When the subject of Energy was announced, I began planning my panorama. Since I live on the Gulf Coast near an area that is filled with refineries, I wanted to try for one of those. I also have a good working relationship wth the power companies and have shot pictures many times before at several power plants. And my third choice was to shoot in the hall of dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural Science representing the source of fossil fuels.
I quickly received a positive response from the power company to shoot two of their largest power plants in the area. They wanted copies for their own promotion. The shoot never happened. The museum also wanted to cooperate. They were also interested in having copies. It never happened. I had made arrangements to do both shoots on Thusday September 22. Neither shoot was to happen. I didn't realize the impact it would have the week before. But Rita was coming. I have lived in Houston for almost 50 years. I have seen hurricanes come and go. Not one had the impact that Rita did. Up until Wednesday September 21, I still had hope that I would be able to shoot my project for WWP.
But Rita had made some dramatic changes over the course of a few days. She had magnified to a category 5 hurricane. And the 3rd most powerful hurricane in recorded history. She was steering directly towards one of the largest metropolitan cities in the United States. A direct hit on Houston and Galveston was going to change our lives. Businesses shut down on Thursday so people could make plans to evacuate. Others were preparing for Rita and the aftermath. No one could have met me to shoot my pictures even if I had wanted to. And part of me still wanted to. Somewhere I read that a category 5 hurricane puts off as much energy as a 10 megaton nuclear bomb every 20 seconds. That's energy that man cannot create or control. It was enough energy to move 2.7 million people from an area, to move water inland and flood entire regions, and to flatten buildings as if they were a house of cards.
On Friday, it seemed that Rita had downsized and was moving to the East. Still a large system, and we had no idea how much wind and rain we would get. On Friday evening, the clouds began rolling in and the wind began picking up. The first signs of Rita began rolling in. A beautiful rainbow followed by a gorgeous sunset defied the weather that might follow. I stood there watching the clouds and decided that I was not going to let Rita put me off from this project. There in front of me was a small portion of one of the greatest energy sources I could imagine. Rita. I quickly shot 7 shots handheld with my fisheye lens. There was no time to set up a tripod. Then I shot one shot up and started to shoot one down. Before I could shoot my last shot, it grew darker and the wind and rain picked up. I never got my last shot. We settled inside to see what Rita would bring. For us, Rita, moved far enough east that we saw no damage. Still it changed the way we look at storms that we have lived with all of our lives.
This panorama did not take place as I had planned and was done in less than ideal conditions. I had not had time to work out the details of my new Nikon 10.5 mm fisheye lens. I had seven vertical shots and one looking straight up. I spent a week contemplating whether i could even make the panorama work. Images were de-fished in Nikon Capture. Detail brought out with Photoshop. Then I stitched them with a newly purchased copy of Ptgui 5.1. From there I did more touch-up in Photoshop and finally made Quicktime movie with Panocube. If nothing else, this was a great learning experience.
Click background or press ESC to close this dialog.
How can I …?
… Look around on touch devices?
Touch and drag the picture
Pinch/spread to zoom
… Look around with a mouse?
Place your mouse pointer over the picture.
Press and hold the mouse button.
Move the mouse slowly to spin the view.
Release the mouse button to stop moving.
Zoom with mouse wheel or shift/ctrl
… Make the picture bigger?
Tap or click the zoom icon in the bottom right corner of the picture to switch between in-page and fullscreen view
With the mouse you can also right click and choose "Fullscreen"
Note: This will reload a high resolution version, if necessary.
… Browse to another panorama?
Choose any of these options to navigate:
Use the links in the green menu bar at the top
Slide the dotted area in the info header to the left or right
Use the left/right arrows at the sides of the panorama (if visible)