Bermuda – Mary Celestia Wreck

Bermuda – Mary Celestia Wreck

Our Catlin Seaview Survey partners were in Bermuda leading up to the launch of the Catlin Global Reef Record on September 23rd.  They shot a number of areas for us to produce virtual tours of. Probably the most interesting is the ship wreck of the Mary Celestia. The Mary Celestia was a paddle steamer which sunk in 1864, it was being used to smuggle ammunitions and other supplies to the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The wreck sits in only 55 feet of water and one of the huge paddle wheels in clearly visible at the dive site. The tour was also uploaded to Google Streetview, and can be seen here in Google...
Whale Sharks – Underwater Virtual Tour

Whale Sharks – Underwater Virtual Tour

I was very excited when the team shot WHALE SHARKS for the first time recenlty.  I’ve been asking for something big… I was expecting whales… but instead I got WHALE SHARKS.  We also produced some coral panoramas from Gloves Reef in Belize. But did I mentioned… Whale Sharks...
Lady Elliot Island – Manta Ray Virtual Tour

Lady Elliot Island – Manta Ray Virtual Tour

I was with the Catlin Seaview Survey team on Lady Elliot Island recently for a National Geographic documentary series on Australian Coastlines.  They wanted to do a segment on the Catlin Seaview Survey, so we all had to suit up and perform our roles for the cameras. Of course we always take the opportunity to shoot great content when it presents. Enjoy the stunning Manta Rays, sitting like space voyaging battleships above the coral planets. By the way, I highly recommend Lady Elliot Island. It’s a beautiful low key place, where coral reefs live just a few meters off the beach. Not only that but the flight in and out is by small aircraft, a great experience on its...
Galapagos Sea Lions

Galapagos Sea Lions

The Galapagos National Park is a mecca for nature lovers with amazing biodiversity to be found both above and below the water. Together with Google, we worked with locally based scientific and conservation groups The Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park Service in the area. Of course our primary area of interest is what lives beneath the water, the Sea Lions being a very playful highlight for all involved. This is one of the best underwater panoramas we’ve ever produced, the series it’s from is also one of the most difficult. 10+ Sealions darting all over the place at lightning speed… you can bet there was more than the odd flipper that needed some post production...
Antilla Wreck – Aruba

Antilla Wreck – Aruba

Underwater Ship Wrecks are fascinating to view, and often encompass equally fascinating stories. The Antilla was another casualty of World War II, when hostilities broke out between Germany and the Netherlands. Here’s Wikipedia’s take on the events that lead to her 1939 sinking:  On 9 April Germany invaded Denmark and Norway. This increased the fear that the Netherlands would also be invaded, so on 12 April Dutch authorities in Aruba confined Antilla’s crew to their ship. On 10 May Germany invaded the Netherlands so the Dutch government ordered the seizure of all German ships in the Dutch Antilles. At 0310 hrs on 10 May a section of Dutch Marines in two boats approached Antilla to board her but Schmidt refused to lower the gangway. The Dutch marines were commanded by a Captain who anticipated armed resistance from the German crew. He therefore postponed the boarding to first light, when a machine gun positioned ashore could provide cover. The German crew used the delay to start scuttling Antilla. One crewman locked himself in the engine room, opened her seacocks and climbed out through the funnel. Other crew set fire to several parts of the ship. At 0500 hrs the Dutch marines boarded the ship and at 0530 the German crew was assembled on the poop deck. The Marines escorted the crew ashore in a lifeboat and handed them into the custody of the Royal Marechaussee. At 0600 hrs two Netherlands Coastguard vessels, HM Aruba and HM Practico, reached Malmok Bay and found Antilla on fire. Two of Aruba’s crew boarded Antilla, found the engine room and numbers 4 and 5...
Central Park, New York

Central Park, New York

Central Park is literately the lung of New York. In one of the biggest, more populated and busiest world’s capital this big park is a place where you can ‘feel out of the big apple’. Here you can find quiet, peace and contact with nature and all just in the center of New York. It is amazing how you can be there without spotting huge buildings or listening to the traffic...
Perth Virtual Tour

Perth Virtual Tour

I was in Perth recently shooting virtual tours of hotels for the Ascott Group.  Of course when I wasn’t shooting inside, I was out shooting Perth Virtual Tours. Around the city and out to Fremantle.  It was a quick but enjoyable trip, I hope to get back sometime in the not too distant...
DJP – First Gallery Showing

DJP – First Gallery Showing

Darren Paine one of my oldest friends, a good buddy from primary school, recently had his first photographic gallery showing. He’s a wedding and portrait photographer, so he showcased his portraits. The showing coincided with the year of his 40th birthday… so he managed to tick an item off his bucket list… gallery showing by 40. Of course I had to shoot an Art Gallery Virtual Tour to immortalise the event. Well done old...
Palmela Castle

