Middle Drakensberg – Amphitheater – South Africa

The Drakensberg mountains are about 100 miles  inland from Durban. The range extends about 100 miles, in three distinctive sections: North, Middle, South. If you’ve seen the movie Zulu, you’ve seen this part of the world. Every other  winter, there will be a light dusting of snow that lasts a couple of  days. Many of the bushmen caves are to be found here. The hiking is  tremendous and varied, with dozens of resorts to stay at. This area is  mainly populated by rural Zulus. Each year in late winter, early spring,  they burn the grass. The reason is that this area is very dry. If the  grass were long, it would lay flat and the water would run off. By  burning the grass, the water is held, the land rejuvenates, and the  grass returns.

This is a view of the Middle Drakensberg peaks from below Tugela Falls. Tugela Falls is the 2nd highest waterfall in the world, but is dry in August (when we visited).

I am not 100% certain of this location, but I believe it is close.
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Sebago Resort Dock Late night pano

I did this one many years ago. A crazy pano. A very dark night with no moon (until later). I started around midnight and worked until 5 in the morning. I was testing the technique of leaving the cameras lens wide open for minutes at a time, while I walked around and “painted” the scene with my flash. So literally all the light you see along the shoreline (except for the lights at the top of the bank) was my flase. Thirty of them at least. Towards the end of the night (facing south), the moon came out, so I had different lighting problems. And if you look west, you can see the movement of stars across the sky. Of course this was back in the film days, so I had no idea what I was going to get until I had the film developed days later. Sure was a lot of fun and something I doubt I’ll get to repeat.

Moving panorama hosting to 360cities

It has always been annoying that the Microsoft HDView tool relies on silverlight and forces users to install a plugin. Not to mention that I started embedding the panoramas in my page and that led to problems … crashes and lack of 360 deg awareness. So I took another look around at free hosting tools, and gigapan and 360cities emerged as two good options. Gigapan is picky in that they reject panoramas that are too small. They REALLY mean giga. 360cities has some restrictions, but not as severe.

For now, I am moving to 360cities. While my panoramas are not good enough for them to include publicly, they will host them so I can show them here.

My 360cites profile can be found at http://www.360cities.net/profile/richmacd

Sebago – Cabin 6 – Kitchen – 2011

This is the start of a series of pictures I took of the insides of the cabins at Sebago. I am doing high-resolution (zoomed lens) and HDR in a cramped space, so the limitations of the camera do show, and it is really hard to get it perfectly. So it isn’t perfect.

Kitchen Interior of Cabin 6, Sebago Resort in USABy the way, the HDView panorama is the best way to see the cabin, but if we look at one picture, we have to choose which distortion we least dislike. The above image is hemispherical, and is used for the HDView panorama. Below is the panini projection, which tries to keep straight lines as straight lines. Better in some ways; worse in others.