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(September 21–25, 2005)

Klaus Voigt

Historical Windmill

Bernhard Vogl

Paddle Steamer Gisela

Lake Traunsee, Gmunden, Austria

Sept. 25, 2005 - 15:10 local time

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© 2005 Bernhard Vogl, Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons License

A steam engine transforms energy out of almost any source into mechanical work. While the history of steam engines goes back to about ~130 BC, it was the Industrial Revolution that made them commonplace - and it was the steam engine that made the Industrial Revolution possible. Steam power also revolutionized the way to travel. It made public transport possible and shortened travel time.

Even today, steam engines play a major role in our world. Just imagine power plants that wouldn't function without the help of steam turbines.

Paddle Steamer Gisela: "Gisela" is the name of a daughter of Emperor Franz Joseph I. The name was probably chosen for this ship because it has a "Kaiserkabine" (Emperor's Cabin), which was reserved for the members of the royal house of Habsburg. In the 18th century there was no adequate road from Gmunden to Ebensee, so the ship was the primary means of transportation to the summer residence in Bad Ischl.

Gisela's keel was laid in 1870 at Joseph Ruston's shipyard in Vienna. Then the ship was taken apart, brought to the Traunsee and re-assembled in 1871. Also the oscillating steam engine, built at the Prager Maschinenfabrik AG was installed at the Traunsee.

More than a century later 1980 was a sad year for Gisela. The ship was taken out of service because of material fatigue and necessary repairs were too expensive. Only private fund-raising by the "Friends of Gmunden" throughout Austria saved the ship from being scrapped. After a thorough restoration, the ship was put back into service in 1986. Today, Gisela's heart is the last oscillating compound steam engine in active service.

See more images of Gisela at www.austria-360.at

More information about Gisela available at http://www.traunseeschiffahrt.at (German)
See more images of Gisela at www.austria-360.at

Visit my main site at http://dativ.at

Europe / Austria

Lat: 47° 54' 39.14" N
Long: 13° 47' 41.42" E

Elevation: 450 m

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: Unknown / Undeclared.

Image 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 made
For 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...

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