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Best Of 2021

(January – December 2021)


Rolls Royce Wraith

Robert Bilsland

Christmas Illuminations Almost Without An Official Turning On

Great Malvern, Worcestershire, England, UK

December 31, 2021, 19:33 UTC (19:33 local time)

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© 2021 Robert Bilsland, All Rights Reserved.


Malvern is a typical English town when it comes to Christmas decorations. A centrally placed, brightly lit Christmas tree and the surrounding streets, buildings and trees festooned with even more lights. At night, the whole town centre is bathed in twinkly light. Even more important is the switching on of these lights, an event that signifies the start of the festive period for the town and something that this year almost didn't take place.

These events are usually a grand affair, with maybe the local radio station taking part, an odd dignitary or two and plenty of people. With the pandemic, people are getting used to rules being changed and events cancelled, but this time it wasn't COVID's fault. This time it was all down to Mother Nature. With a forecast of heavy rain and high winds, the event had to be cancelled.

With everything else this year that had been cancelled, this was a bit of a downer. Luckily a few days later, and with a better weather forecast, the turning on of the light was able to be rearranged. Of course, the lights would have been turned on one way or the other, but it wouldn't have been the same without an official ceremony.


Taken with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G fisheye lens. Mounted on a Nodal Ninja 5 panoramic head and R-D16 rotator atop a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod. 3 bracketed shots (-1 0 +1) taken at 6 positions 60° apart, tilted 15° down, another set of shots taken looking straight up. Raw files then processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7.1 before being blended into single views and stitched together using PTGui Pro 10.0.19 and converted using Pano2VR Pro 6.1.14.

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