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Crazy photo of a stadium

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 28, 2005

Crazy photo of a stadium. Can anyone tell me what kind of lens this was shot with? Any other examples like this online?

Reader comments

brianFeb 28, 2005 at 5:12PM

there are a few lenses that do 180 degrees, the sigma 8mm and the canon 15mm fisheye for example. it wouldn’t work mounted on a digital rebel or 10/20d, but on film it should. i think. =)

ChristopherFeb 28, 2005 at 5:17PM

filter: polar coordinates?

KeithFeb 28, 2005 at 5:20PM

In Infinite Jest, when there are digressions about James Incandenza’s crazy lens work, I always picture entire movies that look like that.

Tom HouyFeb 28, 2005 at 5:23PM

There’s alot of good info on panoramic images at http://www.panoguide.com/howto/panoramas/spherical.jsp

Fisheye lenses and panoramic equipment can cost an arm and a leg, but you can pull off a similar effect with some careful shooting and the right software/photoshop plugin.

There is also a photoshop plugin called Flexify that will give you a similar result…

http://www.flamingpear.com/flexify.html

John DoeFeb 28, 2005 at 5:25PM

Spherical mirror maybe? (just guessing :P)

RyanFeb 28, 2005 at 5:36PM

From the gallery section of the photographer’s website, it appears that he specializes in QVTR and panoramic photography. Some of his shots seem to be single image stitches of a 360° QVTR. Or it could be a very intriguing use of a really nice fisheye lens. If so, count me uber-jealous.

Nathan LoganFeb 28, 2005 at 5:50PM

This is very clearly black magic. If you visit the site to see the image, make sure you turn on “Hex Blocking” (under Tools > Options)…

;)

luposFeb 28, 2005 at 5:59PM

it is indeed a qtvr but it is not stiched it in infact the original image before being converted to qtvr.
it is taken by pointing a camera straight down or up at a dome shaped mirro so that you capture the
entire surrounding area
like this thing: http://www.kaidan.com/Detail.bok?no=101

flashFeb 28, 2005 at 6:53PM

I do not believe it is a dome mirror: those all have a black circle or a reflection of the camera itself in the middle of the picture and the stadium picture doesn’t. That looks like one wicked lens to me.

RodFeb 28, 2005 at 7:02PM

I´m almost sure it is a fisheye lens.

KFeb 28, 2005 at 7:08PM

It’s not a lense… if it was a fisheye lense then there would be a proper centre.. at the moment that picture is skewed to one side

jkottkeFeb 28, 2005 at 7:14PM

Andy pointed me to a site that has a copy of the photo in question…they produce panoramic images.

rgFeb 28, 2005 at 7:47PM

It is an anamorphic image. Either the film plane, lens, or reflecting device was something ‘unusual’. Depending how the film lies (or reflector reflects), the image is recorded. Usually it is done with a funky film plane. If anyone wants to send me an omniscope I’d bow a thousand times.

rgFeb 28, 2005 at 8:02PM

2nd look says its just a fisheye, but they can be anamophs as well ;)

jimFeb 28, 2005 at 8:55PM

http://www.merzhase.com/archives/cat_en_glossar.html


Hyperbolic Panorama
Concept from non-Euclidian Geometry. In this context it refers to the hyperbolic projection of a panorama. The cartography is elaborated through various projection methods in order to develop a two-dimensional map from a sphere like the earth. Example City-view, Example Indoor-view

OscarFeb 28, 2005 at 9:05PM

Uh, did you not click on the link under the picture?

jkottkeFeb 28, 2005 at 10:28PM

Uh, did you not click on the link under the picture?

No, because apparently I’m some sort of idiot. Cripes. Need more sleep.

timMar 01, 2005 at 4:05AM

While not as extreme as this, I have a friend in Seattle who uses a slit-scan camera to take panoramas that aren’t stitched together— what you see is how the image was recorded due to the unique scanning nature of the camera (the film stays stationary and the lens rotates around the film):

http://www.gorfkle.com/richfield.html
http://www.gorfkle.com/quellos.html
http://www.gorfkle.com/new/retail3.html

The image you linked here is definitely not taken as is from the camera due to the geometry evident in the final shot— no slit-scan camera and/or lens combination could render the image as such with hyperbolic geometry. The exposure itself would be extremely difficult to calculate. As they say, it’s digital.

PeterMar 01, 2005 at 5:34AM

It’s quite simple: The 8 source images where shot with an 8mm Sigma fisheye and a Canon SLR. Then stitched to a fullsphere Panorama. The resulting picture was remaped to a hyperbolic image with Photoshop and Flexify as mentioned above.
Some more examples here:
http://www.alpinorama.com and http://www.merzhase.com.

ZakMar 01, 2005 at 6:13AM

I’d say they used a midget. It’s a pretty expensive piece of equipment, but it
helps you get exactly the right position and focus you want without you needing
to do too much adjustment or awkward fumbling. You barely do any work at all.

Then they probably used photoshop/flex and then cleaned it up.

ZacMar 01, 2005 at 9:59AM

I’d say they used a midget. They charge an arm and a leg, but they help you hold the camera so that you can focus (you know, small hands and all) and they can also help carry all of your equipment given their short but stout stature. You barely do any work at all.

laurenboveMar 02, 2005 at 3:57PM

Oh, I thought it was a theoretical worm hole in the time space continuum. Danm! There goes my dreams of traveling back to the future.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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