Virtual Tour Group in New York

I ran across virtualtourgroup.com today. I love their 360 of a downtown Manhattan street scene that they have on their front page. Very nicely done. The ghostly figures here and there suggest all the movement of the people. This had to be shot fairly quickly or there would have been more ghostly figures.

Tree Outside Salem Courthouse

Tree outside the Marion County courthouse in Salem, OR.

Multi-Image Composite Panorama

One of the interesting things about panoramas is that since they are multiple shots stitched together each of the multiple shots can be offset in time by a substantial amount of time. In this image my son and daughter-in-law are doing something different in each of the four shots of this panorama. Two other things are notable about this panorama. Since it was taken inside with not very much natural light I used flash. Secondly, this is one of my first uses of Immervision's fullscreen Flash. Note that this panorama will not work for you unless you have Adobe Flash version 9 loaded on your machine. If you don't have it you can quickly get it here.

Chihuly Installation at Lincoln Center

Dale Chihuly has a relatively new installation at Lincoln Center in Bellevue, WA. I found it very difficult to photograph because it is spread over three floors of the main entry of the center. There is a three story waterfall contained by a huge glass structure. The pool at the bottom of the waterfall has colored glass floats and the main three stage colored glass installation is suspended from the ceiling structure. According to the security guard that oversaw my shooting of these photos, the main installation of blown glass bobbles was assembled in place.

A 360 image seemed like a good way to get the whole installation. Click here to the the 360 image. You have to drag on the image and look up to. see the main installation. The image above is a cropped fish-eye image taken while bending over the railing on the third floor.

B-17 Tour at Boeing Field













B-17 tour at Boeing field by original B-17 pilots and crew. This is a restored B-17G-VE restored by the Experimental Aircraft Association. This particular aircraft (serial #44-85740) was delivered to Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945, too late to see action. For a complete history see the EAA web site. This was a rare experience to meet the guys who flew B-17's and listen to their stories.

James Dean at Issaquah Triple X car show

James Dean hanging out with some big, bad machines at the Issaquah Triple X car show.

New Years Eve Wedding

Celebrating New Years Eve at Betsy & Roger's wedding at the Vintage Plaza in Portland, OR. Taken one minute before midnight at the edge of the dance floor.

This was taken at the edge of the dance floor with flash. This was my first attempt at using flash when shooting a spherical panorama. It turns out that flash on automatic works very well when doing a panorama even though the flash does not cover that complete angle of view of the fisheye lens because I shoot 4 shots around the flash coverage was adequate. Flash used was a Canon 580EX with built-in diffuser set at 14mm. This was hand held so I had to do some Photoshop touch-up on the stitched image.

Pike Place Fish Company

The Pike Place Fish Company at Seattle's Pike Place Market on a busy Saturday morning in September. Great place to by fresh fish and be entertained by the antics of the guys hawking fish. Most of the crowd is here watching the entertainment... they keep telling the crowd to backup to make room for the paying customers that want to buy fish.

Chief Seattle Fountain

The old stone chief giving his one arm salute on a hot day at 5th Ave, Cedar St and Denny Way.

SR71 Blackbird and Spruce Goose


Cockpit of Lockheed SR71A Blackbird and Titan II under the wing of the "Spruce Goose" at the Evergreem Aviation Museum in McMinville Oregon.

The Fabulous Wailers Issaquah Concert


Young and old attended a Concert on The Green July 26th to hear the Fabulous Wailers, one of the most important bands in the history of rock n roll." For some nostalgic rock history see: www.thefabulouswailers.com

'61 VW with 409 V8


Scott Morgan of Preston, WA brought his 1961 VW beatle to the Lance Lambert car show on 6/26 at the Triple X Drive-Inn to show his handy work of fitting a 409 V8 engine into the trunk of this 61 VW. This little hummer goes from 0 to 60 in 9.9 seconds and tops out at 135 MPH... not your fathers VW. Every hour at the car show Scott fired up the engine and answered questions for a crowd of 20 to 30 onlookers.

Oldrides Car Show at Triple X Drive Inn


Two old rides at the Triple X Drive Inn. Car owners and show goers hang out at the old Root Beer drive inn and admire old hot rods and eat big juicey hamburgers just like it was in the 50's and 60's.

Nurse Stump in Rain Forest


Old stump with a younger tree growing on it. This micro rain forest environment is along side the Lake Alice hiking trail near Preston, WA.

Snoqualmie Train Station


The Snoqualmie, WA train station in downtown Snoqualmie. The Snoqualmie Depot was constructed in 1890 by the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway. For more details see www.trainmuseum.org/SnoqualmieDepot.asp .