Palmela Castle

Castelo de Palmela is one of Portugal many castles. It is located on the top of the beautiful little village of Palmela and its origins go so far has 8th century. Although more than 1200 years old it has a quite well maintained structure and is classified National Monument since 1910. Adjacent to the castle there is an old church and a convent dated from around 1400. The convent is now a very nice and cozy hotel where this pictures were...
Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. For a long time it was the tallest building in the world and although it was surpassed it still holds the its famous iconic design. From the top you can have a fantastic view and a real feel of the ‘Pariseinne’ romantic...
Uluru (Ayers Rock) Virtual Tour – Outback

Uluru (Ayers Rock) Virtual Tour – Outback

Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, is a place of immense beauty with a definite spiritual aspect.  It’s the worlds largest monolith (single big rock), being located in the middle of outback Australia, it towers over the flat surrounding desert. Official Uluru National Park – Link At present you can still climb Uluru, although the owners ask that you don’t.  The climb is located on the western face, it’s extremely steep, with chains to help climb portions of it.  The climb closes at 8am on any day the temperature is forecast to top 36°C  (97°F)  I shot the climb from the ground but am not allowed to show it. I chose to respect the wishes of the owners and not climb. Instead I did the 10km (6.2 miles) walk around the base of Uluru. The base walk is amazing.  Even if you choose to climb Uluru, make time to walk the base as well. IMO the best way to walk the base is to start at the south car park before dawn, then walk east, counter clockwise around the rock.  This way you walk towards the sun as it breaks the horizon… a sunning sight. As the sun gets a little higher & hotter you turn the eastern edge of Uluru and put your back to the sun walking west along the northern rock face.  On this section I was going against the flow of hordes of tourists trying to shield their faces & eyes from the intense sun beating down. I shot virtual tours all around Uluru, unfortunately I’m prevented from showing any virtual tours of the northern...
Sydney Rock Pools – Virtual Tour

Sydney Rock Pools – Virtual Tour

Over a couple of stunning winters days in Sydney last year I shot more than 170 virtual tours from Palm beach in the far north of Sydney to Maroubra beach in the south.  In the process I visited a LOT of amazing Sydney Rock Pools, which are featured here for your viewing pleasure. [Note: Rock Pools are also known as Sea Baths & Ocean Pools] I’ve covered less than 1/2 of the Rock Pools in Sydney, next time I’m there I plan to shoot many more, eventually having virtual tours of every Rock Pool. If you’re in Sydney with a car, a fantastic day can be had driving all the way to the top of the Sydney coastline at Palm Beach / Barrenjoey Headland, then heading south, stopping at every beach and rocky headland you come across. The Sydney coastline is diverse and beautiful, along with its inhabitants and structures. Ocean Pools History – External Link North Narrabeen Rock Pool Sydney Rock Pools map with virtual tours.Sydney Rock Pools Map – FullScreen...
Kings Canyon Virtual Tour – Outback Australia

Kings Canyon Virtual Tour – Outback Australia

Kings Canyon (Watarrka) National Park is a stunning place, 4hrs drive from Alice Springs in the middle of Outback Australia. It also happens to be 4hrs drive from Uluru (Ayers Rock)  You can include it as part of a loop, driving west along the Macdonnell ranges from Alice Springs on Larapinta Drive, then heading to Uluru from Kings Canyon, which is what I did. (4wd recommended) There are 2 main walks at Kings Canyon, a short walk along the valley floor at the foot of the canyon walls.  It’s about 500m (1600ft) and takes 30mins at a leisurely pace. Near the end is a beautiful rock pool, depending on the season/rain. The 2nd walk is a much more serious affair of 5.5km (3.5miles) which takes around 3.5hrs to complete. Seeing as this is in outback Australia, which is a HOT place, it’s best to start this walk very early in the morning… or perhaps later in the day. The walk beings with a killer uphill slog, known as heartbreak hill. By the time you reach the top your legs are jelly & your heart pounding. Interestingly this used to be the end of the walk, but lots of people injured themselves coming down the steep hill after walking for 3+hrs.  So the park rangers reversed the track to make the hill the start & now have virtually zero injuries. After spending 4hrs shooting virtual tours on the track, my legs really were jelly coming down the gentle slope on the other side of the canyon, I was VERY glad to not be coming down heartbreak...
Kakadu Virtual Tours – Anbangbang Rock Art

Kakadu Virtual Tours – Anbangbang Rock Art

Earlier this year I was in Darwin shooting for the Northern Territory Library. I organised for one extra day in my schedule to allow me to zoom out to Kakadu & shoot some virtual tours.  It’s a 3hr+ drive each way from Darwin to Jabiru in the Kakadu NP, so I didn’t expect to have much time for shooting.  Plus the wet season wasn’t over yet, so most places were inaccessible. Even so the couple of places I could get to were amazing. Official Kakadu National Park Link The Nourlangie and Nanguluwur art sites are a short drive from the Kakadu visitors centre and about a 1.5km (1 mile) walk. The art & rock shelters are amazing to see, and very...
Port Arthur Virtual Tours – Tasmania

