Panoramic Photos

Sunset over Santa Barbara from Butterfly Beach
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunset over Santa Barbara from Butterfly Beach

If you've looked around my sites much you probably already know that Butterfly Beach is my favorite beach in Santa Barbara. It's a beautiful place to wander and relax. Sunset is my favorite time, it's always beautiful, but Sunday (the day this was taken) was something truly special!


Sunset Clouds Over The Clock Tower
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunset Clouds Over The Clock Tower

This is a little bit different angle on the Courthouse from the sunken gardens. Of course the main star of the show was the amazing sunset clouds. They were moving very quickly and the light was changing fast. In only a few minutes they were gone. But I'm very happy with the results!


Santa Barbara Historical Museum 360 Panorama
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Santa Barbara Historical Museum 360 Panorama

Some days you look for a nice lighting for the subject you are interested in. Then there are the days that the lighting itself is the real star of the show. Actually, most great shots are more about the lighting than the subject but not usually this literally or obviously.


Mission Sunset Fog
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Mission Sunset Fog

Click on the main image for a larger view.

Once again we are having a fire in the area. Fortunately for us here in the city it's a little further away this time. Of course that's not much consolation to the over-worked firefighters on the front lines.

As always, the fire is making for some nice sunsets. And I had a project specifically looking for a nice wide straight shot of the mission. This looked like my opportunity, but I thought the fog was going to roll in too thick to get the photo. In the end the fog swirled right behind the mission with the beautiful colors of the sunset making for an amazing backdrop.


Knapp's Castle 360 VR
Friday, August 14, 2009
Knapp's Castle 360 VR

This is one of the most beautiful spots I can think of in the Santa Barbara area. Knapp's Castle was a beautiful mansion in the early 1900's. But even the impressive construction from those days could not stand up to the wild fires we have in the mountains here. A few arches and stone walls are all that remains of the mansion. Fortunately the panoramic view of the Santa Ynez Valley is as breathtaking as ever.

Part of this image was on the photo of the day before, Storybook Castle Sunset. But I recently had a chance to work on the high resolution image again when I was working on my 2010 Santa Barbara Calendar. This is the September image. In the process I was also able to finish the whole 360° view.


Butterfly Beach Sunset VR
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Butterfly Beach Sunset VR

Like I mentioned on yesterday's Photo of the Day, the sky was beautiful in every direction. Which of course is a perfect opportunity to take a 360° VR photo. The only problem is I did not have any kind of tripod or my normal tools. But the sky was too good to pass up so I gave it a try hand-held and I'm pretty happy with the results.


Sunset Over the Rose Garden Bench
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Sunset Over the Rose Garden Bench

Usually when I'm in the Mission rose garden I'm focusing on the Mission, or even the roses. But this time was something special. I was there to get an image for an anniversary gift. You see, one of the rose garden benches is where he chose to propose to her. He came to me looking for just the right image and had just about selected one of my older panoramic Mission Photographs. But listening to his story, I thought I could create something a little more fitting. Of course, it's not all up to me. I had to hope for just the right backdrop. Wednesday evening I saw my chance!


Queen of the Missions Fountain Test VR
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Queen of the Missions Fountain Test VR

This is the rest of the image from my lens test at the Mission Santa Barbara the other day. Actually, most of the recent photos of the day have full 360° panorams to go with them that I will get online soon. Usually the panoramas start out based around one nice shot. Of course the challenge is to find a point of view on that nice shot that also looks good in all directions.


Church of the Wayfarer VR
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Church of the Wayfarer VR

We spent a couple days in Monterey and Carmel this week. Like the Mission here in Santa Barbara, I have my favorite spots in Carmel to tinker with new camera equipment. This is the Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel by the Sea. This beautiful little church and a bakery on Ocean street where you can get some of the biggest Coconut Macroons you can imagine are two of our regular stops as soon as we get to the Monterey area.


Mission Portico 360° VR
Friday, February 13, 2009
Mission Portico 360° VR

This is an image that took a while to process. One slice of it was a previous photo of the day. But I wanted to finish the whole view. This is standing on the portico (long patio behind the archways) at the Mission Santa Barbara. This is a series of long exposures just after sunset. It was a beautiful evening to get a little different perspective on the Mission. With a little luck I'll get some time in the next week or two to spend some more time in the mission gardens to get some shots for an upcoming project. If I do you'll see them here first!


