Friday, 28 December 2012

Panoramas in Google+

A week in Tenerife provided lots of fantastic opportunities to take panoramic photos, including this one from Mount Teide. Since getting back, I have processed one or two a day and have been posting them on Flickr, as usual, but also on Google+, where this #photosphere works as both a flat panorama and as an interactive view. How cool is that? Sadly, I don't have an Android phone or tablet, but I can feel the need growing!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

52 photos of St Day

As the autumn leaves are finally stripped from all of the trees and the weather turns cold, I have been looking back over a year's photographs, but also at gaps in my 2012 portfolio. I have learned a lot about HDR photography and panoramas. But what should I be aiming to photograph in 2013? I would like more pictures of my family, better pictures of Cornish scenery and also a project to document something of value. That is why I hope to publish 52 photographs of St Day over the next 12 months. St Day is the Cornish mining village in which I grew up and in which I am now raising my family. It was my intention to start the project in January, but given the opportunities for photography in the run-up to Christmas, I have started now, with the St Day Christmas Tree Festival, which is running on 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th December. I wonder what I can photograph for next week? Click on the thumbnail to see the full-sized image in my Flickr photo stream.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Helford Passage Panoramas

Helford Passage Panoramas
Helford Passage is a quiet village on the edge of the Helford River in Cornwall. I captured this picture on 14th October 2012, but it has taken me six weeks (and some heavy rain) to get around to processing all of the images. Click on the picture above to follow the link to my gallery showing three panoramas from this beautiful location. Alternatively click here for an interactive view in, captured next to the boathouse at the eastern end of the beach.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Les Tonnerres de Brest 2012

Les Tonnerres de Brest 2012

On Saturday we visited Les Tonnerres de Brest with the Morlaix-Truro twinning association. The highlight of the day was a trip around the bay to photograph the ships, including the tall ship Thalassa, which you can also see in my Flickr photo stream. Tonemapping is not to everyone's taste, but I have tonemapped these in Luminance to produce a more painting-like, less contrasty effect, with detail in the sky, sea and boat hulls.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Interactive panorama in Brittany

James photo-bombing my panoramas

After several attempts to make equirectangular panoramas, I have finally succeeded, by buying a fisheye lens, borrowing a computer with 4GB of ram and using two assistants. The problem is, James decided to photo-bomb the picture, appearing eight times in this panorama. The photo is best viewed in the interactive viewer here. Look down at the road for James's eighth appearance. Alternatively, click on the image to view a larger version in Flickr. 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Interactive panorama viewer

Viewing my panorama interactively

Today I stumbled across someone else's panorama on Flickr, which opened in a viewer on, so I uploaded my Exeter College GigaPan panorama to Flickr and pointed it at the viewer. Click on the image or on this link to view the photo interactively. Sadly, it shows where I fudged the grass and got my levels wrong, but viewing the image this way is so cool. Sorry if this is old hat for you, but I am enjoying being on a learning curve this evening.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Exeter College panosphere

Stereographic projection

I have been playing with Hugin and creating panospheres or photographic worlds for a month or so now and am slowly accumulating equipment and expertise. Unfortunately, I didn't have a tripod or a wide-angle lens for this picture, so a lot of fudging has been used to create this image - my first image using a stereographic projection. Overall, I am happy to have reached this milestone, but I can see that there is a lot to learn. Click on the image to see a larger version in flickr. An early version of the original 360 degree panorama is in GigaPan. It is 150 megapixels and if you enlarge the image to full screen, you can pan and zoom within the GigaPan interface to see a lot of detail in the buildings.

Exeter College open day

Oxford University Open Days

Last week, I had the privilege of accompanying a minibus load of sixth form students to Oxford University for an open day. Whilst everyone else was accommodated in the front quad at Exeter College, I stayed in the back quad near the room I occupied as a first year undergraduate. This is the view from the bedroom window. The other side of the room looks out over Broad Street. If you want to see the panorama from the Broad Street window, click here. I have happy memories of Exeter College, it made a deep impact on me as a student, but I was so taken up with studying and rowing, that I am not sure I really appreciated the college environment or the privilege of being educated at such a great institution. Perhaps that it why I had such an enjoyable trip last week, looking back at myself 23 years ago from what may be the midpoint of my working life. I wonder what the next 23 years has in store and how I will look back to today when I am 65!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

GigaPan of a syncline at Summerleaze Beach

GigaPan of a syncline at Summerleaze Beach in Bude

One of the privileges of living in Cornwall is being able to enjoy world-class geology. Whilst I concede that this photograph does not show the most exciting synline in the world, this GigaPan from Summerleaze Beach in Bude enables the arm-chair geologist to look in detail at part of the Bude Formation and folding produced in the Variscan Orogeny.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Cathedral GigaPan

How carefully do you look at the world around you?