Port Arthur Virtual Tours – Tasmania

Quite some time ago I was in Tasmania shooting hundreds of virtual tours.  One morning while staying in Hobart (capital city) I got up at 4am to drive out to Port Arthur (1.5hrs away) to shoot virtual tours at sunrise. Driving 1.5hrs for a sunrise shoot is always a little risky.  It’s still dark when you leave, so all you have to go on are the weather reports from the night before & what clouds you can see locally in the dark.  Fortunately this morning was beautiful. The Port Arthur ruins are some of the oldest in Australia and sit on a beautiful waterway.  If it wasn’t for the cruel & severe life convicts endured here… I’m sure it would have been quite lovely. Port Arthur Ruins at Sunrise Port Arthur is the most popular attraction in Tasmania, the heritage listed park is wonderfully maintained, with a large and informative visitors centre. Port Arthur Ruins of the church. Port Arthur map containing virtual tours. Port Arthur FullScreen Map Link Official Port Arthur Website...
Floriade Canberra

Floriade Canberra

50+ Floriade Virtual Tours. The Annual Canberra flower festival – Floriade is on right now… up until the 11th of October 2009.  If you get a chance… go, it’s beautiful.  Now I’m not a flower lover in particular, but they build all sorts of images in flowers, it’s amazing stuff. Official Floriade Site Link When I shot the festival last year I happened to arrive in Canberra about 1hr before it finished for the year. I not only witnessed the amazing flowers, but the aftermath, as festival volunteers got to dig up whatever plants they wanted. Floriade Aftermath. (Only for volunteers) The fact everything was about to be destroyed also meant I could walk all over the flower beds as well, getting to the middle of them for virtual tours, which was great.  I would have loved to shoot pole panoramas there as well, but unfortunately time didn’t...
Surfers Paradise Dust Storm

Surfers Paradise Dust Storm

With all the noise about the Sydney Dust Storms this morning we here in Queensland were watching with interest… until about lunchtime when the dust storms hit us as well, 1000km (620 miles) north of Sydney. Surfers Paradise Beach – Under Dust. I figured if the dust got so thick I couldn’t see buildings about 300m (1000ft) away I’d head into Surfers Paradise and shoot some virtual tours for posterity.  As it turns out we got the pea soup thick dust, so I took the shots. Surfers Paradise Beach – Typical Morning. Here is the full set of 4 virtual tours I shot today.  You can also check them out on maps in the virtual tour player. Click the ‘map’ button, on the lower right control...
Adelaide Virtual Tour

Adelaide Virtual Tour

With over 500 virtual tours of Adelaide you’ll find plenty to see on our virtual tour site. Adelaide is a beautiful city full of old buildings & churches (by Australian standards). The City area is completely surrounded by massive parks, some of which contain sports fields & botanical gardens. Here you can view over 60 Adelaide Botanical Gardens Virtual Tours. Victoria Square – Adelaide Virtual Tour Glass Footbridge – Adelaide Virtual Tour Black swan & paddle boats on The River Torrens – Adelaide Virtual Tour Botanic Gardens of Adelaide Virtual Tour Bicentennial Conservatory – Adelaide Virtual Tour Port Adelaide Virtual Tour – Queens Wharf Henley Jetty – Adelaide Virtual...
Mt Kosciusko Virtual Tours

Mt Kosciusko Virtual Tours

Back in October 2008 I had the opportunity to shoot virtual tours from the top of Australia’s Tallest mountain, Mt Kosciusko.  I put together a separate map of the 46 Mt Kosciusko Walking Track Virtual Tours.  This area is also known as the Snowy Mountains and the Australia Alps.  It’s located in Kosciusko National Park. Of course Australia being the flattest continent on Earth, our mountains are more rolling hills than ‘mountains’.  This is borne out by the fact there’s a nice wide walking track all the way to the top, while back in the day you could drive to the top.  They closed the road in the 1970’s though, as parking at the top of our tallest mountain was becoming an issue. A Virtual Tour of Mt Kosciusko – From the top. The official record lists the height of Mt Kosciusko at 2228m (7310 ft).  My camera mounted GPS claimed a height of 2232m (7322 ft), you can decide which one you want to believe.  (Hint: GPS is generally not very accurate at measuring height, although very close in this instance) There are 2 walking tracks to the top. I chose the shorter one, a 13km (8 mile) return, which runs from the top of the Thredbo Chairlift.  The lift costs $28 for a return trip in summer and takes about 10mins.  It’s a beautiful ride up. The walk wasn’t too hard consisting mostly of undulating hills.  In October I had to cross about 6 snow drifts, some of which were quite long, and near to the top of Kosciusko a little steep and slippery as well, but...
350+ London Virtual Tours

350+ London Virtual Tours

After 2 weeks in Japan Rick landed in the UK ready to start shooting London virtual tours. He spent his time shooting mainly in the Central London areas, covering plenty of the major sites such as: Buckingham Palace Virtual Tour: Trafalgar Square Virtual Tour: London Eye, from Jubilee Gardens, Virtual Tour: Horse Guards Virtual Tour: Piccadilly Circus Virtual Tour: There are also plenty of multi monitor wallpapers from Central London on our Desktop Wallpaper site....
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