ideas and images and kits and equipment





Bubble Panoramas are made from two images taken with an ultrawide “fisheye” lens, one straight down from the kite, like the one to the left, and one straight up from the ground. The two images are stitched electronically at the horizon and processed into a spherical image or bubble, with you in the middle.

Philippe Hurbain pioneered the technique, and it was perfected for KAP by Scott Haefner.

You'll need QuickTime to view these panoramas, which is available as a free download from Apple.

Click on an image below, and be patient while the panorama loads. Then click & drag in the image with your mouse; zoom with shift and control keys.

Easy does it — move slowly or you'll be dizzy!

Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove, California, is the oldest lighthouse on the Pacific Coast in continuous use. It still has the original 1853-vintage fresnel lens, although illumination is now by electricity instead of oil.

The flag was at half mast during mourning for Ronald Reagan.

About a half-mile from Point Pinos is Asilomar State Beach, a public park surrounding Rocky Shores, the only privately-owned property on the water side of the road in Pacific Grove.

This is another view of Rocky Shores, taken for the World Wide Panorama project in Fall 2004, when the theme was "Bridges".

This is almost the only bridge in PG, hence an obvious choice.

Seaside, Oregon, has been the site of several of the annual conventions of the American Kitefliers Association. This is the Turnaround at the end of Broadway, the main drag, a popular place for young people to cruise in the summertime. The hotel to the left is the Shilo, AKA convention headquarters.

The mountain at the south end of the beach is Tillamook Head, site of many a shipwreck.

For the World Wide Panorama project's Winter Solstice event in 2004, pictures were focused on the theme "Sanctuary". This image was taken of a small part of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, Asilomar State Beach, and the private sanctuaries to which a few lucky homeowners retreat from the cares of the day.
Then for the WWP's Summer Solstice 2005 event, the theme was an easy one: "Water". The big fisheye lens was lifted over the wetlands at the Mouth of the Carmel River, where the heavy rains of Winter 2004-5 had caused serious erosion.
Eventually I replaced my Nikon 8700 with the Nikon D50 digital SLR and a Sigma 8mm fisheye lens. It's a much heavier package, and won't take a circular 180° image like the ones used in all of the above bubble panoramas. With this rig, I must take and stitch four or more horizontal images — no mean feat with a moving platform. The tradeoff is much higher resolution and sharper pictures. This is the first successful test of that process, a picture of my house and environs. House & Environs

Virtual Reality (VR) Panoramas have been around for several years and are widely used online, especially to sell real estate. The technique is a bit different on the ground, in that three or more horizontal images are stitched electronically, giving higher resolution and a sharper picture.

If you enjoyed these aerial VR panoramas and would like to see some taken on the ground, click HERE.