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panoramic imaging is more

Aldo Hoeben

CGI: Virtual Photography

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Aldo Hoeben
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The Solution Center for Computer-Generated Imaging presents the latest in image design technology and offers professional users an introduction to this technology's changing workflow models.

To attract a bigger crowd, the booth included a (non-CGI) car in a light-stage sort-of sphere. It was good to see that my dome was not the only dome that was a bit wonky ;-)

Last visitors of the dome theater

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These two visitors of the IVRPA were the last two to experience the dome theater at the booth. After they left, the dome was turned off, and later dismantled. It was not easy to turn off the projection, after all the energy I had put into getting the dome up and running (twice!).

The panorama shown is 'A Paradise Called Caramoan' by Rommel Bundalian

In stereo, where available

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A small number of large format anaglyph stereographic prints were on display as part of the Visual Gallery. There's no two ways round this; people look weird with those glasses on...

Checking out the newest model

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Sony had the 24 megapixel full frame Alpha 900 on display. It looks like quite a camera, and it attracted quite a crowd.

Getting noticed at Slik

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I use a 15 year old tripod manufactured by Slik. I though I'ld drop by and proudly show them my slightly worn, slightly modified tripod. Oddly, they found my shaved Tokina 10-17mm much more interesting, and insisted on taking a picture of it.

Trying lenses at Sigma

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Sigma had a huge booth, though most of it was a closed-off business lounge. They did give photographers the opportunity to try out most of their lenses. I managed to 'steal' a pen here...

Photobuch XXL

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Like Hans said before, one of the biggest growing markets currently seems to be photobooks. There were lots of photobooks at Photokina, but this one was without a doubt the biggest one.

Photobuch XXL was a sponsorproject for the 'Wir helfen' association, which supports local charities and projects in Cologne.

Lomo welcomes Flickr

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The hard-to-miss LOMO lounge in one of the hallways was the home of the Flickr presence at Photokina on saturday. Unfortunately I was just too late for the final presentation of the day, but at least that meant I could get one of the nice Flickr-themed chocolate muffins. For the record: I only took a blue one, only half the logo...

Fuji SuperCCD legacy

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My first DSLR was a Fuji S2 Pro, which I used at Photokina 2006. Last year, I bought a Fuji S5 Pro, that I am still happy with. My new Nikon D700 lets me use the Tokina 10-17mm which is that much sharper than the Sigma 8mm, but I still love the dynamic range the S5 Pro is giving me.

Fuji had a nice overview of the SuperCCD evolution at their booth, and presented the SuperCCD EXR chip design, but unfortunately there was no news about any new DSLRs from Fuji at Photokina. Many think this means the end of the DSLR legacy. Sigh...

Don't look into the light

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Broncolor had some pretty big reflectors and softboxes on its booth. Up close and personal, that makes quite a lot of light.

Shell game

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Early sunday morning, this magician Danny Ocean is already working his crowd. You know it's a trick, but no matter how hard you look you can't find out how the trick works... I am not too sure what it has to do with photography, but it was highly enjoyable to watch this guy work for a couple of minutes.

Here's your Kodak Moment

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At many of the booths where there are models to be photographed, men with long zoom lenses gather around trying to get as close as possible for a good closeup shot of the 'wares'. Take a couple of tens of photos and move on. Wham bam, thank you mam.

This gentleman took a different approach. He actually walked up to the lady in question to show her the image he just shot. Aw... Such gallantry... Or was it because he had his wife with him?

Nikon scoping out the competition?

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Nikon has one of the smartest setups for testing their longer zoom lenses. Most other camera vendors have some form of intricate display or stage, with models, cars, and big shows that actually have nothing to do with photography. But not Nikon. Nikon just lets interested photographers shoot the models across the hallway, at the Pentax booth. Good thinking Nikon, let the others pay for models!

VST Portret Systems

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It takes some confidence to take a position between a photographer and her model. I am still gearing up to 'close contact', but I am inching forward. I got close enough to get a 'hé, was gibt das denn??' from the photographer. Thanks for letting me finish my panorama...

Dome Theater

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At the IVRPA we are showing VRs in different ways. One of the ways to enjoy panoramas is using a Paul Bourke style immersive video projection on a 2.90m diameter hemisphere.

On day 2 we finally got our dome theater to work. We decided to have the dome projection shrouded in black cloth; the projector just could not cope with the ambient light at the booth. I am almost happy with the result. Some extra tinkering might be in order... Come experience the dome theater at out booth!

Matt Uyttendaele 'in da house'

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We've had our first panorama celebrity drop by; Matt Uyttendaele from Microsoft Research. Matt is the main developer of HDView, one of the most advanced viewers for gigapixel images. In this panorama, Matthias Taugwalder is proudly showing off some of his latest Alp gigapixel panoramas to Matt.

Blank canvas

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Like last Photokina, I shot a quick handheld panorama minutes after first arriving at the IVRPA booth on day 0.

The past few days I've been working hard to prepare an immersive dome projection on the booth. When I finally arrived at the booth I was somewhat struck by the sheer size of the hole in the wall. Oh my, if only the calculations for the halfdome gores are correct...