State Street Spiral Stairway 360° VR
Monday, December 15, 2008
State Street Spiral Stairway 360° VR

Well it's been a busy holiday season. The photo of the day has been the photo of the month lately. That's not to say I have not been working on the site at all. There has been a lot of behind the scenes work one of the results of which is the new "browse" link at the upper right. And, at least I have been pretty happy with the few images that I have been working on. Most of them have been massive 100+ image panoramas like this one. It takes my computer more than a day to stitch them together after I do my work. But no more excuses!

This is a shot that I got one night when I was taking a break from the Joe's Cafe shoot. My wife and I were wandering on State Street a few blocks up from Joe's when we passed this cool entryway.


Joe's Cafe
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Joe's Cafe

This is from Tuesday night. Tuesdays are farmers' market nights on lower State Street. You can see the booths at the left. The street is closed so it makes it safer, and more interesting, to be down there with my camera. This is about my fourth attempt to get the image I was looking for. There is a large tree (at the left) in front of Joe's. The tree makes for nice pictures, but it makes it a little hard to get a full shot of the front of the building where you can see the whole logo. But, I love a challenge. And this Tuesday my art director (my wife) went with me so that always helps!


La Arcada 360° VR
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
La Arcada 360° VR

This is a nice little shopping center called La Arcada where I've spent a bit of time in the past with my camera. It was a fun night of shooting. I got so many shots it is going to take days to sort and process them all. I hope you like it, 'cause you'll probably see more! The response to the evening Santa Barbara shots has been very good lately so I'm betting that won't be a problem.


Hotel Santa Barbara VR
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Hotel Santa Barbara VR

This is another shot (or series of them really) from last night. It was a really great evening to take pictures. Maybe I'll Spend some more time on state street with my camera in the near future.


Eat at Joes! VR
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Eat at Joes! VR

I've been working more on restaurant photography lately. And, recently I got a request for a print of Joe's Cafe, a local landmark. At some point early in my search through old slides I realized it would be much MUCH more fun to just go take some new shots! Any excuse to get out with my camera makes me happy. This is one of the first shots. I have a few other angles I'm working with but it is going to take a couple of trips down there when the lighting is just right.

If you have any favorite Santa Barbara spots (or anywhere up to Monterey for that matter) you'd like to see, feel free to drop me a note with the form at the bottom of the page.


Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens Gazebo VR
Monday, June 9, 2008
Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens Gazebo VR

When I posted the image of the day on the sixth there was a little disapponintment that it was not a 360° image. Well here it is! Takes a little more time to build this kind of image.

Of course, this is across the lake from the other shot, in the gazebo. This is one of my favorite spots in Santa Barbara. If you are new to the site and like the 3D images be sure to check out another one of my favorite Santa Barbara spots.


Alice Keck Panorama
Friday, June 6, 2008
Alice Keck Panorama

Click the main image for a larger view.

A couple days ago I was working on a particularly difficult statistics problem. (mmm math what a concept.) In the midst of my preparations to fling my computer out the window my wife suggested a nice walk at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. Or as we like to call it... Alice Keck Park Park.

The clouds were beautiful and it was a wonderful evening. I wish I could say I came home and solved the problem right away, but at least I got a lot of really beautiful shots out of it. And I was much happier continuing on my statistics project.

Oh yeah, I've also been tinkering with some other images that are not my own. I have not been able to figure out how to get my own camera there yet so I had to work with what was available.


Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish 360° view
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish 360° view

Back to Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Montecito. This was actually the first image I took with my new panoramic tripod head. But as I mentioned in an earlier post it took me a bit of time to finish all of the shots and in the time it took the light had changed quite a bit. I did not think I was going to be able to stitch it together right. But now that I have had a little practice I was able to get it to work.

Of course that brought up some new problems. The image is so large I kept getting "Hard drive full" errors. Strange seeing as how there was 500 gig of space. In the end I realized that the format of the hard drive only allows a maximum of four gigabyte files. Yeah, it's a big picture... ten feet wide actually.


Cottage Inn
Friday, April 4, 2008
Cottage Inn

Well, there were some technical difficulties with publishing to the site so I'm sorry for the wait! I have quite a few images that should be posted in the near future, but with several big projects and tax day (what fun!) it has been hard to get to the maintenance of my site.