Fourth of July Handcar demonstration


This was shot during a handcar demonstration during the fourth of July celebration. The reason the handcar appears twice in this image is that I shoot 4 fisheye photos and I rotated in the same direction as the handcar was moving. Can you find the people that appear twice?

Issaquah Eagle - City Hall and Police Station


Eagle statue in front of the City Hall and Police Station in downtown Issaquah.

Pickering Barn- Issaquah, WA


The Pickering barn is an old historic landmark in the Issaquah valley originally built by territorial Governor, William Pickering. The restored hay barn and adjoining dairy barn are the only remaining structures of the original 410 acre farm. Now the barn has been restored and is a city owned multi-use facility. This panorama is a High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos that consists of two identical photos one exposed for the sky and clouds and a second photo exposed for the shadows in the barn and ground. The two photos are blended in Photoshop to create a composite with the best parts of both photos.

Poo Poo Point - Take off spot for paragliders


If your heart doesn't get pumping hard on the way up the 1.7 mile, 1700 foot climb then it will for sure start pumping standing on the edge of the Asto turf take off point visualizing what it feels like jumping off this cliff with a paraglider. When it's clear as it was this day, there's a great view of Issaquah, Squak Mt on the left and Lake Sammamish beyond Issaquah. The trail to Poo Poo point starts at the paragliding field on Issaquah-Hobart Road.

Cool Beans Expresso interior


Coolbeans Expresso in the historic old Issaquah Theatre building- cooler than your average Expresso stop it Features western memorabilia and good conversation. Rick (the owner) and Fannie (Ricks friendly lab)always greet you with a smile. Voted the best Expresso shop in Issaquah for many years. As of about 2009 CoolBeans expresso and it's proprietor Rick are gone because the old Issaquah theater has been remodeled. I miss stopping in a talking to Rick.

Downtown Issaquah during Salmon Days


Walking through the crowded streets of Salmon Days. Salmon Days is a popular Fall festival welcoming back spawning salmon to their home at the Issaquah Fish Hatchery. The event draws in the area of 150,000 people to Issaquah each October. I was attracted to the challenge of shooting a hand-held spherical panorama in a crowd and the colorful image the balloon vendors made. There is only one or two people in this panorama panorama that appear in two locations eventhough this panorama is 4 frames and took about 40 seconds to shoot.

Inside the Triple X drive inn


This historic old XXX drive-Inn is the last XXX on the planet. It's Filled with 60's memorabilia, frequently hosts classic car and truck shows and still serves great sloppy-juicy burgers and root beer. The colorful collection of 60's signs and memorabilia hanging from the walls and ceiling create a visually stimulating room. The checker board floor only adds to the visual effect.

For a schedule of car shows see the new Triplex Web site

About This Blog

This blog is a collection of images that show all directions at once. The images are created by combining a sequence of 4 photographs shot with a fisheye lens in four different directions. That is, shoot North, rotate 90 degrees, shoot East, rotate 90, shoot South, rotate 90 shoot west. This process of shooting 4 photos takes about 40 to 60 seconds because the camera needs to be level in 2 planes and you need to rotate the camera around the entrance pupil of the lens so that the images "fit together" exactly.

After the 4 fisheye images are "stitched" together (I use PTgui Software to do this) the result is a equirectangular image like the thumbnail photos on this blog. These equirectangular images are a single rectangular image that shows all directions at once. They look a little funny because to show all visual information in all directions at once in a rectangular image so something must be distorted. There is no distortion through the horizontal center of these image but as you move closer to the top (zenith) and bottom (nadir) there is more and more distortion until at the very top and bottom pixel is a line across the entire image. An equirectangular image is just like a Mercader projection of the earth that everyone is used to seeing.

A more realistic view of these images can be seen through the use of web viewer software that is invoked when you click on one of the thumbnails. The web viewer reads the equirectanglar image and removes the distortion and shows a more realistic image in a rectangular area of your web browser. As you drag the cursor across the image displayed by the viewer you can control which direction you see. Web viewers give you the feeling that you are suspended on the inside of a photo sphere.

There are several kinds of web viewers. The viewers I use on this blog are QuickTime, Java and Flash. Each type of viewer has it's own benefits. To view images with a viewer you must have the viewing software installed on you machine. QuickTime is high quality but installed on only about 50% of PCs and 100% of Macs. Java is more widely installed on both PCs and Macs but the quality of image it displays is not quite as good as Quicktime. Flash is installed on 90% of PCs and Macs but the quality is not as high as Java and QuickTime. Flash viewers appear to be jerky when the image is moving but are high quality when the image is stopped.