Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden at Night

The Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park is a great place to view a dense grove of cacti. The 1/4 mile hike is right off Pinto Basin Road in the southern end of the park. David and I visited the garden under an almost full moon, and were the only ones there. I setup my tripod to take a panorama next to some cholla that were quite tall. The anthropomorphic cacti swayed in the wind under the moonlight.

Click below to view 3 night panoramas from the Cholla Cactus Garden.

Technical Details: Nikon D750 with Samyang 12mm fisheye lens, Sirui N-2204X carbon fiber tripod, Nodal Ninja R1 panohead. 6 shots around at an angle, and 1 down shot (nadir). Processed in Lightroom, stitched in PTGui Pro, output in krpano.

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Mare Island Cranes Full Moon 360 Panorama

 A 360 night panorama of cranes in front of the dry dock at Mare Island Naval Shipyard

A 360 night panorama of cranes in front of the dry dock at Mare Island Naval Shipyard

At last night's Nocturnes full moon alumni event on Mare Island, two large cranes were positioned in front of the dry dock. Click the image above to see the interactive 360 panorama shot in the historic core area of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

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Swiss Rock: A 360 Panorama of Madonna Inn Room 135

 Madonna Inn Room #135 - Swiss Rock

Madonna Inn Room #135 - Swiss Rock

This 360 panorama shows room #135 at the Madonna Inn, better known as Swiss Rock. Alex Madonna was Swiss, and the Madonna Inn features a few rock rooms with stones gathered from the surrounding farmland. You can also view 3 additional rooms in the 360 tour including Misty Rock, Rock Bottom, and What's Left.

Technical Details: This 360 panorama is composed of 6 shots around and 1 shot down using a Nikon D750 with a Samyang 12mm fisheye lens. I used a Nodal Ninja R1 panoramic head on a Sirui N-2204X carbon tripod. Five shots were taken at each camera position, 2 stops apart. The resulting images were processed in Lightroom, blended in Photomatix Pro, stitched in PTGui Pro, finalized in Photoshop, and output using krpano.

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The Signal Room: 360 Panoramas of an Underground Art Space on Yerba Buena Island

 A  360 panorama of The Signal Room  on San Francisco's Yerba Buena Island

A 360 panorama of The Signal Room on San Francisco's Yerba Buena Island

Back in February I heard that a group of artists was throwing underground events in The Signal Room -- an old naval signal tower on top of San Francisco's Yerba Buena Island. A friend knew the way in, and we spent an evening watching the sunset and taking photos. I've never met Eugene Ashton-Gonzalez, who was the ringleader behind these efforts. I really appreciate the magical transformation of this unique space with amazing views. Being able to turn around and see both spans of the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco skyline, and the Golden Gate off in the distance was fantastic.

I shot some 360 panoramas to remember how the place looked. The San Francisco Chronicle did a short documentary video on the space that's worth watching. There are no longer events taking place at The Signal Room. The tower now has security, and is slated for demolition this summer.

Update: The Signal Room was knocked down in early July.

Technical Details: Each of the 3 panoramas is composed of 6 shots around and 1 shot down using a Nikon D750 with a Samyang 12mm fisheye lens. I used a Nodal Ninja R1 panoramic head on a Sirui N-2204X carbon tripod. Bracketing at 2.0 stop intervals, 5 shots were taken at each camera position. The resulting images were processed in Lightroom, blended in Photomatix Pro, stitched in PTGui Pro, and output using krpano. Enjoy the panoramas!

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The Racers Line: FR-S and BRZ in Almost Every Color

 A  360 panorama  of The Racers Line featuring almost all of the colors of the FR-S and BRZ.

A 360 panorama of The Racers Line featuring almost all of the colors of the FR-S and BRZ.

The Racers Line is an performance auto parts and installation shop in Concord, California. Owned and operated by top notch mechanic Neal Wiebmer, The Racers Line specializes in the FR-S/BRZ/GT-86 platform, but also works on other performance cars including BMW, Porsche, and Lotus.

Neal has put in a lot of track days in a Scion FR-S, and really knows the FT-86 platform inside and out. Whether you're looking to add more power with a Jackson Racing or Edelbrock supercharger, or want to get your suspension dialed in for an HPDE session, Neal is the man.

The best part about having work done at The Racers Line is that you can make an appointment and hang out while the work gets done on your car. I always learn something, and leave with new ideas for future upgrades.

Neal wanted some new photos for The Racers Line website, Facebook, and Instagram. He asked a group of customers with different colored FR-S and BRZ to show up, and I took some photos. Thanks to Neal for herding the 86s, and to Paul for the great behind the scenes photos.

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Point Reyes Shipwreck 360 Panorama

 Point Reyes shipwreck in Inverness - click the image for an interactive view

Point Reyes shipwreck in Inverness - click the image for an interactive view

Earlier this month I took a drive out to West Marin. I stopped at the famous Point Reyes shipwreck in Inverness to eat lunch. I also wanted to test a new 360 pole panorama setup with the Rokinon/Samyang 12mm fisheye lens. For under $500, this full frame compatible lens is sharp from corner to corner, and comes in Canon and Nikon mounts.

Panoramic photographer Thomas Bredenfeld recommended shooting the 12mm fisheye in a slanted position on the Nodal Ninja R1. By rotating the lens about 33º in the mount you get more vertical coverage, and a zenith shot is not necessary. The shipwreck panorama above was taken on a 10 foot Nodal Ninja carbon fiber pole. Shooting 6 around worked perfectly, and I also took an extra offset shot to remove my shadow.

During the time I was hanging out at the shipwreck, a constant stream of people stopped by to see the old boat and take pictures. Everyone from locals to tourists, from hipsters to families.

I wasn't planning on posting this panorama because the light isn't particularly spectacular. But I just learned that some careless night photographers were light painting with steel wool, and burned the ship earlier this week. Shoot 'em while you got 'em, folks. And enjoy the shipwreck 360 panorama.

 

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360 Night Panorama of Roy's Motel Cafe, Amboy, California

The famous Roy's Motel Cafe is on a lonely stretch of Route 66 in the Eastern Mojave Desert. Restoration work has been in progress since Albert Okura bought the town of Amboy in 2005. Currently, you can buy gas and beverages here. The famous Googie/mid-century modern sign has been photographed a lot over the years. Stand underneath the Roy's sign on a full moon in this 360 night panorama

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