Masters of Contemporary Panoramic Photography
The Palmela 2011 Organization is pleased to announce an exhibit featuring some of the leading practitioners in the field of 360-degree digital photography – The Masters of Contemporary Panoramic Photography.This exhibit will be staged among the columns and arches of the historic São Tiago Church crowning the peak at Palmela Castle. The combination of soaring light-filled spaces and brilliant graphics by a select group of our respected colleagues will make this a unique showcase for the art and science of panoramic photography. The exhibit will run throughout the summer, open to the public and promoted in local and international media.
Digital technology has made it possible to capture and then display the entire spherical view of reality — pictures where you can look all the way around, up and down, and even zoom in and out. This is truly the cutting edge of art and science in photography.
Affordable digital cameras, ubiquitous computer use, and the internet have made it possible for almost any photographer to get involved. But only a relatively small number have stepped up to the challenge and begun to explore the potential of this new specialty. Creating these unique images is an order of magnitude more complicated and demanding than regular single-shot photography, and that hurdle alone has kept the field of practictioners small. Almost everyone who succeeds in producing a 360-degree panorama is in this sense a master.
Beyond the technical challenges, there are cultural and artistic opportunities. This photographic form is ideal for documentation of real places – landscapes, cityscapes, interiors, events, commercial properties, even crime scenes. The inclusive and impartial nature of an all-around image contrasts with the selective and subjective nature of individual photographs, adding both to the value and the challenge. We have been given a unique opportunity to chronicle our place and time in the world.
Creative photographers are finding new ways to express their artistic vision in the 360° idiom. Spherical imagery allows us to distort conventional reality and enable the viewer to look in opposite (or all) directions in a single image. We can also place the viewpoint in improbable or impossible locations, or bring forth details normally obscured by the limitations of conventional photography. Lacking a rectangular frame and limits we must find new ways to direct the viewers’ attention and guide their exploration.