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Nick Milligan

Best Of 2008

Ken McMahon

City of Lights

Truro, Cornwall, England, UK

November 19, 2008, 20:00 UTC

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© 2008 Ken McMahon, All Rights Reserved.



Truro's City of Lights festival and street parade was started in 1995 and has taken place every year since.

As well as Year-Six children from local primary schools; community groups, colleges, artists and local businesses collaborate to make the themed lanterns. The 2008 parade, on the theme "The Light Fantastic" took place on Wednesday, 19 November.

This panorama shows students from University College Falmouth as they near the end of the procession in Princes Street with one of the three giant lanterns they created for City of Lights 2008.


Canon EOS 20D, Sigma 8mm f3.5 EX DG, 360 Precision Adjuste

Behind the scene : how this panorama was made

Technically this was quite a challenging panorama for me as I'd never before shot a large crowd scene like this and, although I've made night time panoramas before, they've been landscapes with no people or other moving objects.

I shot using exposures of around a 25th of a second at 1600 ISO using my 360 Precision Adjuste mounted on a fully extended Gitzo monopod. At over two metres, the camera and head were out of reach; to get the four shots required I rotated the monopod, while trying to keep the camera as level as possible, and fired the shutter using a wireless release.

To be honest, given the problems with crowd movement and keeping the monopod level, I wasn't expecting things to work out well. At the very least I expected to have to do a lot of retouching and I wouldn't have been all that surprised if the images had turned out to be totally unusable.

In the event the images stitched with very little trouble (using Stitcher Unlimited) and although i had to do some retouching to correct for camera and subject movement, it was nothing like as bad as I'd anticipated.

I'm quite pleased with the results and will be attempting more big crowd scenes in future. A spirit level attached to the monopod would probably be a help as would some way of locking the 360 precision Adjuste so it doesn't accidentally turn.

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