The 360 Project (with 48 Nikon D700 cameras)

Similar to 360 degrees “surround picture” at the  MTV Awards two years ago, here is another project with 48 Nikon D700 cameras arranged in a circle to create "The Matrix" style images.

Here are the actual 360° photographs:

and the behind the scene video:

The 360 Project - Behind the Scenes from Ryan Enn Hughes on Vimeo.

“The 360 Project” is an exploration into the crossroads of photography and motion pictures. It is a study of peak dance movements, captured simultaneously by 48 cameras aligned in a circle.

There are two components to “The 360 Project” – “Ballet 360” features ballerinas from Canada’s National Ballet School, “Krump 360” features dancers from Northbuck Krump. The two styles of dance represent polemic perspectives in both technique and origin – one is beauty, the other beast.

The resulting images resemble a type of digital statue – a frozen, peak moment, embodying the essence of each dance form in 360 degrees.

Behind the scenes crew:
Director - Ryan Enn Hughes
Cinematographer - Barry Cheong
Location Sound - Barry Cheong
Timelapse Camera - Arash Moallemi
Set Photographer - Melissa Tait
Editor - Ryan Enn Hughes
Sound Mixing - Zelig Sound
Additional footage provided by Melissa Tait, Matthew Wilcock, and Ryan Enn Hughes.
All content © Ryan Enn Hughes 2011.

Via Nikon Canada

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  • Ting Tian

    Cool! I like the scene video more. a circle of D700s….

    • lot of effort, yawn results. as always when you just trying too hard and forget the basics

      • Patrick hall

        Man I’m shocked by all the haters on this video. I guess if you think you can produce something better you should try to win the contest. Personally I love it and think it’s easy for people to bash high end projects like this simply because they aren’t capable of producing something of equal interest.

        • i don’t think i could not do it. But if i would ever stick such effort into some project i would make sure results are corresponding.
          Such as it is, it is neat (not unique) action, but results wont WOW anybody. Not worth wall print or marketable as video either.

        • Bwyan

          I’m shocked that you are shocked actually!?
          Sure the BTS video might be a good one, but the finished product that most people are talking about isn’t really that big of a news nowadays is it? Of course the resources and time and effort put into it is impressive, but what is it about this project that you haven’t already seen before? What new and interesting twist can this project tempt us with? If your gonna “freeze and rotate things” at least try to dig out something a bit more original than “funky” people in “funky” poses.

          • Patrick

            I’m shocked that people are hating on it when so much of ehat is posted online is just telephoto photos of birds and snapshots of cats. A lot of thought went into this project and required a lot of planning….I don’t think anyone should claim it to be boring or over done when it represents exactly the kind of production being used in current media advertisements today.

            • “when so much of what is posted online is just telephoto photos of birds and snapshots of cats” THANK YOU.

              On that note…

            • Bwyan

              Sure, a lot of thought and planning and time went into my droplet photos as well, but they came out pretty darn mediocre the lot of them still!? There is no automatic in the ratio between lots of effort and prima results, just look at the movie industry 😉

              If this represents “exactly the kind of production being used in current media advertisements today” it just means that the advertisement business is stuck in a bit of a rut at the moment 😉

              When I saw this, 48 d700 and 360 degrees, I thought, “hmmmm potentially interesting”. (c’mon, although “old” it can still be a cool technique huh!?) Then I saw the result and thought a bit like you…”it is just telephoto photos of birds and snapshots of cats”. Really. It’s like they said about the panoramas when they were hot, “just because its 360 doesn’t make it good!”.

              But hey, funny how we’re all different huh!? 😉

              Peace out…I’m off to snap a couple of my cat 😉

              Mrrrrauuu 😉

        • R!

          If someone pays for all this camera I can do it!!

    • Ren Kockwell

      Really? Krumping? This was relevant, what, 10 years ago? This smacks of a parent who tries to sound cool in front of their kids but just ends up using dated lingo.

  • Dormant

    Given that Sigma was a sponsor, did they use 48 Sigma lenses?

    • Carsten

      Does anyone own a dictionary to learn that the word is “lens” (pl. lenses) and not “lense”? – Sorry had to read this 30+ times today

    • les

      No Sigmas. They are Nikon AF 28mm 2.8 lens. we only use Nikon primes on this rig.

  • What’s better than a D700?
    48 D700s 🙂

    Awesome movies!

    Anyone can see which lenses they used?

