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(March 17–20, 2005)

Mark Fink

Cheese Grommit!

Edward S. Fink

Shopping for Fun at the Mall of America

Bloomington, Minnesota, USA

March 19, 2005 - 18:12 UTC (12:12 local time)

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© 2005 Edward S. Fink, All Rights Reserved.

Unaffected by the last snow storm of the winter, two boys check to see how much fun they can buy at Camp Snoopy in the Mall of America.

Also see other WWP Mall of America panoramas from Minnesota photographers Grant Hermanson and Scott Stillman.

Mall of America is the largest mall in the U.S. and draws 42 million visitors each year; more than Disney World, Graceland and the Grand Canyon combined.

Seven Yankee Stadiums would fit inside Mall of America.

Spending 10 minutes in every store would take a shopper more than 86 hours to complete their visit to Mall of America.

Mall of America is located on the former Metropolitan Sports Stadium which was home to the Minnesota Vikings and Twins. Home plate can be found in Camp Snoopy.

Peanuts creator Charles Schultz was a native of St. Paul.

Besides Charlie Brown's infamous Kite Eating Tree seen in the panorama, there are 400 live trees and 30,000 live plants in Camp Snoopy.
There are more panoramas of the Mall of America at NEW-EDEN.COM, including a New Year's Eve stage show with Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, and Lucy, and a Valentine's Day Underwater Wedding in the shark tank at Underwater Adventures.
Nikon D70, Sigma 8mm, Kaidan QuickPan III, Panorama Tools, PTGui, Enblend, PanoCube, Photoshop. ISO 200, 1/100@f8, RAW
Behind the scene : how this panorama was made
Thanks to Avery Kirchner and Spencer Fink for posing, and to my beautiful wife Mary Ann Fink for bravely attempting to control two fun crazed boys. And thanks to Anna Lewicki at the Mall of America.

I originally wanted to shoot the kids handing over their money jar, or dumping out a huge pile of change at the ticket window. I was going for a "Norman Rockwell Does VR" look. But the ticket booth ladies freaked out over getting their pictures taken, so I had to come up with a quick Plan B. The height chart was kind of cute, and it let me positon the camera to keep both ticket ladies out of the picture.

At one point the messy table in the picture was nice and neat, with drinks out, cookies purchased just for props, shopping bags displayed nicely, etc. But we should have known - you can't have "prop cookies" around kids!! And they poured out the drinks - on themselves and on the floor, then rolled around in the puddles.

Scott Stillman stopped by to talk while shooting his WWP Marketplace panorama, and he escaped just seconds before we could draft him to help protect the prop cookies.

The only other problem we had during the shooting was with something they call "Minnesota Nice." People kept trying to add money to the change jar!

Later, when I thought I was completely finished with the panorama I realized there were no roller coasters anywhere on the track, plus the huge Kite Eating Tree ride was stopped and you couldn't see any people on it. So I stitched a new panorama with three alternate shots - the approaching roller coaster, the tree ride in motion, and the other roller coaster moving away, then layered parts of that panorama over the first one.

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