Thursday, November 13, 2008

Granville Island: Panos

Panos are panorama photos of Granville Island, an island in the middle of the city (considered to be Downtown Vancouver) but it is an island surrounded by water on all sides except for the causeway entrance from the south. It is a vibrant tourist area filled with restaurants, gift stores, boat charters, a marina and a very sucessful "farmers" market, food fair, bakeries, coffee shops and all types of ethnic food is available.

(feel free to click on any pano, then use the + magnifying glass to view the pano at full size, and drag the bar below to scroll back and forth)

You are able to purchase food and spices from many lands. It's all here. During the summer there are entertainers to keep you busy. Many visitors arrive in their own water craft and dock at the public floats. You are able to go on a scenic harbour tour, rent your own boat or just people watch.

(This pano is comprised of 5 photos stitched together)

I have been doing panos for a few years, but you normally don't view horizontals head on as it creates distortion, usually concave or convex lines will give you the sensation of "bowing". The first pano was taken on a 45 degree angle to give you a more normal view, but I wanted to show you the diversity of products available and how they are disbursed throughout the complex. Handicraft vendors are located beside fruit vendors and beside food vendors, they are not grouped together as you would expect. The crowds have thinned a bit since summer.

(Granville Bridge, spanning False Creek, looking north)

Because of the inclement weather, it was a little deserted outside. In good weather you would not be able to find a place to have a seat, but today you had the place all to yourself.
For some reason there is this sudden interest in Panos so I thought I would post a few. Most digital cameras don't have wide angle lenses, so often I take 2 photos and stitch them together creating an approx 20mm field of view. There is also a distortion factor on wide angles lenses which you will not notice as long as your view is on the same horizontal plane, (ie not pointing your camera UP or DOWN) otherwise you will get concave or convex horizontal distortion lines. The more wide angle your lens is, then the more distortion it will exhibit. There is an article on Luminous Landscape that compares a Canon wide angle lens with a photostitched image, but right now, I can't locate it. The conclusion was that as compared to a 20mm or wider lens, a series of digital images with lens set for about 45mm (which is normal perspective and stitched together) resulted in a cleaner image with less or non-existant distortion. Unless your subject can be taken with the camera completely horizontal (as prev mentioned) your horizon will be either convex or concave and will be impossible to stitch without distortion.

Here's an interesting article to get you started

Sometimes you require more pixels in order to print a larger photo. As mentioned in this article, you are able to stitch more images together to accumulate more pixels in your image, thus you are able to produce a much larger photo than your camera was capable of .


  1. Great pictures. I uploaded a collection of panos on my live site for your entertainment. They are up course compress but you will get a sense of them at .

  2. jeffry:

    very nice panos. before I saw your location map I was guessing that some looked like Utah, or Yellowstone NP. I usually take panos on my travels. I have quite a few from the Grand Canyon that I have not yet stitched together. On that trip we also went to Utah, Arches NP, Canyonlands and Arizona.