At the same time I was bitten by the digital photography bug in 1999, I was seeing the beginning of interactive panoramas on the Internet. They grabbed me for being able to let me choose in what direction I looked. I wasnít stuck with a single view of a scene. I started wondering how were they created? Could I create the same myself, or better? Well after plenty of research and reading I found some basic tools and was on my way to creating my own work. At first I concentrated on viewing my panoramas interactively, until I realised how good they looked printed as well.
I have lived in Malvern, England, for most of my life, and it is a place that I have no plans to leave. Itís a wonderful location, somewhere so stunning that is has been designated as an ďArea of Outstanding Natural BeautyĒ. The town is wrapped around the hills that form its backbone and in no distance at all you can go from standing on the banks of the river Severn to 425 meters above sea level on the highest point of the hills.
I believe that it is all too easy to miss the beauty of the area that you live in. You become numb to what you see every day and to what you have around you. It takes someone visiting to remind you how lucky you are, for what you have right on your own doorstep. It is for this reason that I try to shoot most of my panoramas locally, with each of them preserving a moment in time at a specific location.
I'm a member of the International VR Photography Association and enjoy taking part in on-line events like the World Wide Panorama project and submitting my work to the 360 Cities site. It is through these sites, and others, that I am able to share my panoramas and enthusiasm for them with the rest of the world. I am able to let others see the beauty that surrounds me.
From my beginnings in dgital photography I've always been a Nikon guy, that said I've got nothing against Canon, it's just my choice. At first I played with a Nikon Coolpix 990 (with a FC-E8 fisheye adaptor lens) before moving through a Nikon D70 to a Nikon D300 with a Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye lens. This combination provides me with reliable good quality results.
All this usually then sits a top a panoramic head and tripod. At first the panoramic head was home made and the tripod was "generic" but now I use a Nodal Ninja panoramic head and Manfrotto tripod. Both I would happily recommend to others but Nodal Ninja I would single out due to exemplary customer service (both directly and through their UK reseller Red Door VR Limited here in the UK) and build quailty.
Ok this setup might not be the lightest, but as I'm not climbing up mountains, I'm not that bothered. To me having something that is reliable is enough.