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(June 16–21, 2005)

Duri Campell (Duca)

Swimming Pool

Craig A. Busch

Blue Lagoon

Huntsville, Texas, USA

June 21, 2005 2:05 PM CST

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© 2005 Craig A. Busch, All Rights Reserved.

When it came time to choose a water theme for WWP, there was no question as to where I wanted to shoot. The Blue Lagoon is one of the most unusual bodies of water I have ever seen in Texas.

Sparkling artesian springs feed an old rock quarry that was mined for over 50 years and which now creates a beautiful environment for scuba diving. Name comes from the blue appearance of the water. Low PH factor makes for clear water with up to 50 feet visibility. Submerged boats, planes, and platforms are strategically placed in two lagoons which are often referred to as the Texas Cozumel.

I once arranged a Red Cross safety training film here because of the clear water which allowed for underwater filming.
Nikon D70 40mm lens 18 vertical shots stitched with Panorama Factory 3.0
Behind the scene : how this panorama was made
I typically shoot panoramas two different ways. Either on a tripod with a panohead or hand-held. The panohead I use is made by Jasper Engineering and has since been improved. No click stops, just a smooth panhead with markers and a level. When I shoot panoramas for movie scouting, I rarely have the luxury of setting up a tripod as time is of the essence. Hand-held is the preferred method as I can shoot many panoramas very quickly and move on.

With almost a two hour drive to the Blue Lagoon to shoot, I decided to go hand-held to make the most of my time. I shot about sixteen panoramas between the two lagoons. It was hard to pick my favorite at first. But the final choice was the one that showed both the beauty of lagoon #1 and a scuba diver entering the water to define what the Blue Lagoon is exclusively used for.

I shot with a Nikon D70 and the kit lens set at about 40mm. I then took between 18 and 20 shots of each panorama. The reason for shooting with 40mm was to get a closer perspective to what our eyes see and to have less wide-angle distortion. This goes back to the panoramas I have shot for scouting purposes. When we were taping prints together, there would be too much distortion between shots if we shot too wide. Also, some directors would complain if the view was so wide that it gave a false sense of the true perspective.

Images were shot raw and converted to jpegs. Then downsized in photoshop. Some shadow detail was brought out with photoshop and then the images were stitched with Panorama Factory. I am working on fully immersive panoramas and trying out Realviz Stitcher to see if it gives better results.

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