    • Ryan Enn Hughes

      28mm lenses.

      • LGO

        Wow! Fantastic work Ryan … really good! 🙂

        • Wraith

          Don’t let the naysayers here discourage you as they are just jealous and bitter. Congratulations!

        • Stone

          The work is top-notch but I think there are enough materials to make other versions or types of finished work as well. It would be a waste not to tap and make good use of these materials.

    • D33,600!

    • EvanK

      Actually, there is something better than 48 D700s: 48 D800s!

  • Wow

    Wait, actual photos on a Nikon site?

    Color me surprised.

    We need more of this & less “WHERE IS MY D800!!!!!!!!!!!?!?!?!”

    • Troll Boy

      Wait, do you know something about the D800? When is it coming out?

  • No

    That’s where all the D700s went!

    • Hahaha


      Good one.

  • Jeff

    What a waist of Internet bandwidth and cameras that could be out in the wild taking photos of something more interesting.

    • MJr

      lol waist

    • scurvy hesh

      …and the bitching continues!

    • Muchachito Ehehe

      I didn’t know that the Internet bandwidth has waist. LOL

      • Nikonian Brutha

        maybe it’s an internet waistband…

        • MJr

          Yes, a corset. Too tight for the internets …

  • fred

    People have been doing this for years, and their final product is not particularly interesting. Smells like pure marketing.

    • MJr

      What else would it be ?

      • Troll Boy

        It could something not related to marketing.

      • Carsten

        It was meant as an art project, wasn’t it?

        Nothing special – the making of more teasing than the teaser

  • Greg Lamb

    What, you mean they didn’t need the vaunted Nikon 85mm f1.4! I am shocked. So much for the snob factor.

  • I saw D700 in the title and my heart started pounding. *sigh* Awesome setup though

    • Yagion

      LOL. +1

  • John M

    Excuse me Project 360 but the 1990’s are calling.

    Oh, but this is digital, so it’s obviously better/more interesting.

    • scurvy hesh

      If you were up to whats hip then you would know that 90s is very much in.

      • jk

        The 90’s is so 1980’s

  • Camaman

    Why in Gods name were D700’s needed for this project?
    Other than to put it in the spotlight and clear some remaining stock…

    • les

      because they’re full frame = big files if you need them and the lens angle is truly a 28mm and not a cropped angle of view. the cameras are robust and interface with the proprietary electronics you see in the base module. believe it or not, a lot of smart people designed the system. go figure!

      • Kurt

        Go figure? Full frame = big files? D700 = 12MP, D90 = 12MP. Heck an APS-C D7000 would produce bigger files. Maybe you’re thinking about the D3x which has 24MP, just like the new Sony NEX-7 (Mirrorless APS-C).

        As the results are being displayed as video, assuming the desired output was 1080p, you’d only need 2MP, even a 6MP D100 would have allowed for a significant amount of cropping.

        And what do the proprietary electronics do? Synchronized shutter release, provide constant power to the body (instead of worrying about batteries), and maybe centralized control to change aperture (which may not be necessary if the desired DOF has been calculated ahead of time and exposure can be adjusted via strobe power). That system could easily have been applied to a D300, and a similar system could have been adapted to point-and-shoots.

        They make wider angle lenses for APS-C so you can get something that would be 18mm and be just as wide, you can get 10mm that would be even wider. Many point-and-shoots have 28mm equivalent lenses, some have even wider.

        You can do a heck of a lot of programing on something like a Canon G12, I wouldn’t be surprised if you couldn’t do it with a Nikon P7100

        • tirmite

          canon’s didn’t work. timing issues. smaller chips don’t offer the highest resolution. we had a rig with D300’s. this one is better. not every project goes to the web. sometimes you need full frame large hi-res files, like for feature length films where this is a special effect in the movie. feel free to invest $250,000 and your own time and brain power and then post how it all turns out.

          • Kurt

            Ahh, you actually meant sharpness (resolution on a per-pixel basis) and not bigger files (as I pointed out the files from the D700 are the same as from a D90, D300, or any other megapixel camera). Makes a lot more sense now. Good to know. If this is proof of concept for a bigger project that needs 4K or higher, I can understand it, just seeing it on the web the amount of money spent just seems like overkill.

            The work is impressive, I’ve done much smaller scale syncing of 3 or 4 cameras and while it’s easy to get around lag by dragging the shutter and firing the flash on a delay, that would prove very problematic for this kind of work when you’re trying to get the exact moment… getting all the cameras to sync as quickly as possible is quite a technical achievement.

