Panoramas. Panoramas are made from a series of overlapping images, usually taken in a horizontal direction. They may be shot hand-held, but alignment is more accurate if a tripod is used. Better alignment makes stitching the images together more accurate. Special panorama tripod heads make the process even easier, as they provide click stops to indicate how far to pan between shots. Generally panoramas consist of a single row of images, but they may use several or more rows, as Gigapans do.

360° Pole Panoramas. This is a special sub-set of panoramas. Basically any panorama which covers the full 360° field of view qualifies as a 360° panorama. The ones I’m doing here are taken with a rectangular fisheye lens on the top of a painter’s pole. This allows me to capture the full 360° field of view in only 6 shots. Special software allows the images to be stitched into a continuous image which could be played using interactive software or displayed flat, as I am doing. The pole allows higher points of view, while being easily portable for field work. Since the final image is made from 6 individual images, the same dog appears 3 times in the Flat Point Maine panorama.

Gigapans. Gigapans are stitched from a series of photographs, taken in an overlapping grid pattern. They may consist of tens to thousands of original images. This technique allows a great amount of detail to be presented as the stitched images can be zoomed in to a great degree. Often I find details in the stitched images which I was not aware of while I was shooting the original images. For more information, see Gigapan.com.

Time-Lapse. This is the result of taking one exposure every 28 sec. and combining the results into a movie.

Gigapan Time Machine This combines both a Gigapan zoomable image with a Time-Lapse. This one is my first try, and needs refinement, but still is fun to play with and envision what a “real” one would do. This has only one Gigapan per hour, so the transitions are not real smooth.

The Time Machine concept was developed by the Create Lab at Carnegie Mellon University who were one of the major developers of the Gigapan itself.