Tom Field's Gallery
Panoramics from the United Kingdom and Ireland

All of the shots on this page were made with a Canon PowerShot Pro1 "digicam." This little 8-megapixel digital camera is mounted on an extra-length quick release plate (intended for telephoto lenses). The plate is attached in such a way that when the camera swivels on the tripod, the lens entry pupil (front nodal point) stays in the same position. This is easily determined by checking for parallax (apparent movement) between a close object and its distant background.

A series of photos made while swiveling the camera can be stitched together later in software to form a wide panoramic image. This technique is quite easy, and results in wide angle photographs with tremendous resolution suitable for very large prints. And these images are made without expensive optics and large-format film. I used PanoTools software to create these images, but there are many other choices ranging in price from free to several hundred dollars. Photoshop now includes automatic stitching capability.


England

London from the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral. From near the peak of Christopher Wren's huge dome, one surveys the sprawling immensity of central London. This panoramic was made just after opening in the morning. The narrow balcony soon becomes congested with tourists, probably having little patience for a large tripod blocking the way. One must keep the tripod perfectly still during the making of a multi-shot panoramic photograph. This one covers more than 180 degrees, from the Houses of Parliament (right side) to Canary Wharf and beyond. Obviously this is a lot more impressive at full scale: you can see individual people on the streets below.



Ancient Stonehenge was apparently defaced by graffiti vandals, though the damage has been repaired. Now the tourists who once were able to walk among the monoliths are now restrained at a distance by a low fence. The surrounding paved walkway is packed with tourists during nice weather in holiday season. Does that mean you can't get a clean shot of the entire thing without any tourists? Stitched panoramics to the rescue! I was lucky enough to capture each section of Stonehenge in between groups of tourists, and to finish it quickly before the sun went behind a cloud. I left one single tourist in the lower left to indicate the scale of the stones. The completed panoramic image of Stonehenge is about 10,000 pixels across and makes a super-sharp 36-inch poster. (Note: I removed the anti-vandal fence using Photoshop.)



Wales

Highlands of North Wales. The beautiful lands in the photo below seem inhabited only by sheep. There are no buildings, no fences, and the one small road through the area is the only sign of man. It looks wonderfully bleak and desolate in June, but I imagine it wouldn't be good to visit in January.



Llanaelhaearn. This part of northern Wales is particularly picturesque. The land is rough and again there are few inhabitants other than sheep. But there is ample evidence of man: stone fences are built right across the mountains. At least the building materials are plentifully at hand... rock, rock, and more rock. This panoramic is only two shots, which you can tell from the aspect ratio: approximately two side-by-side frames with a bit of overlap. Moving clouds present a problem for multi-shot panoramics, and you really need to finish quickly once you start shooting.



Ireland

Kells Bay (Ring of Kerry). Ireland is certainly known for its dramatic landscapes and greenery. This photo was taken during a two-month drought, so it's normally a lot more green than this.



Stone Fort. These stone forts (below) date from the 9th century, and were used as protected homesteads for wealthy land owners. This one was restored after archeological excavation. Its design is ingenious in many ways. The fort is actually round, but its shape is severely distorted by the extreme wide angle coverage (this is nearly 360-degrees). The nature of panoramics is that nearby objects will be distorted, but distant views look normal.



Quilty. The fishing village of Quilty (County Clare) is picturesque in the setting sunlight. Off in the distance (left) can be seen the Cliffs of Moher. Across the street from where this photo was taken is a pub founded about the time of Christopher Columbus.



Ballyvaughan. The small town of Ballyvaughan looks out on Galway Bay. What an incredibly serene spot, and with a very civilized tea room to help enjoy it.



Updated 11-aug-11   Contents copyright © 2001 - 2011 PhotoCentric.Net, All Rights Reserved