Archive for January, 2013

360° panorama by David Rowley.
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In July 1985 during Greenpeace’s protests against the French nuclear testing in the South Pacific the Rainbow Warrior, which at the time was Greenpeace’s flagship was based in Auckland Harbour. On the night of the 10th of July the occupants of the ship heard a loud explosion coming from the ship, this was soon followed by another explosion which sank the ship and also killed one of the occupants. The attack was carried out by the French intelligence service in response to Greenpeace’s protests against their Nuclear tests. The following month the wreck was refloated and later relocated to a location near Matauri Bay. Today a memorial stands on top of this hill and the wreck is now one of the most popular dive wreck in New Zealand.
360° panorama by David Rowley.
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Chambers Pillar (Aboriginal name 'Idracowra' or 'Etikaura') is a sandstone formation some 160 km south of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. Erosion by wind and rain has left an isolated pillar of 350 million year old sandstone, rising 50 metres above the surrounding plain.John McDouall Stuart was the first European to see Chambers Pillar, reaching the site in April 1860, and naming it after James Chambers, one of his South Australian sponsors. During the subsequent years numerous visitors have added graffiti by carving names in the soft sandstone at the base of the pillar.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chambers_Pillar
360° panorama by Marcio Cabral.
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  The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is an historic luxury hotel located on the Malecón in the middle of Vedado, Havana, Cuba. It stands on Taganana hill a few meters from the sea, and offers a view of Havana Harbor, the seawall and the city.The New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White designed the hotel, which features a mix of styles. It opened in 1930, when Cuba was a prime travel destination for Americans, long before the United States embargo against Cuba. In its 80+ years of existence, the hotel has had many important guests.The hotel was built on the site of the Santa Clara Battery, which dates back to 1797. Part of the battery has been preserved in the hotel's gardens, including two large coastal guns dating from the late 19th Century. There is also a small museum there featuring the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. During the crisis, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara set up their headquarters there to prepare the defense of Havana from aerial attack.The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is a World Heritage Site and a National Monument, and it was inscribed in the World Memory Register.[citation needed]Among its first illustrious guests were artists, actors, athletes and writers such as Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Keaton, Jorge Negrete, Agustín Lara,Rocky Marciano, Tyrone Power, Rómulo Gallegos, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando and Ernest Hemingway. The hotel's reputation is backed by patrons such as Winston Churchill, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, scientist Alexander Flemming, and innumerable Ibero-American Heads of State and European monarchs. Minnesota (United States) Governor Jesse Ventura stayed at the hotel while visiting Cuba on a trade mission in 2002.[citation needed]In 1933, after Fulgencio Batista's 4 September 1933 coup against the transitional government, it was the residence of Sumner Welles, a special envoy sent by U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to mediate the crisis, and was the site of a bloody siege that pitted the officers of the Cuban army, who had been instrumental in the overthrow of Gerardo Machado (August 12. 1933), against the non-commissioned officers and other ranks of the Cuban army, who supported Batista.In December 1946 it hosted an infamous mob summit run by Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky and attended by Santo Trafficante, Jr., Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia, Vito Genovese and many others. Francis Ford Coppola memorably dramatised the conference in his film The Godfather Part II.By 1955, Lansky had managed to persuade Batista to give him a piece of the Nacional. That same year Pan Am's Intercontinental Hotels Corporation took over management of the hotel. Lansky planned to take a wing of the 10-storey hotel and create luxury suites for high stakes players. Batista endorsed Lansky's idea even though there were objections from American expatriates such as Ernest Hemingway. Under Lansky's impetus, a wing of the grand entrance hall was refurbished to include a bar, a restaurant, a showroom and a luxurious casino. It was operated by Lansky and his brother Jake, with Wilbur Clark as the front man.In 1956, singer Nat King Cole was contracted to perform in Cuba and wanted to stay at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Havana, but was not allowed to because he was black. Cole honored his contract, and the concert at the Tropicana was a huge success. The following year, he returned to Cuba for another concert, singing many songs in Spanish. There is now a tribute to him in the form of a bust and a jukebox in the Hotel Nacional.[14]The new wing of the elegant hotel, consisting of Clark's famous Casino Internacional, the adjoining Starlight Terrace Bar, and the Casino Parisién night club (home of the Famous Dancing Waters), opened for business in January 1956 with a show byEartha Kitt.[1] The casino and clubs were an immediate success. According to an unpublished article sent to Cuban Information Archives around 1956-57, "The bar was tended by local bartenders, and the casino managed by gentlemen from Las Vegas."[2] By the spring of 1957 the casino, sublet by the hotel for a substantial rent to Lansky, was bringing in as much cash as the biggest casinos in Las Vegas.Fidel Castro closed the casino in October 1960, almost two years after his overthrow of Batista. After years of neglect due to the disappearance of tourism following the revolution, the hotel was mainly used to accommodate visiting diplomats and foreign government officials. The collapse of the USSR forced the Cuban communist party, anxious for foreign exchange reserves, to reopen Cuba to tourists. Despite its restoration during the 1990s, the hotel no longer carries the status and impact it once did, but its remaining splendor and history serves as tangible link to Cuba's past.[citation needed]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Nacional_de_Cuba 
360° panorama by Matthias Kunze.
