some great dessert, as this has always been a weakness of mine.

In my retyrement days I’m hoping to catch up on all the reading I’ve missed over the years, before my time is up I hope to have red all the books I’d ever wanted to.  I just hope I’m not digging a whole for myself by writing this now.

There’s a few extra ones in there to find?


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This professional corporate photography page is posted “By Mike Armstrong” from MA Consultancy Marketing Company

Save Time and Sell More

Save time and sell more

Whether its email campaigns, Networking or face to face meetings, the objectives are the same, you are looking to save time and sell more.  It may be services or physical products but those two things are what makes the difference between success or failure.


Networking gives you the opportunity to do both of the above, you get to meet lots of potential customers all together in one room, so it saves you time by seeing so many customers in one place, and it gives you the opportunity to sell more to these potential customers.  But does it really do both? does it give you the opportunity to save time and sell more?  I guess that depends on the networking.  Are the people in the room really potential customers? or do they know people who might be potential customers?  Your task in networking is to find that out and quickly.

Email campaigns

As with networking your email campaigns will save time and sell more only if the right people are targeted.  Make sure the people that are receiving your emails are going to be interested in what you are selling.  You also have to make them want to open your emails.  How many emails do you receive every day? hope many of those do you open?

Face to Face Meetings

If you get to the stage of having a face to face meeting then the chances are the person you are meeting with is genuinely interested in what you do.  So the question you then have to ask yourself is how can what I do or sell save time or sell more for this customer.

You see it’s not just about how you save time and sell more, it’s also about how you can help your customers save time and sell more.

Honour or Money?

Honour or Money?

Which is the most important Honour or Money?

Does Honour still play a part in today’s society?  I think most businesses and indeed most people would like to think of themselves as honourable, but honour may mean different things to different people, how important is it to you to be thought of as honourable?

If it was a choice between  honour and money which would be the most important to you?  Would you abandon honour if it meant you would gain more money?

My Word is My Bond

Something you don’t hear these days, but again I believe this is linked to Honour.  I’ve always believed that my word means everything, in days gone by there was no need for contracts, if someone gave you their word that was good enough, it’s sad that these days someone’s word can often mean so little.

A company I’ve dealt with for a number of years and one I would always say was Honourable has disappointed me, they have chosen money over what I would consider honour.  When it comes to money these days that seems to be all that counts.  How easy it is to abandon everything you have port-raid yourself to be when money is involved.

Honour in Sport

Sport is something that is played firstly for pleasure, and if you are lucking and good enough it can be used to make a descent living from.  But is there honour in sport?

Sport is a game that is played by individuals/teams pitting their skills against another individual/team to see who will win.  The enthuses should be the word skill, if you are more skilful then the chances are you will win out, not always the case as luck can play it’s part.

But take the current football tournament the world cup, how many times have you seen a player fall over as if he’s been shot just because there is an opposing player within a few feet of him.   This is using cheating to gain an advantage, to get a player sent off which can effect his career, his earning potential.  Is this honourable?  The really annoying thing is the players doing this have the skill to avoid using such tactics.

Honour or Money which would you choose?


360 Degree Virtual tour prices

A guide to 360 Degree virtual tour prices?

360 Degree Virtual tour prices will vary hugely depending on who you get to do the tours.  As a guide I’ve added my own pricing table below, but this is just a guide as 360 degree virtual tour prices vary from photographer to photographer.

360 Degree Virtual tour prices


When you are looking for 360 degree virtual tour prices there are many things to consider.  What format will the tours be delivered in?  I  always do my tours in html5 with a flash backup.  Many photographers still produce tours purely in flash, as these tours will not work with ipads or iphones it means many people will not be able to see the tours.

What will your tours look like?

Before discussing 360 degree virtual tour prices consider what your tours will look like.  This can depend on what camera and lens the photographer is using.  Do you require your tours to just produce a simple view around the centre of the room? or do you want the tours do view the whole of the ceiling and floor.  Depending on what you want your viewer to view could determine your 360 degree virtual tour prices.

Example of a complete virtual tour

As mentioned above when looking at 360 degree virtual tour prices consider what the final tour will look like.  Below is a sample of a complete tour, this goes over the top so you can see the entire ceiling, it also goes underneath so you can see the whole of the floor.  There is more work involved in doing this type of tour, so you should expect to pay a little more for this type of tour compared to a standard tour.

Tour Sample:

Always consider what you want the tour to look like, and what format you want the tour in before considering the price.


Virtual Tour Equipment

What Virtual tour equipment is needed?

Virtual tour equipment consists of a number of things.  Apart from the Camera and which camera you use is a matter of personal choice.  There are a few pieces of equipment that you cannot do without.

The basics


A good strong tripod, this is essential.  Don’t try saving money on this as this will not only be supporting the camera, but also other pieces of essential equipment.


A Panohead is next to the camera the single most important piece of equipment you will require.  Where virtual tour equipment is concerned this is the most important thing you will need to purchase.  A Panohead allows you to photograph around the nodal point of your lens, allowing you to get a series of images that can be stitched together seamlessly.  There are lots of options for different makes of Panoheads but they will all require setting up before use.  There are many articles online that will show you how to do this so I will not explain here, but each camera/lens combination will need to be setup before use.


