Images from Beijing

Due to some requests and all the nice feedback I have had, I decided to post some more panoramic images I did during the past days here in Beijing. Please note that these are done solely for my own amusement - I guess this is my way of taking touristic shots - to remember these games also in the years to come, so I would not be left solely with the sportsimages which I shoot for a client. I did these with a monopod, not with a decent tripod and a panoramic head as I would have liked to do. But due to the long travelling I just had to cut down some toys I would have liked to bring with me from back home.

My actual blog is in Finnish - and during these games it will stay that way - but since some people have requested, I do this in English in order to reach a bit wider audience.

Double-clicking on the equirectangular image below opens the panorama in another window. They contain authentic ambient sound, so make sure you have your speakers turned on. Images can be grabbed with the mouse, zoomed in and out with shift/ctrl/cmd -keys, or the with the wheel if you are using windows-system. Please close the previous image before opening the next one to avoid the audio getting mixed up.

If I were to do these for a client, I would most probably do more interaction inside the actual images, transitions to subsequent images, etc. But, as they are done "on the side" of my actual job here - which is sports photography - I do have to make some compromises, purely because of time needed for coding (being a photographer, not a coder). These are handcoded in flash with no GUI.

As any professional photographer would tell you, the greatest reward is not the cheque you receive on your payday - but it is knowing that people are seeing your images and sharing your experinces.

So I let the images speak for themselves, bow deeply - and humbly express my appreciation for all the positive feedback I have received. Enjoy.

Especially in the eveninglight the Birdsnest is quite impressive. But with the competition going on inside, it is surprisingly calm outside the actual stadium.

On the other side of the plaza you can see the Watercube, which - likewise - looks nothing in the plain daylight but wakes up with the setting sun.

It is amazing to find this much empty space only 100-200 meters away from the main arena. And remember, this is China, with the population exceeding that of back home somewhat....

You can hear the crickets and you can hear the roar of the crowd echoing from the stadium.

The voices of people passing by can be heard, although they have not been captured on this image. Over the rim of the stadium you see the Olympic fire burning and in the opposite direction the tower where CCTV is havign their studios, with the Olympic rings on the top.

This is one of the coolest things I've seen here inside the actual Olympic areas. A fountain, where water is choreographed to spring according to music . Children - and adults alike - - are enjoying themselves, trying to get their picture taken by their friends and family while not getting (too) wet themselves.

Notice the waterdrops on the lens? Yes, I got a bit too close myself...

I took a stroll to the Forbidden City. An immense experience, which would merit a virtual-tour of its own, but which I unfortunately can not give at this point.

But as I wandered around, I ended up to a lonely corner inside the outer walls and there, away from the tourist crowds, landed in the middle of local young men practicing Tai Chi.

The music you hear comes from a cellphone playing mp3 which they set on the curb themselves.

If I were to do this again, I would include sound, but I decided that I would not do it now afterwards. Somehow at this point it wouldn't seem right. So many people ( over 200 000 by now) have seen it as it is, so I will not make vers. 2.0 or anything alike. Would be like an artist going to a museum, when the piece is hanging on the wall, and adding the finishing touches.

As I've said, I am pleased and proud that so many people have found this. I humbly thank for all the attention and nice feedback I have had the pleasure of recieving.

Beijing 23.8.2008 / KK