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This dead elm tree stands in the middle of a green in Brooke Park in Derry. The park occupies a steeply sloping site with views over Derry city centre.
A Virtual Reality version of this panorama is available on the World Wide Panorama project website. It was shot as part of the WWP Mortality event, in the Autumn of 2013. It is best viewed in Full Screen version.
The park was named after the Brooke family who owned an estate, just outside Derry called “Brookhill”.
James Brooke, who died in 1865, and his sister Margaret, who died in 1884, each left money in trust which was to be spent: “… to secure an area of land to be used for recreation by the citizens of Derry.”
Between them they left a total of over £10,000, (an amount equivalent to a few million pounds in today’s money). It was used to design the Park and lay it out with trees, shrubs and a fish pond. Brooke Park opened in 1901.
It was later bought by the City with the help of money donated by the “Honourable Irish Society”. Derry City Council has administered the Park to the present day.
This tree probably grew here for over a hundred years before it died.
As a child I regularly visited Brooke Park, because the local Public Library used to be in a building known as Gwyn’s Institute, within the Park grounds.
At that time the Park had many elaborate formal flower beds. My late father, who worked as a gardener elsewhere, took a keen professional interest in how they were maintained. I have an early memory of myself as an impatient 8-year-old waiting while he chatted to a gardener from the City Parks Department.
In recent years the Park has been on my route as I walk from home to the city centre.
The panoramic image was created by combining 27 separate digital photographs covering every angle and with bracketed exposures. Hence the detail has been captured both in the brightest areas of the sky and in the shadows.
The source images were shot in groups of three (bracketed with +2 and -2 stops) as Canon Raw images. They were stitched and blended together using a free, open source, program called Hugin. Hugin in turn invokes a program called Enfuse to create the HDR (High Dynamic Range) effect.
The source images were shot on a Canon EOS 5d Mk ii with a 15 mm Canon fisheye lens.
Because of the way that it was created this is a very high resolution image (the equivalent of about 40-megapixels). It is capable of delivering very fine detail even when printed at massive sizes.
I have written a short journal entry introducing the method by which these panoramas are created, it is called:
“Creating a Stereographic Panorama – the Basic Idea”