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Inside the market of Mariscal Caceres. This is a typical market as it can be found all over Perú. You can find groceries, houshold goods, shoemakers, DVDs and many more things.I took this photo hand-held after having a delicious fresh pineapple juice. One of the empty glases was mine.
360° panorama by Marcio Cabral.
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360° panorama by yunzen liu.
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Jiuzhaigou is a scenic area of outstanding beauty in southwest China’s Sichuan province. The World Heritage-listed spot is situated about 400 kilometers north of the province’s capital city, Chengdu, and is over 80 kilometers long, covering an area of 60,000 hectares. ‘Jiuzhaigou’ means ‘Nine Village Valley’ and refers to the nine villages of Tibetan people here.  The spot was discovered by some woodcutters in the 1970s and was so admired over the next few years that it was consequently listed as one of the most important scenic spots in China in 1982. By 1992 Jiuzhaigou had become one of China’s 33 World Heritage sites, including E’Mei Mountain and Huangshan Mountain. There are six scenic spots in the Jiuzhaigou area: Changhai, Jianyan, Nuorilang, Shuzheng, Zharu and Heihai. Its double waterfalls, snowy peaks, colorful forests and green seas have made Jiuzhaigou known throughout the world. The area also has the added charm of Tibetan culture.  Five flowers lake is the quintessence of natural beauty in Jiuzhaigou, featuring an exquisite patchwork of colors: pale red, bright yellow, greenish black, dark blue and pale blue. It is located at the upper reaches of Kongque River in Rize Valley at an altitude of 2,472 meters. The entire shimmering surface of the lake covers an area of nearly 90,000 square meters.  The amazing and colorful phenomenon is a result of the distributional difference of calcium deposits, algae, ferns and sunken plants on the bottom of the lake. The gorgeous color cluster of the lake looks like a huge baldric studded with numerous gems, resplendent and distinguished. The panorama was taken in the Five flowers lakehttp://www.chinatouronline.com/china-travel/jiuzhaigou/jiuzhaigou-attractions/Jiuzhai-Valley-National-Park_400.htmlhttp://www.chinatouronline.com/china-travel/jiuzhaigou/jiuzhaigou-attractions/Multi-coloured-Lake_282.html360-degree panorama photography by yunzeng liu
360° panorama by Pietro Madaschi.
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The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is considered the most beautiful "covered street" in Italy. Finished in 1878, few years after the birth of the Italian state, it has a cross plant with a dome in the center and, of the four arms, one is connected to the Duomo Square and the opposite one to La Scala Concert Hall. During Xmas time many thousand lights give an extraordinary effect particularly on the dome: in the top center the emblem of Milan.
360° panorama by John Austin Roberts.
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The Red Butte gets its name from the nugget sandstone formation, deposited as sand dunes 150 to 200 million years ago. The Red Butte Canyon sandstone was once quarried for use in construction. The old Salt Lake City Hall, located across the street from the State Capitol building, is constructed of the rock brought down by rail car. Several old houses in the area on Capitol Hill are also constructed of the same material.On this cold January morning, the valley below is locked in an atmospheric inversion, when cold air traps fog and pollution below that cannot rise through the warmer air above.   The surrounding mountains also help trap the pooled cold air and the ground cover of snow insures that temperatures near the ground will remain near or below freezing.  That morning, the 2.5 particulate index was near 40.  By way of comparison, on the same day in Beijing the PM2.5 was near 200.
360° panorama by mantas talmantas.
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Here u see a soviet style room interior. So here I used my hand made pano head ( https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151647566793136&set=a.435578938135.223407.508913135&type=1&theater ) which, as someone correctly stated "does not look like a ninja head"  :) and now I tried ptguy instead of hugin for stitching. I am quite pleased with a result. This was a high dynamic range pano, and i used 3 different exposures. 1/60, 1/400, 1/2500 with 400 iso and f6.3 i believe. I am very happy with a result sins closest objects (like bicycle handle) where 50-70 cm away from lens, and for my pano head - that’s a challenge for sure :)
360° panorama by Marc Sans.
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l'homme nouveau