For more than five years now we have been gathering 360° images and sounds for the Darewin Project.
New technology allows us to capture cetaceans’ sounds and behaviors like never before but the most important component remains freediving.
Freediving is the ultimate tool when it comes to observe and spend time with cetaceans to understand more about them. I’m always happy to see freediving reaching mainstream media. Qualitative media are being picky nowadays, not only you have to provide good content but it also has to be properly delivered into an interesting package.
Whale research made by freedivers filmed in 360° is a good start. We were then lucky to meet and start a great collaboration with film director Sandy Smolan who saw the potential of the story. He directed the 360° documentary for the NY Times and Annapurna Pictures known to find features films and projects that are off the beaten tracks and bringing them to a large audience produced it.
When the film was released, the NY Times ran a full page freediving picture everyday for five days.
Here is the link to the 360/VR film on NY Times website, words by James Nestor of course.
And a cool making of the project by Zach Rockwood: