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Archive for the ‘Panography’ Category

Widelux Panoramic Photography Compendium – Tips, links and stories

In Panography, Tools, Widelux on July 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Softball Widelux Panorama in Vermont

Recently, I’ve started working with the Widelux – which allows for ‘decisive moment’ panoramas – a specialized Japanese camera now out-of-production, after the Panon factory burnt down . The camera achieves this through a neat 26mm lens that swings across the curved film plane allowing for a 126 degree field of view (140 diagonally across the negative), roughly approximating what we see in front of us. Unlike the extreme distortion you get in ultra-wide or fisheye lenses, the widelux preserves detail evenly while giving a subtle form of distortion.  (Detailed explanation here.)

Photography has always been a way for me to share my experiences, to give a sense of the spaces out there. Panoramas offer a unique aspect ratio to engage viewers. The fact that most 35mm SLRs and DSLR cameras are in 3:2 aspect ratios has intensely affected how we frame, process, print and digest imagery. The exact reason we settled on 3:2 seems to be a point of contention – one photographer attributes this ‘golden rectangle’ sizing to Oscar Barnack, who is credited with engineering the first still-photo camera capitalizing on surplus 35mm cinema-film.  As with any new aspect ratio, I’ve found myself re-creating rules of composition and lighting to work with the widelux.

A lot of point-and-shoot cameras use the 4:3 wider ratio, which more closely matches the increasing glut of widescreen monitors and TVs. As the costs involved in creating digital sensors drop, maybe a digital panoramic camera to span across your HDTV (that isn’t insanely expensive) might become a reality.

In researching panoramic photography particularly related to the widelux,  material out there has been relatively fragmented and sparse so I’ve written this post to aggregate and showcase some of the most useful and inspiring info and imagery  I’ve found. Of course, this is far from final and any additions or corrections are welcome. More after the jump.

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Taipei Gay Pride Parade 2009 | Interactive panoramas

In Panography, Taiwan on November 4, 2009 at 5:08 pm
taipei-gay-pride

 

Two interactive panoramas I made at last weekend’s gay pride parade, here in Taipei, Taiwan. Widely reported as Asia’s largest LGBT parade, the number of supporters that walked through downtown Taipei was cited as high as 25,000. Even while Taiwan remains one of the more open societies regarding tolerance of homosexuality, gay rights remain limited in terms of military service and parental choice. A week previous, there was a conservative counter-protest, with a tenth of the following.

The pano featured above has some of the most interesting lighting conditions I’ve captured in a 360 VR environment. Take a look!

Typhoon Morakot, Taiwan – Cishan Refugee Center Interactive Panorama

In Panography, Sound on August 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Photos from Taiwan, Typhoon Morakot
Typhoon Morakot Refugee Center Panorama

I was in southern Taiwan over the past week photographing the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot. While I pretty much focused on getting the photos for work (published here, here, and here), I did manage to fit in a panorama at the refugee center. In person, this struck me as an incredibly sad scene – locals recently airlifted out of villages buried under mudslides scrawling lists of those who they believed remained in the places left behind. The volunteers were making sure everything was legible and asking for more details, numbers – sounds which I recorded and placed in a directional sound environment.
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Taiwan Baseball, Wang Chien-Ming, Weekly Panorama

In Panography, SoundRecording, Sports, Taiwan on August 3, 2009 at 12:23 am

bballAn interactive panorama from this weekend’s Uni-President baseball game in Taipei’s Tienmu stadium. I’ve included some ambient sound for full immersive effect, from recordings I picked up with the Nikon D3’s inbuilt mic.

The two teams’ names were preceded by their corporate sponsors – the 7-11 Lions and the LaNew (leather shoe brand) Bears. Originally introduced by the Japanese, baseball has been played in Taiwan for over 100 years. A raging national sport in the past few decades, Taiwan is currently suffering from the shame of getting trounced in the recent World Baseball Classic, by China of all teams.

Local No.1 baseball celebrity, Wang Chien-Ming, ace pitcher for the NY Yankees, is profiled in a somewhat stiff but revealing (Secret parents! He likes marbles!) multimedia piece here, with a feature profile here. Read the rest of this entry »

Lightning bunny, product of our times; Defining Panography

In Panography, Showcase on July 31, 2009 at 11:10 am

cassandra01

Cassandra C. Jones, a California artist culls Google-found images to make abstract panography (an embattled term which means either photo-collage or traditional panoramic photography) . Some of this work is expressly designed as some rather striking wallpaper. From the SF Chronicle:

“Send Me a Link is at once a nod to the digital landscape in which we find ourselves, and a plea, perhaps an imperative, to create context amidst an endless expanse of images. The phrase explicitly signals the centrality for Jones of network- or systems-oriented digital technologies in the appropriation, accumulation, and manipulation of photographs; the artist culls many of her images from stock or professional photo agencies with an ease and speed unique to our lived moment.”

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Monday Pano : Yangmingshan Outdoor Hotspring

In Fun, Panography, Taiwan on July 27, 2009 at 12:25 am

hotspring

Here’s the first in what I aim to make a weekly panorama feature on this blog.

This panorama is from a recent visit to the wonderful Bayen (8 wisps of steam) outdoor hotsprings, which is to my mind, quintessential Taiwan. Despite the 20 minute mountain hike past 3 ‘safety’ warning signs declaring 500USD fines, this place always has some satisfied, often retired, patrons fixing their n’th pot of tea. And that goes for whenever I’ve visited, be it during a medium typhoon, late at night and even mid-day on the hottest days of summer. Of course if it ever gets too hot, part of the charm of the place is the river that runs by right next to the hot pools.

Check out the other weekly panoramas and posts about panography here.

Taipei Photowalk 2009 : VR Photography

In Equipment, Panography, Taiwan on July 20, 2009 at 2:05 pm

panowalk

An interactive panoramic photo of the Taipei Photowalk 2009 event this last Sunday. (Click here or on the photo to explore the panorama)  I had a heartbreaking 16GB CF card crash mid-transfer the same night and out of what I managed to save (the card’s with professionals now, fingers crossed) were just 3 fisheye images, from which I made this pano. More on VR (“Virtual Reality”) photography after the jump.
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