The Camera is a personal decision and chose what suits you best, but I would generally recommend a full frame camera.


You can use pretty much any lens for creating your tour, but most people will be using a fisheye lens, where virtual tour equipment is concerned this is a lovely lens, my preferred choice is a sigma 15mm fisheye.  This lens is not too expensive and produces great results.


You could argue that software does not come under the heading of virtual tour equipment, but the fact is you cannot produce the tours without software, and for 360 virtual tours you will really need two pieces of software.  You will need one piece of software to stitch the images together, and another to produce the tours.  There are many combination on the market and again this is really down to personal choice.



My Wedding Photos were terrible




Wedding Photos

Bride & Groom wedding photos

Bride & Groom Wedding Photos

I’ve had a lot of conversations lately about wedding photos, with people who’ve got married over the last couple of years.  You would be amazed at how many times I’ve heard the words “My Wedding photos were terrible”.  One lady recently said out of around 200 photos they had from their photographer only three were usable images.

Digital Photography

Digital photography has made photography more accessible to everyone, in general this is a good thing.  Unfortunately now everyone with a camera thinks they are a photographer.  More and more we hear about people having their wedding photos ruined by someone who bought a camera for Christmas and thinks they are then a photographer.  If I go out and buy a stethoscope am I then a doctor?

I’ve even had a photography ask me to show him how to use his new camera because he had a wedding to photograph in a months time.  I really do feel sorry for the couple who hired him.

Would you buy on price alone?

I’m always amazed at people who book a photographer on price alone, why would you spend money on a photographer without seeing their work first?

I remember a wedding I quoted for some time ago, they came back to me and said they’d been given a better price, they wanted to see if I would match the price as they really wanted to use me.  The quote was for the bride preparation photos, the wedding and reception and photographing through the evening.  Included in the price was a wedding album, a disc of all the wedding photos and a DVD slideshow, the price they wanted me to beat was £300, needless to say I declined their off to re-quote.

More than a days work:

What people don’t realise is photographing a wedding is not just one days work, editing the wedding photos takes time, I can usually put a week aside just for the editing and design of the album.

Ask questions before booking a photographer, look at their work.  It’s too late after the wedding.



Where Can I Buy Regional Highway Codes

Regional Highway Codes

Did you know there are regional highway codes?

This was quite a surprise to me, but it seems that different regions of the UK have different versions of the highway code.

For instance on a recent trip to Weymouth here are a few things that became obvious.  did you know that the rules of the motorway are different on the M5 to the M4?   If you don’t believe me then answer these simple questions.

Question: On a three lane motorway how many vehicles can you get side by side?

Answer: if you answered three then you would be right if you were driving on the M4, but on the M5 you can get a petrol tanker, a Van and two cars side by side.

Question: When entering the motorway what is the proper procedure?

Answer: I always thought it was give way to traffic already on the motorway, and when you can enter the motorway safely enter the motorway then stay on the inside lane until you get used to the motorway speed.
Again it seems that’s not the case on the M5, the proper procedure is, ignore the traffic already on the motorway, just enter the motorway regardless of any traffic already on the motorway.  Then when you get onto the motorway you have approximately 0.5 seconds to get from the inside lane to the outside lane, again ignoring any traffic that will have to brake hard to avoid you.

Question: What are the chevrons for on the motorway?

Answer: I thought it was leave two chevrons between you and the car in front, wrong.  Get as many cars as possible between each chevron.

Moving off the motorway into Dorset

It seems local highway codes are not just for the motorways.  For instance in Dorset did you know that it is not considered good driving to stop at red traffic lights?  I must admit I made that mistake, when approaching a red traffic light on a very busy junction, not realising the local rules I stopped, causing the car behind me to switch lanes and speed through the Red light, at least 5 seconds later a van also overtook me to go through the red light.  At this point I should apologise to the one car that did stop behind me, I’m really sorry for interrupting your journey, had I known the local highway code I would of course ignored the red light.

What are your experiences of local highway codes?


Why use 360 Virtual tours

Should I use 360 Virtual tours?

360 virtual tours allow a potential client to not just view your premises, but also to interact with the animation as below.

Rather than just sitting down and watching a video, virtual tours allows you to pan right, left, up or down to view the premises at your leisure.  You can even zoom in to specific area’s to get a closer look.

How to use the tours:


There are a number of ways to use 360 virtual tours, the obvious is to use them on your website.  if the tours are going to be on your website long term then I would recommend having them embedded into the appropriate page, for this I use iframes, there are other ways of doing this but I find this a quick and easy way to embed the 360 virtual tours.


As here it is easy to embed the 360 virtual tours into your blogs, again for me this is just a case of using a simple iframe, the code for this is quite simple and all you really need to change is the path for the relevant tour.


I do a lot of networking, and I always show my virtual tours while doing my 60 seconds.  wherever I go I always have my trusty tablet with me, telling people what 360 virtual tours are is not as powerful as actually showing them.

Cost of 360 virtual tours:

Like all photography the cost of virtual tours will depend on what company you choice to use, but I find that people always expect the tours to be much more expensive than they actually are.  360 virtual tours are a cost effective way of marketing your premises and showing people what you have to offer.


Always check what format the tours are going to be in, remember flash will not work on iphones or ipads, while html5 will.