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(June 15-21, 2007)

Paul Stewart

My Neighbour

Shawn Steigner

IVRPA 2007 Conference - Community of Panographers

Barrows Hall Balcony, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

6/16/2007 19:28:01

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© 2007 Shawn Steigner, All Rights Reserved.

This panorama was taken just after a geographic emergency: sunset. After a day of equipment sharing and a reception to celebrate this web site in particular, we were summoned to the balcony of Barrows Hall to appreciate the turning of the planet. What better reverence to the spinning of the Earth than the spinning of a robotic lego pano head created by Ian Wood? By far, the most impressive device displayed during the conference, Ian's creation can be seen here along with Ian himself. That's him programming the head with a CELL PHONE!

Here's Ian's pano from this shoot.

This panorama features my first use of QTVR hotspots. Intimidated as usual at incorporating new tricks to pano-presentation, I had never used hotpsots in a QTVR .mov file. Thanks to the ease of Pano2QTVR (credit - Thomas Rauscher), I couldn't resist giving it a try with a pano that shows so many people who have web sites (good ones too!)

Each person visible in this panorama is a clickable link to either their personal or professional web site. Some people are not completely visible but if I could figure out who the visible parts belong to they are a link. (I hope I got them all right - thanks Landis, Patrick and Hoyle for helping me figure out the ones I couldn't).

I was humbled by finding myself a community member of a group of extremely talented, knowledgeable and sharing cohort of people. The breadth of skills, ideas and promise gathered during the IVRPA conference in Berkeley exceeded the thoughts my imagination was churning up in anticipation the weeks prior to the event. I thought I was excited before the conference. Little did I know how unleashed my inner 14-year-old (term harvested from Gary O'Brien - thanks!) would become during and after this gathering of panographers. So many projects and ideas to incorporate into my panography, I'm a bit overwhelmed.

First, I must thank Willy Kamenea for encouraging me to "Go for it" with my monopod over the railing of Barrows Hall. This was my first attempt at a side-nadir pano. Not perfect, but it did entice me to try another two days later while on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Willy's enthusiasm and smiling face while sharing his train panos day one in the computer lab never ended during the conference. A truly positive person indeed.

Second, Mr. Aaron Spence from Australia. His incorporating of GPS info, shooting consistency (always starting North), back-end processing, and final output resulting in immediately useful panos immediately connectable to the larger data sets of mapping systems was invigorating and inspiring. Now that's how panos can be created efficiently and shared effectively. What really impressed me most of all about Aaron was his willingness to share his technique.

I could go on and I must. With analogy. I have a friend who is a carpenter. He enjoys seeing panos (or at least tolerates my constant "sharing" of panos). He asked about the conference and how it went. The best way I could relate it to him was comparing it to going to a conference of carpenters and meeting the guy who invented the hammer. All the carpenters use a hammer, but only one guy invented the hammer. But not only the inventor of the hammer, but also the inventor's of the saw, level, lathe and several other tools panographers around the world use were gathered at this event. And not a pretentious one in the bunch.

I especailly enjoyed meeting Thomas Rauscher-Pano2QTVR, Joost Nieuwenhuijse-PTGui, and Helmut Dersch-Panotools. These guys make what I do possible. And what impressed me the most was their humility. Real people who have a gift and are willing to share.

And the attendees. Some previously known only to me as lines of text or an email address on a mailing list, came to life as flesh and blood gathered in a 60+ year old dormitory. Just to name a few: Jan van der Woning, Hoyle Koontz, Pat Rooney, Pat Swovelin, John Housser, Jook Leung, Mike Quan, Gene Cooper, Milko Amorth. New friends: Travis Pynn from Marin County; Aaron Bailey from my old college town of Gainesville, Florida; Local contact Laura Pearson from my own state of Colorado whose panos I've seen as placemarks on the WWP map nearby my own (we will be working to have a mid-continent mini-IVRPA conference); Gary O'Brien, Thomas Lassiter, John Law, Uri Cogan all contributed to my personal experience at this event.

The final group I must acknowledge here are the organizers. Landis and Kat Bennett, G. Donald Bain, Patrick Cheatham, and others who I'm embarrassingly forgetting provided an environment like no other for the attending IVRPA members. As a working photog who often does elaborate events, I've seen my share of disaters at these kind of gatherings. These folks are not event planners/organizers/facilitators. But you wouldn't have known it. They deserve (and get from me) the highest appreciation for the work we didn't see but benefited from.
Hardware-Canon 30D, Sigma 8mm, Bogen Monopod, Mini-tripod, Bogen 300N Rotator, Wireless release
Software(in order)-Canon DPP raw converter, PhotoMatixPro, PTGui, PS-CS, Pano2QTVR

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