St Columb's Cathedral from Derry's Walls at Church Bastion, Derry

George Row

Derry, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

[360°, autumn leaves, bastion, cannon, cathedral, Church Bastion, city walls, cityscape, Derry, EOS 5d mk ii, gun, high resolution, historic, hugin, Ireland, Londonderry, N Ireland, panorama, planet, siege of Derry, sky out, St Columb’s, stereographic, UK City of Culture, walled city, >500 >1,000 >2,000 >3,000 >4,000 >5,000 >6,000 views, three features]

  1. 5 th October 2016 View Count has reached 6,005
  1. 7 th March 2015 Awarded its third feature in the group Mug World
  1. 15 th October 2014 Achieved its second feature in the group Historic Sites
     Camera: Canon EOS 5d Mk ii   |   Lens: EF 15mm f2.8 L Canon Fisheye lens. 

The source images were shot on a Canon EOS 5d mk ii, with a Canon EF 15mm f2.8 L fisheye lens and stitched and blended together into a HDR panorama using Hugin, a free open source program which in turn invokes Enfuse to create the HDR effect. (See Method and Photo-technical details for the whole story.)

This 360° panoramic photograph was shot on Derry’s city walls at Church Bastion – one of the fortified parts of the historic walls – next to St Columb’s Cathedral.

The church is named after Saint Columba – also often known by the Irish form of his name Columcille – who established a monastic settlement in Derry in the middle of the sixth century.

In fact the city was for a time known as “Doire Colmcille”, before that it was known as “Doire Calgach”. (Which literally meant “oak wood of Calgach” – Calgach was a Celtic chieftain.) The London guilds who sponsored the building of the Cathedral renamed the city London-Derry. Col. Thomas Colby in his Ordinance Survey volume published in 1837 observed that the city had had double-barreled names through-out its history but that the natives invariably reverted to simply calling it “Derry”.

Planning for St Columb’s Cathedral started in 1613. The original construction was completed by 1633 making it the first Anglican cathedral constructed after the reformation and now the oldest intact original building inside Derry’s city walls.

Having said that it has seen a good deal of development over the years. In 1776 the tower was extended by 20 feet and then topped with a stone spire, making a total height of 221 feet. But by the end of that century the tower was showing signs of giving way and the whole structure was dismantled in order to be rebuilt. By 1802 the new tower was complete and 20 years later the current spire had been added.

The nave remained in its original form until 1825 when the South porch was removed. In 1827 the eastern turrets were altered – in earlier drawings they appear with battlements – and of course there are famous stories of the cathedral having cannon installed on the turrets during the siege of 1689.

In 1861/2 the interior of the Cathedral was entirely remodeled. The chancel was added in 1887 – built on foundations that had been laid in 1633. So you could say that it took over 250 years to complete the original building as planned by the Cathedral’s architects.

In 1910 the Chapter House was added behind the porch. It now houses a museum.

Changes since then could be seen just as maintenance – including the recent extensive cleaning and refurbishment of the exterior stonework of the Cathedral.

The wooden parts of the cannons seen here in Church Bastion were also restored in recent years – but the barrels are originals that date from the before the siege of Derry in 1689.

Each year St Columb’s Cathedral is visited by more than 80,000 tourists and visitors.

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 shot this as a test of my new workflow with the new lens and use of DPP. But with the cannons, and the autumn leaves and the crack of blue in the grey clouds, I liked the way the photograph came out – so decided to upload it here.

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. 5 th October 2016 View Count has reached 6,005
  2. 6 th March 2015 View Count reached 4,000
  3. 15 th October 2014 Achieved its second feature in the group Historic Sites
  4. 10 th September 2014 View Count reached 3,000
  5. 7 th February 2014 View Count reached 2,005
  6. 10 th September 2013 Achieved its first feature in the group Everything Old is New Again
  7. 10 th June 2013 View Count reached 1,000


  1. 15 th February 2013 View Count reached 500


  1. 15th December 2012 View count reached 202
  2. 16th November 2012 View count reached 100
  3. 1st November 2012 uploaded to RedBubble.
  4. 30th October 2012 source images stitched and blended into panorama
  5. 29th October 2012 Source Images shot – the first panorama taken with my new Canon 15mm lens.

Artwork Comments

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