These Cornish Saints stand high up on the western façade of Truro Cathedral in Cornwall - they are Pinn, Buriena and Meriadoc. In all, there are 37 statues on this face of the cathedral. Call me unobservant, but I have been past hundreds of times, and did not know they were there. I took this series of 20 photographs on 26th May and stitched them into one high resolution image. You can have a look for yourself on GigaPan. Hover your mouse over the speech bubbles next to the snapshots to see the description for each snapshot. I took the photos using a hand-held Canon 550D and stitched them with Hugin.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Porthtowan Tonemapped Panorama

Porthtowan tonemapped panorama

This week I have borrowed a Canon 10-22 mm lens from a friend. The plan was to shoot some 360x180 degree panoramas, but I was not careful enough in my first attempts. This panoramic image is made up from photos that didn't make it into a bigger panorama. It was stitched in Hugin from four tonemapped photographs that I initially processed in Luminance. I am very pleased with the texture and light. I am also enjoying the lens, so need to start saving my pennies. It seems I may need a wide-angle lens, a panoramic tripod head and some more ram so my computer can process the bigger panoramas! On the other hand Luminance, Hugin and GIMP are all free, so maybe I need to explore them some more before I spash out.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Los Roques de Garcia

Los Roques de Garcia

Los Roques de Garcia lie across the middle of the Las Canadas caldera beneath Teide in Tenerife. They are the remains of the plumbing system inside a huge stratovolcano that erupted in a violent Plinian eruption, associated with a landslide to the north of the island. In a relatively relaxing two and a half mile circular walk, you can capture breathtaking views of Mount Teide, pyroclastic rocks, the famous Roque Cinchado, a lava fall, cone sheets, columnar jointing, pahoehoe lava, a volcanic plug and also walk on the caldera floor. Take a look at the map, take in the surroundings using Street View, click on the markers to find out more or browse photographs from the whole walk.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Tenerife Street View

Google Street View in Tenerife

Google's Street View car has been all over Tenerife, including the road through Mount Teide National Park, the whole of which is worth exploring. But there are lots of other places that are worth looking at in Google maps.

Click on the links below. When the placemarkers have opened, select more and go to Street View to see some amazing views and fascinating locations.

The cliffs at Los Gigantes - the highest cliffs in Europe.
The coast at Garachico - a town inundated with lava in 1706.
The bridge over Barranco de la Orchilla - a deep gorge in the south of the island.
Caves for workers at Chimiche quarry - carved out of the local pumice.
The bridge at La Cisnera - how does it stay there?
A lava tube in the Corona Forestal - once filled with molten lava, now an empty tube.
The road cutting near Montana de la Negra - black and white layers from Plinian and Strombolian eruptions.
The view of Teide across the caldera floor - just one sample of the views across the caldera.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Tenerife geology 2009 day 2

Tenerife geology fieldwork December 2009 - Day 2

The second day of the December 2009 trip was the section from San Miguel de Abona to Cisnera. The rocks are mainly phonolitic, with evidence of Strombolian and major Plinian eruptions, including a scoria cone with volcanic bombs, lava flows, a lava dome, pumice fall, pyroclastic flow and block and ash flow deposits. The photographs can be found on Picasa and the map for the day on Google Maps. Both can be found from links on my Google site.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Tenerife geology 2009 day 1

Tenerife geology fieldwork

For the last three years, I have visited Tenerife with groups of A'level geology students, staying in Playa de las Americas and Los Gigantes. We have visited sites close to the south, centre and western end of the island. In 2009, I carried a Garmin GPS and produced a map of the trip. This evening, I have finally finished attaching the photographs from the first day, when we visited Los Gigantes, Santiago del Teide, Masca and Garachico. The photos from 2009 are a more manageable collection than the gigabytes that I have taken subsequently. I have added a comment to each photo explaining why I think it is significant. As I finish the rest of the database, I will publish the links at

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Scorrier chapel GigaPan

GigaPan Panorama of Scorrier Chapel front lawn

I took the photographs last Friday evening and stitched them using Hugin. Scorrier Chapel is a former methodist chapel and the home of Scorrier Christian Fellowship. The building has a striking stone facade, consisting of dressed granite and killas, both quarried locally. Opposite the chapel is the Crossroads Motel. The main train line from Penzance to Plymouth can be seen to the left of the photograph.