Paddle Steamer Gisela
Lake Traunsee, Gmunden, Austria
Sept. 25, 2005 - 15:10 local time
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EquipmentImage recording: Fuji S2, Sigma 8mm Fisheye
Automatic panohead on a boom stand (see http://dativ.at/motorhead )
Audio recording: Sony MZ-NH700 and MS907 microphone
Post Processing: 3-bracket-shot, stitched with PTGui Some areas blended with Photomatrix, some areas manually blended
Final movie creation with Pano2QTVR
Audio edited with Cool Edit 2000
Behind the scene : how this panorama was madeFor a long time I dreamed of making a panorama from Gisela while she is crossing the lake Traunsee -- from above, of course, to emphasize the elegant, drawn-out design of the ship. This presented two problems: How to place the camera high enough to have a bird's-eye view, and how to shoot fast enough to render a stitchable panorama.
The solution was to construct an automatic panohead on top of a pole. Luckily a friend of mine, Dr. Nikolaus Klepp helped me out with his technical knowledge and designed a working solution within less than 2 months -- which is very short, considering that we were separated by more than 250 kilometers.
Of course, not everything went well in the beginning.
Saturday: When i arrived in Gmunden on the shooting day, the pano head was a heap of circuit boards. The infrared release hadn't arrived from England and there was less than a hour for the appointed shooting time at 2 o'clock. We worked like crazy to have something usable, but you guessed it: no way.
A call revealed that we would have a second chance some hours later - to attend a second planned round trip with the ship. Nikolaus decided to continue work on the panohead while i took the chance to shoot some "normal" panoramas... Ten minutes before 5 o'clock (the take-off time for Gisela's second round): Nikolaus had built a servo motor into the controller unit of the panohead to release the camera with a wired remote -- but my cable release was too short to reach the camera. I grabbed the head -- having my 10m pneumatic remote release in my camera bag in mind -- and ran, with a 4m tripod on my sholder and dragging a big cart with the rest of the equipment over the main square of Gmunden (attracting a lot of attention) -- just in time to see Gisela taking off for the second and last round for today...
My luck in this misfortune was that another round-trip with Gisela was planned for Sunday because of the good weather. This gave me the time needed to improve the panohead in the evening with extensive use of duct-tape...
Sunday: The ship was in place and a working panohead in my hand. While setting up the equipment and working on the best settings for the head i was surprised by the ship's sudden departure. Damn! After quickly winding up the camera and starting the head i realized that i had done something wrong. The software driving the head was caught in an endless loop and didn't stop taking panos! Not enough time to wind the camera down and fix the problem as my desired subject was already in sight: Schloss Orth (Orth Castle)! During the next minutes you could see a desperate panographer praying, that the memory card of the camera wouldn't fill up until we had passed the Castle...then i pulled the power plug...
As you can see from the panorama it finally turned out all right...