            I was just curious if you need $2,600 cameras or if you could have gotten away with cameras that cost 1/2 that (or less)

            Interesting to hear Canon had timing issues.

  • the final product was too jittery to be properly appreciated… didnt enjoy it too much

    • Nathan

      I agree with you. It was as though they could have used 1/4 of the cameras for the same effect.

  • Awesome. I wish I had access to a setup like this. I would probably find some interesting use for it.

    • jk

      like porn?

      • Carsten

        That would be something, but can’t be broad-casted in the US – I already doubt that the pantyhose of the ballet dancer is too sexual for some (in what repressive environment you have to grow up to find this sexually stimulating?)

        • MJr

          Lol have you ever seen what the cheerleaders wear ?
          I think ballet panties will be allowed.

      • Sahaja

        A good porn producer could probably afford 48 D700’s

  • like it

  • art-man

    Nikon D700+sigma lens=waisted money,
    48 D700+48 sigma lenses+the 360 project=big money waisted,
    but let’s get to the point – were is our D800????

    • scurvy hesh


      • There we go again! LOL

    • les

      they weren’t Sigma lenses. see reply above.

  • amien

    Too much money spent for a low end result in terms of concept. Why didn’t they shoot something more interesting, this is just a pure association of fancy street kids & bourgeois clichés…

    & hold on, 48 NEW D700 Bodies ??? I am pretty sure B&H will resell them as brand new products.

  • PeterO

    After seeing the credits, I well understand where my tax dollars are going. This was funded by the Ontario Arts Council. It’s always good to fund projects that are exploring techniques that were used more than 10 years ago. I remember this very obscure movie called The Matrix where this was done with a behind the scenes expose. Very original!!! I also noticed that Ryerson University was mentioned (which I know has an excellent photography school). I had a conversation with one of the profs who told me that they had no trouble securing whatever equipment they needed from Nikon. So if you’re wondering where the D700s and D3s are, now you know.

    • Troll Boy

      I don’t mind spending my hard earned money and yours too on worthwhile projects such at this one. Taxes keep society going, otherwise we wouldn’t have anything good as a culture. Without publicly funded art, we may as well starve.

      • amien

        This is NO ART. Just a bunch of rich kids wasting money.

        • PeterO

          Hi Troll Boy,
          Probably because of the sarcasm, you misunderstood my meaning. As a classical musician and someone who has received funding from this very same OAC, I support tax dollars going to the arts and thank you for your support. Unfortunately because of the downturn in the economy, there are fewer tax dollars going to the arts and thus, I would hope that these scant dollars would go to more original ideas. As for amien’s “this is NO ART”, I diasagree but will not get into a debate about what art is. That is for another forum. I think it was extremely well thought out and executed, but the final results left me cold. Been there, seen it before.

          • amien

            the technology used & the process are interesting.
            But the result as an “art piece” is lifeless, un-elaborated, cliché and looks like a short underwhelming Nike ad.

          • Troll Boy

            A classical musician AND a nikon gear hound? What an interesting combination!

            • PeterO

              Hi Troll Boy,

              …and a former jock with really bad knees now. The music faculty sports teams were called the Gustav Maulers. Music and photography are my two passions. After a good career in music, I’m starting to lean more towards photography. Both disciplines require use of both sides of the brain so I don’t see it as unusual.

            • Troll Boy

              It is unusual to use both sides of your brain.

              What’s even more unusual is to use both sides of your heart. The left side controls sexual love, and the right side controls your compassion.

    • Anonomarse

      More like 30 years ago, credited to Tim MacMillan .
      Matrix’s innovation was having a time offset per camera. And interpolating between frames.

  • Awesome! Centurys editing this video, great job team!

  • Nathan

    I like that they used Broncolor strobes. I’ve been a big fan of those for decades, though they’re so expensive. However, if you want to stop motion consistently, I guess that’s the gear to get.

  • cruser2469

    That’s why the D700 was out of stock! Will be waiting for them on Ebay!

  • Phil

    Round up a couple of you friends with digital cameras that can record video and set it up similarly. Start them all rolling, use a clapper for sync, and you have your own Matrix-style project for peanuts.

    • les

      wrong. it’s not video. it’s composited stills. each frame has to be shot at precisely the same time or else you get alignment/timing issues. not just a matter of matching video frames if you want it to look professional. the more cameras, the smoother the effect. otherwise you’re just doing CG morphing frames in between and that’s not the same. might as well paint the pictures. it’s more complicated that it looks.

