For my Landmarks project, I wanted to create a panorama of a Wakefield District scene out of photographs.
I’ve painted panoramas before and knew of a few sites where you can get a good view across the district. Whilst driving between Denby Dale Road and Netherton I can across a new viewpoint, one that took in Horbury as well as the city centre.
I bought a new camera when I was doing the Solitary Tree project. I got it because it has a good zoom facility.
I thought I’d use this to take a number of photographs of this new view, putting the camera on maximum zoom and taking a number of overlapping shots.
I read the manual to make sure I understood the functions available and intended to take each photograph using a 3-second timer, to reduce camera shake (the camera would be on a tripod).
On the 14th of December, on a very cold and frosty morning, I headed to the viewpoint.
I was amazed at how much I could see with the 60 X zoom I had on the camera. I was also surprised at how many photographs I would have to take to get the view in. I stuck with just photographing the strip of landscape that was naturally framed by both the field line in the foreground and by the power lines between the pylons in the middle distance. I figured out that those two lines would help me to assemble the photographs later. I realised that if I used the 3-second timer I would be there for hours so I took the photographs using the shutter button and tried not to shake the camera too much (which was hard in the cold). It was only when I got back to the studio that I saw I had taken 438 photographs. Rather than assemble the panorama digitally, I thought I should send the photographs to be developed and then assemble them by hand.
It was also exciting waiting for the photographs to arrive.
After a week, 14 packets of photographs arrived. Assembling them was an enjoyable process.
I was very pleased to see so many of the photographs were in such good focus, especially as there was a great range in distances.
In this section, you can see the chimneys from the new power plant at Ferrybridge behind the pylon. They are 20 km away.
I was pleased to find there were not too many gaps as I collaged the photographs together. I decided against sticking them to pieces of mount board, instead, I stuck them to each other in A1-size chunks (for ease of transportation)
In this section, you can see the water tower at Pontefract Race Course in the distance.
The complete panorama is 10m long.
I then experimented with different ways of exhibiting it. I attached three of the A1 sections to a length of aluminum bar that I had curved slightly. This was then suspended by fishing line, so that it appeared to float in space.
As a final development of the project, I produced a painting of one of the 438 photographs, as I was intrigued by the image. It was something I never noticed when I was looking at the view, it only came to my attention once I had the photographs had been developed.