The Giant's Organ Pipes

George Row

Derry, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

[360, Antrim, Ballycastle, Benandonner, Bushmills, basalt, Canon 15mm, canon, causeway coast, cliff, coast, columns, EOS 5d mk ii, enblend, enfuse, Finn McCool, Fionn Mac Cumhail, fisheye, Giants Causeway, Giantscauseway, giant, high dynamic range, high resolution, hugin, Irish, Northern Ireland, north coast, organ pipes, panorama, rocks, Scotland, stereographic, Unesco, VR, World Heritage site, wwp, >100, >200, >500 >1,000, >2,000 >3,000 >4,000 >5,000 views]

  1. 4 th March 2016 View Count has reached 5,005

A Virtual reality version of this photograph is available on the World Wide Panorama website.

     Camera: Canon EOS 5d Mk ii   |   Lens: 15mm Canon Fisheye lens.

This panorama, from the Giant’s Causeway on the County Antrim coast, was shot in front of a formation of columns of basalt rock set into the cliff face. It is known as “The Giant’s Organ Pipes”. It was the only photograph that I was able to take on a cloudy, showery day with a bitterly cold wind blowing across the shoreline.

A Virtual Reality version of it will soon be available on the World Wide Panorama site along with my other VR Panoramas I shot this one for the WWP event on the theme of “Scale”.

These columns are about 15m tall. To get a sense of the scale of these giant “pipes” follow up the stepped path to the right of the columns until you see a human figure in a bright orange jacket.

The Giant’s Causeway consists of about 40,000 of these interlocking basalt columns, the result of volcanic eruptions about 60m years ago. Most of the columns are hexagonal. The main Causeway is the promontory a few hundred metres away to the right of the scene here. In this projection it is at the bottom of the picture.

The Giant’s Causeway is located about 5 km (3 miles) East of the town of Bushmills and about 25Km (15 miles) West of Ballycastle. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 – the first in Ireland.

The Giant’s Causeway, is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland, hosting about half a million visitors each year. The site is owned and managed by the National Trust and includes an interpretive centre.

There are beaches, cliffs and harbours on the coast around the Causeway that are also interesting to visit. There are wonderful cliff top walking routes in both directions from the causeway taking the visitor who is prepared to make a day of it to these other attractions.

You can walk freely into the causeway via any of the long-distance walking paths. However use of the car park is controlled by the interpretive centre which (this year) is charging £8 per person for access. On the day I took this photograph I parked (free) at Dunseverick Castle and walked the five miles along the cliff top path to the point where the photograph was taken.

There is much myth and legend associated with the causeway. The main legend suggest that the Causeway was created as part of a feud between two giants Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn McCool) of Ireland and Benandonner of Scotland.

The giants are credited with having built the causeway in order to cross the sea and challenge each other. Various structures around the site are named for their role in this myth. The structure in this panorama is compared to the pipes of a huge organ.

Method and Photo-technical details
This panorama was created from twenty four separate digital photographs, covering every angle and with multiple exposures, bracketed in groups of three from +2 stops to -2 stops.

The source images were shot on a Canon EOS 5d Mk ii with a Canon 15mm fisheye lens and stitched and blended together using Hugin, a free open source program.

These images were combined into a single high-resolution, panorama by the program Hugin. Hugin in turn invoked the programs Nona, to adjust the images, Enblend to blend the seams and Enfuse to create the high dynamic range effect by blending the bracketed exposures.

This was the first panorama I shot with this new lens. The images were processed by Canon software called “Digital Photo Professional”(DPP) which (amongst other things) corrects the Chromatic Aberration, which usually affects images from a fisheye lens. The good thing about this lens is that DPP has a profile for it.

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”

History of this Image on RedBubble

  1. 4 th March 2016 View Count has reached 5,005
  2. 4 th February 2015 View Count reached 3,000
  1. 4 th September 2014 View Count reached 2,005
  2. 30 th January 2014 View Count reached 1,000
  3. 10 th August 2013 View Count reached 500
  4. 1 st June 2013 View Count reached 297
  5. 22nd May 2013 View Count reached 100
  6. 1st April 2013 uploaded to RedBubble.
  7. 30th March 2013 source images stitched and blended into panorama
  8. 17 th March 2013 Source Images shot – only the second panorama taken with my new Canon 15mm lens.

Artwork Comments

  • John Velocci
  • evon ski
  • George Row
  • Thomas Eggert
  • George Row
  • Jane Neill-Hancock
  • Ludwig Wagner
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