      • Phil

        Timing differences won’t matter at all at 30fps. Remember you’re picking a frame from a different camera every subsequent frame. Once you’ve sync the clapper frame, you’re golden.

        • tirmite

          wrong. timing has to be very precise. if each camera doesn’t capture the action at exactly the same point in time then movement (person or object in a slightly different position) becomes obvious and causes a jump between frames. timing is critical if you want it to look professional. You don’t sync to a clapper because it’s NOT motion. It’s motion created from stacking multiple frames shot at the the same time from multiple points of view. it’s got nothing to do with syncing sound to a motion track and using a slate. have you worked on a freeze camera system before?

          • Phil

            You’re not syncing sound with the clapper in this instance, you’re syncing the frame sequence. I’ve sync’d multiple cameras this way, and they were all running off their own internal clocks. Easy enough to do.

  • Mooboy

    Where are my 48 D800s?!?!?

  • Johnny

    anyone recommend a software that can do like this?

  • ArthurNava

    If they used 48 of the upcoming D800’s, they could’ve shot some 360 video as well. Possibly even at 60 fps. Or, they could’ve just use some Canon 7D’s to get that right now. Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve. I still like the vids that came out. The editing is in line with current street culture which is why I think it works marvelously. I say we all quit hating and start appreciating. Awesome job, can’t wait to get my hands on 48 D800’s though.

    • les

      there’s really no advantage to shooting 360 video. you could, but the point of the Freeze is to stop/freeze that moment in time, not to do a dolly shoot in a circle.

      • Anonomarse

        If you shot video like that you would have your choice of freezing any moment, and orbiting it.
        Sync gen on a dslr would be great.

  • ArthurNava

    I understand that, you would have multiple angles of video recording at the same time and if you’re editing you stop the rotation and begin the movement at any one of the 48 points. The circular dolly shot is a completely different animal.

    • les

      correct. but you probably wouldn’t have clean, sharp, hi res frame grabs from a video. but, yes, you could do the effect you’re talking about. better would be to pair video camera with the Freeze rig.

      • ArthurNava

        you can take a picture while recording video. I have a friend that does it on his Canons. Don’t know if that’s a feature exclusive to the other brand or not. Wouldn’t the strobes freeze the action anyway?

  • so they did… bullet-time?

    Welcome to 1999….

    • les

      welcome to 2011. what goes around, come around. or something like that. how many times have ring flashes come and gone in and out of popularity? only so many keys on a keyboard. it’s not how many notes, but how you combine them. but now it’s digital. now it’s high resolution. a composited image can be pushed to a production truck in a matter of seconds. i.e.: live broadcast can utilize the effect. we do the “Glam Cam” for E! TV at the Grammy’s, Emmy’s, etc. Frozen moments for “live” tv. Couldn’t do that in 1999. It’s called “commerce” BTW. Client’s continue to us the effect. If advertising and marketing execs find it enhances their product/event, why not? They pay, we play.

      • ArthurNava


  • Nice, i like it. I’d be excited it it was shot with D800s

  • Dino B

    well whoever owns a D700 and is waiting for a replacement might as well settle for getting an additional 46 D700’s put them all together and you have a super SLR’s capable of taking 376 Frames a second (8 X 47) that’s good for video motion JPEG heh 12MP is way above 1080 P resolution… ah and of course combined ISO of 300800 what more can you ask for? 🙂

  • baked bananas

    Krump is a mindless waste of an artform invented by a bunch of hoodrat crackbaby add kids from the west coast…mainly Oakland …apparently some rap mogul swallowed enough come at various art shows and wine tasting parties and thus it took off. Just ask the wayan brothers.

  • fantastipotamus

    Did you see the wastes on those ballerinas?

  • Cool WHip

    It’s like if The Matrix had Neo as a hipster douche.

    • ArthurNava

      I didn’t see Monsieur Jarvis at any point in that video.

  • Mark

    Amazing stuff right there.

  • Anonymus Maximus


  • W0ut

    48 D700’s, so 48 frames in one shot.

    Wonder if they are willing to donate me “one frame”.
    I reckon they will not notice the difference 😉

  • George

    Talking about the D700, after months of being unavailable everywhere, a few days ago it was changed to “in stock” status on Amazon and some other retailers. Does anyone have any idea where this new D700 are being made?? Sendai or Malaysia?

