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(March 15-23, 2014)

Gerardo A. Sanchez

Nine years later...

George Row

Shoppers: Ten Years On

Shipquay Street, Derry, Northern Ireland, UK

23 March 2014 16:00 GMT

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© 2014 George Row, All Rights Reserved.

This panorama was shot on Shipquay Street in Derry outside the Richmond Centre, one of two major shopping complexes in the centre of Derry. The panorama opens looking down Shipquay Street towards The Guildhall, the local town hall.

It recreates the panorama Shoppers in the Rain that I made for the original World Wide Panorama event in 2004.

We can see some of the things that have changed in ten years:
  • it wasn't raining this time!
  • The shopping centre is still called the "Richmond Centre". However the property company that owned it was brought down by the recent banking and property-market crash. The centre was taken over by the bank. Then, according to one local paper: "In 2010, Richmond Centre was sold for £24m to West Register, a company set up by Royal Bank of Scotland to manage 'distressed assets'."
  • the locally owned cafe that used to be at this entrance has gone and been replaced by a branch of the Nando's chain. (They have rebuilt it as the large yellow building)
  • the paving has changed and the little shrubbery has gone.
  • the ATM machines are still there but three out of four of the local bank branches that used to be on this street have gone
  • many of the shops across the street, in common with many city centre shops, are now "Charity shops" fundraising for various good causes. This is a side-effect of the system of local property taxes. Taxes (or "Rates" as they are known) are due on empty buildings but do not have to be paid by a landlord if they let to a not-for-profit organisation.
  • the trees have grown (but not as much as you might expect in 10 years)
  • in the original 2004 version there was a charity fund-raiser (in the red top) pacing up and down. From memory I think she was collecting for Amnesty International. In the 2014 version there is a charity fund-raiser (in a blue top) collecting for Foyle Hospice.
  • both versions have multiple instances of the same people as they walked through multiple shots
  • there have also been changes in the technology that I use (see the section "Behind the scene : how the technology has changed" below for details of that)

My print on demand service has:
The source images were taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens.

The camera was mounted on a Kaiden Kiwi panorama adapter on a Manfrotto 190XDB tripod.

Horizontal photographs were taken at 60° angles and also two ground shots and a sky shot. Each "shot" consisted of three bracketed exposures from +2 to -2 stops.

A total of 36 separate images were combined using Hugin (which in turn invokes Nona, Enfuse and Enblend) in order to achieve this High Dynamic Range type result and to accommodate the moving people.
Behind the scene : how the technology has changed
Hopefully the vast improvement in the result is obvious. Here are some of the technological changes behind the scenes.

2004 version:

  • Lens: 28mm equivalent (actually a 7mm(?) lens on a tiny sensor)
  • Image Size: 5Mp
  • Body: Minolta DImage 7

  • Initial processing: Apple iPhoto
  • Stitching: VRWorx
  • Post Production: Photoshop 6.0

  • Panorama Image size: 720 × 400 pixel,
  • Available view: 360°x65° Cylinder
  • Photometrics: Low Dynamic Range

2014 version:

  • Lens: Canon 15mm Full Frame Fisheye
  • Image Size: 21Mp
  • Body: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

  • Initial processing: Apple Aperture
  • Stitching: Hugin 2013
  • Post Production: Apple Aperture

  • Panorama Image size: 8,000x4,000 pixel,
  • Available view: 360°x180° Spherical
  • Photometrics: High Dynamic Range Panorama

One of the biggest differences in my workflow is that in 2004 after stitching in VR Worx a LOT of work was needed in Photoshop to smooth the stitching errors and re-patch in the images of the moving people. This is obvious if you look at the hair of the woman who walks past close to the camera.

In the 2014 version moving people were dealt with by using masking within Hugin. When people overlap across a seam it allows for them to be masked out or selected as appropriate. The post-production in Aperture was simply to tweak the colour and brightness in a few places.

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