[360°, Aileach, ancient, archeological, Calendar 2015, Canon EOS 5d, celtic, Donegal, dawn, featured, Featured-RB, fort, Grianan, Hugin, historic, iPad cover, Ireland, mugs, landscape, old, planet, ruin, scenic, Sold as Print, solstice, stone, sun, sunrise, throw pillows, tote bag, Ulster, winning images, winners, winter, World Wide Panorama, >1,000 >2,000 >3,000 >4,000 >5,000 >6,000 >7,000 >8,000 >9,000 >10,000 >11,000 >12,000 >13,000 views, eleven features]

  1. 4th January 2015 View Count reached 13,050
  1. 6 th August 2014 Achieved its Eleventh feature in the group Historic Sites

The source images were shot on a Canon EOS 5d with a 16 mm Zenitar fisheye lens.

This 360° panoramic image was shot at dawn on the Winter Solstice 2007 at the ancient stone fort known as Grainan of Ailach, in County Donegal, Ireland. It is also available in Virtual reality form.
Although it is across a county line the people of my home town – Derry – have always regarded Grianan as one of THEIR local historical landmarks, and it would certainly be on the tourist-trail for any visitor to Derry.

Grainan of Ailach literally means “Fortress of the Sun”. In its day it was the Seat of the High Kings of Ulster.

An ancient site such as this is interesting. One such site might be the work of a small group of craftspeople talented in the use of stone. But I really began to take notice when I discovered that there were structures like this all over Ireland …
      [150 miles away on Inishmore Island.]

That implies a society with travel and some means of, if not designing, at least of recording and copying. But perhaps, just perhaps the society here, three thousand years ago, had specialists who designed, who built, who advised on the choice of stone, who managed great projects such as this.

That makes them seem so much more like us and puts our puny advances in the intervening years into the context of our hundreds of thousands of years of social development since we emerged as a species.

Technical Photographic Detail
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 inside the fort.

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 with a 16 mm Zenitar fisheye lens.

Because of the way that it was created this is a very high resolution image (the equivalent of about 80-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”


          This image is also available as part of a calendar
                        Panoramic views of Ireland      

History of this Image on RedBubble

  1. 4th January 2015 View Count reached 13,050
  2. 10th November 2014 View Count reached 11,000
  3. 24 th September 2014 View Count reached 10,000
  4. 6 th August 2014 Achieved its Eleventh feature in the group Historic Sites
  1. 21st July 2014 View Count reached 9,000
  2. 30th April 2014 View Count reached 8,000
  3. 28 th December 2013 View Count reached 7,034
  4. 20 th July 2013 View Count has reached 6,027
  5. 26 th March 2013 Achieved its Tenth feature in the group Solo Exhibition
  6. 16 th Feb 2013 View count passed 5,000 views
  7. 26 th Oct 2012 View count passed 4,000 views
  8. 21st May 2012 Featured in the group: Artists Universe
  9. 16th May 2012 Featured for the second time in the group: All that’s Archaeology
  10. 16th May 2012 Featured in the group: Superbly Visual
  11. 15th May 2012 Won the Round and Round challenge in the All that’s Archaeology group
  12. 25th April 2012 this was one of the first photographs I uploaded when I joined Redbubble 2 years ago. As of today it has had one sale, been made a Favourite by 16 people and has been viewed 2750 times.
  13. 8 th Oct 2011 Sold as a Print,
  1. This image was uploaded on 10th March 2010. By 13 November 2010 it had been viewed 516 times and made a favourite image by 9 people.
    It has been featured ten times in 9 different Redbubble groups including:
  2. Heritage Listed and Other Trusts Sites World Wide ,
  3. All that is Archeological , Twice
  4. “Historic Landmarks of Europe” ,
  5. “The Best of Anything and Everything”
  6. “Sets of Two” and
  7. “The World as we See it”,
  8. Theme Thursday – Feature Friday (6th February)

A photographic print of this sold on RedBubble in October 2011. It is an image that has always been popular at my physical exhibitions and has sold many times as a small framed print and twice as a 30″×30″ print mounted on foam board.


History of Grianan
Grianan of Ailach Fort is an Irish National Monument in the care of the Irish Office of Public Works.

There has been a stone structure on this site for more than two thousand years. It appeared on a map of Ireland made by Ptolemy sometime before 200AD. That stone structure was in turn established amidst an earlier circular hill-top earthwork also consisting of concentric rings.

Other shots of Grianan
This is one of eight shots of Grianan of Aileach here
by various photographers.


I also have panoramas here from:

        Donegal           Derry
      The Aran Islands  


  • netmonk
    netmonkalmost 5 years ago

    Hey George nice work.. you should enter this to Mini Galaxy also! ~Kenny

  • Martina Fagan
    Martina Faganalmost 5 years ago

    many thanks from
    Tina & Fino

  • Hugh Fathers
    Hugh Fathersalmost 5 years ago

    Lovely stuff!! . . .

  • J J  Everson
    J J Eversonalmost 5 years ago

    That’s an amazing piece of work. Lovely stuff.

  • Judith Hayes
    Judith Hayesalmost 5 years ago
    Truly amazing! I have sat and looked at it for 5 minutes.
  • Judith, Thank you – the image is 9,000×9,000 pixels so there is loads of detail in there, even when printed as a 30 inch square. One of the things I aim for with these panoramas is to have something that is “graphically interesting” from the other side of the room (or when represented as an icon) and also have lots of interesting detail to reward the person who stops and stares.

    – George Row

  • EarthGipsy
    EarthGipsyalmost 5 years ago

    Truely awesome!

    A great addition to the Heritage and Other Listed Properties Group

  • EarthGipsy
    EarthGipsyalmost 5 years ago

    Congratulations on your feature in Heritage and Other Listed Properties

  • Sonia,
    oOOo thank you!

    – George Row

  • Agnes McGuinness
    Agnes McGuinnessalmost 5 years ago

    I love how you’ve captured the spirit of this place, while maintaining masterful technique. Beautiful! Agnes xx

  • BarbL
    BarbLalmost 5 years ago
    The work you did on his is brilliant! Congratulations on an amazing image!
  • Barbara, Thank you.
    If you have Quicktime installed on your computer you can see a Virtual reality version of the image of Grainan of Ailach on my website.

    – George Row

  • J J  Everson
    J J Eversonalmost 5 years ago

    A very novel way of looking at archaeology. Very different. Outstanding work and effort. :o)

  • J J,
    Thank you. My reply to the previous comment has a link to virtual reality version that you might find interesting. George

    – George Row

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