A few days ago we were in Pismo Beach for a project. When I went out to get breakfast the morning fog was just breaking up. I thought about skipping breakfast to take pictures, but I finally thought better of it so I would have some energy for the drive home. (Besides they have REALLY good waffles.) The timing was perfect though. This was right after breakfast. All of the clouds in this shot are actually wispy remnants of the morning costal fog. They are almost close enough that you could reach out and touch them. Not 20 minutes later the fog was back thicker than ever.


Santa Barbara Harbor Sunset view from the Breakwater
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Santa Barbara Harbor Sunset view from the Breakwater

Another beautiful sunset and another massive image. If you look closely you can see stearns wharf in the image off to the right. (if you have Flash 9 installed, you can use the up arrow to zoom in)


Santa Barbara Courthouse Clocktower View
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Santa Barbara Courthouse Clocktower View

This was the same day as the recent Mission shot. It was also the day of the grand reopening of the Granada theatre on state street. That is what the giant tent is for in the gardens in this image. Aparently the reception was at the Courthouse. I actually thought of taking a shot of the Granada, but apparently it was not a priority to get ALL of the boards off the windows before opening night. Of course, those were the office windows and they were probably not very noticable after dark. At any rate, it was a fun day of shooting!


Stearns Sunset
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Stearns Sunset

I have learned to make the most of the clouds when they come out around here. during the summer we just have haziness and fog. Most of the rest of the year it's clear and blue. But as I have said so often on the photo of the day, the clear blue skies don't make for much of a sunset. But the evening I took this shot was just amazing! We almost did not go since we were getting out a little too late for the sunset. Turned out to be a better image with the stars in it anyway!

So now that I have the VR functionality down I thought I would take the time to fine tune the process. I created this image and recreated it from the 120+ individual shots that make it. This is my fourth complete revision, after trying out about ten different programs for different parts of the process. I can now confidently say there is no substitution for hard work. (I'm hearing my 7th grade english teacher in the back of my head asking me if the computer I did my homework on did the work for me when I pushed a single button) Maybe some day, but we're still not there yet. Quite to the contrary, with each new advance in computing power you just get more room to find a new level of creativity.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed making it!


Queen of the missions in HDR VR
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Queen of the missions in HDR VR

Ok, still taking a while to get these images together this way. But after taking all the time to build the VR interface I could hardly wait to use it again.

I got the opportunity today when the clouds started to get interesting. We dropped everything to try to get some nice images. Turned out to be a busy afternoon and an amazing sunset. This is the first of several nice images that will come out of the adventure around town today.

The clouds look a little ominous, but they were fast moving and quite beautiful.


Highway 1 VR Sunset
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Highway 1 VR Sunset

If you have Flash installed in your browser, click and drag on the image once it loads, you should get a pleasant surprise.

This image has been quite a few days in the making. I had the good fortune to be in Cambria (north on the coast, 'bout half way to Monterey) last week around sunset and I just happened to have my new panoramic tripod head with me. Seeing as how I don't have a good fish-eye for my digital camera, I used my widest lens available. To get the whole image it took 36 shots. Of course, the difference shooting into the sun, and away was more than a single exposure setting could handle. So I had to take three separate exposures and combine them into a High Dynamic Range Image.

From that point, I just had to see how far I could push my computer. Rather than scale the images down I wanted to see just how big I could make the image. In the end the 108 images combined into a two gigabyte, 240 megapixel image. I figure it would print nicely at around twelve feet wide. I spared your internet connection the full size image. But as I mentioned above, users with Flash should be able to experience a nice point of view. I can tell you the VR interface gives the closest experience to actually standing there taking the photo I can imagine.

Enjoy, and please let me know if you experience any difficulties with the new interface.


Shorline Sunset Panorama
Friday, January 18, 2008
Shorline Sunset Panorama

Click the main image for a larger view

As I have mentioned before, there are very few places you can see the sunset over the water in Santa Barbara. Our coast faces the south for the most part. But there are a few small sections that give you a glimpse of the setting sun.

This is a combination of thirteen shots covering more than 200°. My intention was to shoot an entire 360° image. In the end this particular set of images caught the best lighting to bring out the beautiful texture of the clouds. But it did not quite make the full circle.

If you like the panoramas, you should check back. My wife got me a couple of nice tripods, and one will be perfect for a panoramic head I have been drooling over... er, I mean carefully considering investing in. :-D