  • “The 360 Project” is an exploration into the crossroads of photography and motion pictures. It is a study of peak dance movements, captured simultaneously by 48 cameras aligned in a circle.

    The two styles of dance represent polemic perspectives in both technique and origin – one is beauty, the other beast.

    The resulting images resemble a type of digital statue – a frozen, peak moment, embodying the essence of each dance form in 360 degrees.”

    I’m sorry, but what a load of bullshit. ‘Polemic’? ‘Crossroads of photography and motion pictures’? Post rationalised nonsense.

    They should have just written “We got loads of cameras and did a 360 degree shot , a bit like in the Matrix – it’s a cool effect huh?”

    • No I think their description is fair. I totally got the “digital statue” aspect of it. And I thought the hard lighting really sculpted the dancers nicely.

  • IanZ28

    Art project…. ok I can live with that.


    Exactly what is the point of such an expensive project? Is there some commercial application? Where is this going and what is it’s message? Looks as if a lot of man hours were burned in all facets; from creation to distribution.

    I just don’t get the point of it all.

    Applause to whoever managed to get the funding together for this project. Impressive sales skills.

    • Sometimes art is just art.

  • RH

    haters gonna hate

    People here should stop bitching.

    Good job on the video, I liked it!

  • LlocQ

    That’s why we should stop waiting for a D800 or D700x or D700s or whatever Nikon want to call it, to come out…..

    Go out there and shoot projects with your D700!!! (or your 48 D700)
    It’s a fantastic camera…

    I am really amazed by the FStoppers video…

  • broxibear

    If anyone’s buying the J1 or V1 Nikon mirrorless cameras I’ve heard they’ll be shipping in the first week of November in the UK…don’t know about other countries.

    • broxibear

      P.S. I remember a Rip Curl video shot in the same way a few years ago, they were pretty cool…

      • IanZ28

        At least with this Rip Curl video there is a marketing slant.

        The one posted here is more like “hey! look I can copy MTV with a nice budget, a lot of cameras, and a large production team.”

        I prefer the one posted here a couple of months ago for a Japanese music video using a couple hundred flashes.

        That was much more practical, artistic, innovative, and effective. Not to mention that it actually served a purpose.

  • Bunch of good equipment, moderate scene, bad lighting and… vomitive artists inside.
    Nothing to see. Wasted work.

    • Waisted.

    • jasonh

      Totally agree. Clownish snobbish, non artistic at all. The lack of thinking behind the project just blows me away. Some people are really allowed to spend money for nothing.

  • sjms


  • Sam Rantwell

    Why not fire the D700’s in a circle with 1/60 of a second interval. So you would get something like a short ‘film’ and the dancers would be in motion.

    • tirmite

      you can. smart of you to realize that. you can create a ramp shot doing that. think of a very fast dolly move, either in a circle or a straight line or anywhere in between, but incredibly fast. way faster than anyone could push a Fisher dolly down a track. putting the subject off-center also creates an oval arc effect. turning the rig on edge creates an up-and-over effect. lot’s of uses other than the one being shown here. check out the effects on

  • So, that’s where all the missing D700’s went.

  • Xscream

    Very cool project! I like it, I wonder what kind of ‘creative work’ the naysayers are producing…

  • Snow Ninja

    Cool idea and rig, freaking terrible terrible editing.

  • These are awesome! I really liked the ballet one better than the krump one. I think the dramatic, hard lighting worked better with the ballet costumes because it kind of sculpts the body.

  • Roddy

    This proves it… You need lots of expensive gear to be a great photographer.

  • Evan

    Amazing setup, but the artist’s lack of personality is evident in the clips of him speaking, and also in the final product. Just drop a white Nike logo onto the end instead of the artist’s own brand. It was a commercial he made for himself.

    Subjectively I would rather see this kind of monetary support given to artists who really need it, not people who already count the NY Times, TD Bank, multiple universities, and Facebook as clients:

    • amien

      His portraits are lifeless too. They seem like “TOPAZ” FXixed gosts…Hard to tell why so many “famous people” are posing for those cr@ppy shots.

      Once upon a time, a rich lazy kid became a photographer…

  • tigrebleu74

    Niiiiice job!

    Love it. It’s been done before, but I’m still amazed when I see this kind of work.

    I wonder what software was used to create the 360 degrees images? Quicktime VR?

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