Get a bird’s eye view of Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria, Germany.
An absolutely stunning 360-degree video of an eagle soaring through the air with an Insta360 RS camera strapped to its back has garnered over 22K likes on Instagram and is continuing to gain traction.
Shot by professional falconer Paul Klima, the video makes it feel as though you’re strapped to the back of an eagle as it flies around Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. The castle, which was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle, is located on a nature preserve, meaning no drones are allowed on the premises. The only way you could get this type of footage is by enlisting the help of a winged friend.
Klima, who has been hosting falconry workshops for the past 20 years, came up with the idea in 2007 during a nature film production for a Bavarian TV show. For that production, the crew strapped an HD camera to an eagle but unfortunately, the device was a little heavy for the bird, which shortened its flight time. That said, he did manage to get some majestic-looking photos.
What Klima really wanted to do, however, was give people a way to experience flight from a first-person perspective. The idea stayed with Klima for several years, and when smaller and lighter consumer 360 cameras began hitting the market, Klima saw an opportunity to capture immersive content accessible via a VR headset.
One of the biggest challenges Kliman faced was figuring out how to strap a 360 camera to an eagle while still allowing the animal to fly freely with little to no discomfort. To do that, Klima worked closely with his team and his birds to design a custom harness that was incredibly lightweight and non-disturbing for the animal.
His work is important to him, and so are his birds. In a team member profile on the Lowa website, Klima talks about his passion as a falconer, saying, “During the summer, I train my birds every day at the Falkenhof in southern Bavaria. The mountains located at the bend of the Isar River provide the best place for training – good flying conditions, so to speak.”
“Of course, the birds need their daily care as well. I’m often accompanied by adventure-package customers,” he added. “Unfortunately, I cannot spend all of my time roaming around outdoors (even if I would like to). I still have a lot of office work to do and have to respond to emails. I get my reward when we film my eagles and put the EagleCam to work in the mountains.”
When asked about the types of 360 VR cameras used to capture his footage, Klima notes that Insta360 helped him resolve a problem that he has struggled with for years. The early HD cameras were heavy and only gave you one perspective and the first 360 cameras had to be deconstructed to really capture the POV of the eagle. Stabilization was also a prevalent issue.
The Insta360 RS’s Duel 1-inch sensors, flow-state stabilization, 360 horizon lock, and durability offered Klima and his team an easy and relatively straightforward method for recording a thrilling 360-degree POV experience.
To learn more about Klima and his work, check out his website. Visit here to learn more about Insta360 and the Insta360 RS camera. You can watch the video on any VR headset with support for 360-degree YouTube videos.
Image Credit: Insta360