Scotland360° - it's all in the name... I launched the original Scotland360° website in 2004 to display my outdoor, landscape and panoramic photography across the 360 degrees of the compass. 2004 was also when I made the switch across from film to digital photography. My panoramic photography was in its early stages at that time but looking back at old transparencies, I can trace it even further back to Spring 1982.
A panoramic view on to Edinburgh from White Hill - Spring 1982
White Hill in the Pentland Hills, Edinburgh - Spring 1982
Taken in the Pentland hills and looking across Edinburgh, each of these panoramas has been stitched, cropped and filled using techniques that were simply not possible back in 1982. To put this in context, Adobe Photoshop was still six years away from being created.
2004 saw the production of an early mountain panorama from the summit of Beinn Tarsuinn, looking across the Fisherfield mountains towards An Teallach.
Hand held and taken in landscape format, this wide angle panorama was stitched together using an early version of Photoshop (I think). There was a lot to learn going forward with panoramic photography, both for capturing photography and also for processing the results.
My passion for landscape photography is capturing big scale landscapes and wide, sweeping views. I tend to use wide angle lenses as my preference and, using a combination of a wide angle lens and panoramic photography, it's often possible to capture the scale and the extents of the landscape.
I have been fortunate to explore St Kilda many times since my first visit there in 1980. In 2014, I enjoyed a superb sea kayaking adventure on board the MV Cuma, led by Gordon Brown, the sea kayaking coach. The panorama below is captured from Oisebhal and looks over the sheep fanks and across Village Bay to the island of Dun.
However, panoramic photography isn't just about land based photography. In the right conditions, panoramic photography from boats or sea kayaks is extremely rewarding. The photograph above was captured in Village Bay at St Kilda on the same sea kayking trip in 2014. Left to right, the panorama take in the island of Dun, the Dun Gap and the main island of Hirta rising up to the summit of Ruabhal.
Wide angle panoramas can take account of sweeping vistas where conventional photographs would be unable to capture the expanse of the landscape.
Another sea kayaking adventure and this time to Shetland. With a week of glorious weather and calm seas, we were able to enjoy much of the Shetland coastline, including a two day trip around the island of Papa Stoer.
The view here is from the top of the small hill of North Ness, just above the campsite with a terrific view over Papa Stour, mainland Shetland and out towards Foula. The lighthouse on the Ve skerries, some 9km away was visible and can be seen to the right of the panorama.
And again, in Shetland, an example of a sea kayaking panorama captured on a paddle across to Mousa Island to visit Mousa Broch. Situated on the Island of Mousa, the broch is the best preserved example of it's kind in Scotland. Originally constructed around 300BC, it also has the distinction of being the tallest of the Scottish brochs. Mousa broch is seen here on the short paddle across the Mousa Sound from the Shetland mainland.
By way of comparison, the image below is a fully interactive 360 aerial panorama looking across to the island of Scalpay from Harris. The view in your browser window will provide an "eye in the sky" virtual experience. This can be further enhanced by viewing this panorama in a Virtual Reality headset to experience a true "in flight" view!