Panoramic photography has been a fairly large part of my career when working on productions featuring 3D Visual Effects. Combining Spherical Panorama with High Dynamic Range Imaging techniques enables us to capture a full 360x180 degree spherical image with much more dynamic range than a single exposure. This HDRI is then used in various applications for Image Based Lighting revealing the color, detail, and light intensity of an entire scene. This provides a fast and accurate way to generate realistic computer generated lighting based on the live action scene where the HDRI is captured. When I started shooting Spherical HDRIs we used film cameras and custom rigs. This eventually was developed into a system I created called Panorganizer
. This system allows for quick on set capture, organization, and delivery of high resolution HDRIs meeting the speed and workflow needs for VFX productions. I've personally shot thousands of HDRIs at this point and there are now several dozen Panorganizer rigs capturing HDRIs on feature films shooting around the world.
Below are a few HDRIs that I'm rather fond of over the years. Make sure to try out right clicking and selecting different projection types and checkout fullscreen mode. If you let a pano sit for a few seconds it will rotate on it's own.