he human visual system is a remarkable creation that allows us to capture an internal model of the universe in which we are immersed. Eye and brain work in amazing concert to seemlessly piece together a natural, wide-angle view of our surroundings.
Conventional photography is a wondrous medium which can capture some of the beauty seen with our own natural vision, but it falls short in how much of the world it can grab in a single shot. Wide-angle lenses have helped to expand this scope, but even their limited expansion of the view comes at the price of significant distortion of the image.
Panoramic photography was invented over a century ago to overcome these narrow-angle limitations of the conventional medium. It gave a whole new ability to capture some of the true scope of what we see, but large, heavy, and expensive equipment has kept this technology something of a secret, and hidden on the back shelves of photographic technique.
by Bill Brockmeier
Canyon Lake & Dam (300°+ view): Comal County, Texas — © 2002, Bill Brockmeier
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This document was updated on 5/27/04.