Bison Paddock at Golden State Park in 360° Panorama

On a recent trip to the Bay Area, I went to see the spectacular Gaultier exhibit at the De Young in Golden Gate Park. Nearby, next to Spreckels Lake, is the Buffalo Paddock which is home to a herd of bison that live in an enclosed field.

Since you can’t really get close to the bison, this panoramic image is unremarkable as they appear teeny tiny in the distance due to the wide field of view of my Sigma 8mm fisheye lens.

What’s neat about this pano — at least to me — is the fact that there are spectators like myself viewing the animals and for one brief moment I was able to capture the moment with no resulting stitching errors! This was a serendipitous feat as I was just at the right place at the right time and for the few seconds it took to capture the image, nobody dared move!

Trust me: it is tremendously difficult to take panoramic images in public spaces with crowds. I mean, unless you’re Patrick Cheatham shooting for Starbucks with a group of professional models to provide background atmosphere by standing absolutely still, most people in a space will move around and when you’re shooting a consecutive series of images that panos require, well, it can be a problematic.

The issues come up when you go to stitch the image in post because strange aberrations will undoubtedly occur as people change their positions or body poses, cars move through a shot, maybe even dogs run around or what have you as various activities occur within a scene. 

This is why you rarely see candid crowd panos although I must say I’m starting to see some very skilled panographers capture images from concerts such as Coachella and I can appreciate the challenges they had in producing a good image.

So to me, this is a pretty nifty panorama that captured the feel of the place complete with people!

Go me! 🙂