Panoramics of Gibraltar. I have been asked so many times by clients big and small for something different to illustrate their product of location over the years. A client in Gibraltar  also wanted somethign different. so I showed the an image I took for an Oil refinery in Wales. MURCO OIL REFINERY WALES

My client wanted the refinery to look ‘ pretty ‘ a difficult task to say the least. and the final image was to be blown up to 10 metres by almost three metres , That around 30 feet by 9 feet. The quality had to be stunning also. Yes you can do a panoramic on an iphone or amateur digital camera, but the quality ? These images are from between 150 mbts and 4 gigbyts each ! Meaning they can be enlarged to enormous sizes without loss of quality.GIBRALTAR AT NIGHT

So I decided the only was to to do a panoramic. this involved 64 separate images. 32 for a sunset sky and 32 for the oil refinery and the foreground. The final image was 4 gigabytes in size. A lot of calculation and preparation was needed, not to mention the hours of work afterward.GIBRALTAR OCEAN VILLAGE

A true panoramic is not just a picture taken with a wide angle lens. the wide angle ‘ squeezes ‘ in as much as possible depending on the lens, but also distorts perspective in order to do so. Don’t try taking close up portraits of your friends with a wide angle if you want to keep your friends !GIBRALTAR OCEAN VILLAGE

A panoramic is a series of carefully overlapped images blended together. a special tripod head is used which includes a leveler, spirit level, and panoramic head for the camera. It is not possible to use a normal tripod head.

Creating a good panorama requires thought, calculation and experience. For example you cant shoot one from a boat or other moving object. Nor can you normally do a ‘ pano’  of objects that are themselves moving, boats under sail, busy street scenes with moving traffic etc. Because you are overlapping images you will capture two or more of a moving object or person producing several ‘ ghosts ‘ Great sometimes if you want a surreal image. not if your clients wants accuracy !GIBRALTAR AND CASEMATES

Talking of ‘ ghost ‘ images. A UK Council which looked after an area with a population some 200 times that of Gibraltar and Gibraltar has a government.  Wanted a picture of the new shopping mall without people Trouble was they had already opened it and thousands of people walked through every hour. No problem I said. The man at the council looked at me suspiciously. ” you can do it ” ?


Off I went to the busy shopping Mall. I borrowed a ladder and climbed onto a high ledge among potted plants. Set up my camera. It was loaded with the slowest film available. the wonderful Kodachrome 25. 35mm still vastly superior in quality to any digital camera today. I added two 8x neutral density filters, these reduced the light coming into my camera by 16 times. Working out the reciprocity failure factor and colour shift ( I wont go into that here ! ) I decided that the inddor shot would take over 1.5 hours.

I released the shutter on ‘B ‘ left the camera in its position and went for lunch in the local pub. Nice way to earn a living !


Well I presented the picture to the man at the council. The only sign of a human being was the slight ghost of a man who had stopped outside a television shop to watch TV for around 20 minutes. Other than him the shopping center was empty. can you work out why ?


Next blog panarama’s in Rhondda and Ronda !

About kfbphoto

Photo-journalist for over 25 years. Providing the finest news images and commercial work to many of the worlds top companies, media and the public. an innovator who was one of the first digital artists and published the UK's first local newspapers on an computer. Vast experience in film and digital. Writer, author and lecturer about photography. BBC overseas weekly radio spot for over a year on photography with 350,000 listeners. Now based in Gibraltar and Spain providing top quality service and with own personal ever expanding picture and image library

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