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Cycling photography is one of the more difficult types of product photography to get right. Cycling products like helmets, shoes, and gears are often unique. They also may have shiny surfaces and many holes. This makes them difficult to display to customers. Plus, many customers in the category are discriminating. For these reasons, it’s important to get bicycle photography right.

We’ve found that 360 product photography can help a great deal for cycling accessories. We recently had a chance to get better acquainted with one of our customers in this space, Always Riding (www.alwaysriding.co.uk) – a cycling apparel and accessories retailer in the UK. Always Riding has been an Arqspin customer and avid user of 360 product spins for over 6 months. They have a beautiful storefront and are doing things with cycling photography we thought others would benefit from knowing about.

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It can be tricky to create spins with a perfectly uniform background. In many cases, we agree that this should be the goal, but people often overlook the benefits of shooting spins with natural backgrounds. Not only is this much easier to do (no light tents, drop cloths, etc.), but a well chosen natural background can create a greater sense of intimacy, convey context, and produce an overall more interesting composition. Another thing to keep in mind: lighting is still key. It doesn’t matter what background you use if you combine that with the weak LED flash on your device or a single fluorescent bulb. Find a location with bright diffuse sources like a large sunny room.

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Arqspin Motorized 360 Photography Turntable
A motorized 360 photography turntable.

No 360 photography studio is complete without some type of device for rotating your objects. Fortunately, the Arqspin 360 photography system will work with ANY 360 photo turntable provided it makes one complete 360-degree revolution in at least one minute. No wires or bluetooth connections, no special speeds, no proprietary expensive hardware…

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Many of you have asked about the blue and red phone iPhone holders that appear in some of our videos. We designed these as a convenient way to hold the phone steady when taking your spin. Below, we are sharing the STL files for these holders so that you can 3D-print your own copy. If you do not have access to a 3D printer, you can also print Version 1 or Version 3 through Shapeways (a print on demand service—note, we do not control the prices that they charge and we are not adding any markup). The Shapeways pages also have an option to view the STL in 3D.

Version 1 of the iPhone 4/4s holder

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This is a before and after post showing how easy it is for anyone to create their own online showroom using Arqball Spin. All you need is our free app and a stage, available for pre-order through Kickstarter. The spin above took only two minutes to create, including capture, editing, and sharing.

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It is easy to embed any of your spins in another website. Just follow these steps:

1. Login to your account here.

2. Go to your spins page. (You are normally redirected here by default after you first login.)

3. Find the spin you would like to embed and click the embed button next to its thumbnail:
360 Spin Embed Example

4. Set the parameters of the embed and copy+paste the HTML snippet into your website HTML code:
360 Spin Embed Example

Here is an explanation of the embed parameters:

auto-rotate

If this option is checked, the spin will begin to rotate immediately after loading. Otherwise, the spin will initially be stationary.

auto-stop

If this option is checked, the spin will slow down and eventually stop after the user releases their finger (either touch or mouse). Otherwise, the spin will continue to rotate.

auto-load

If this option is checked, the spin will load immediately along with the rest of the page. Otherwise, a play button will be shown and the spin will only load after the user clicks the play button. This limits the amount of data that is loaded for the spin before the user shows an interest in interacting with the spin.

Flash viewer

The Flash viewer is necessary on websites that do not support JavaScript or iframe embeds, but is not supported by all devices (such as iPhone/iPad).

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