This is my visual playground, hopefully constantly evolving into something new. I will be adding elements, removing things, redesigning them, experimenting with new programs, new approaches, anything I come to think of. Learning along the way - and sharing that process: more like "how about this" than "this is the best I can do" -approach.
For instance, take the Panoramic Images 2008: I am playing with the interface: should the captions be integrated flash pulldowns or html-pages with I-frames. Can one image contain 2 panned ambient audiotracks - opposite directions - and maybe a voiceover as well?
I wanted to create a page where I can experiment with visual - and journalistic - elements as freely as I can. No boundaries, no client telling what to do and what not to do. No bells and whistles per se, but content, as visually as I can think of.
If this be work, it would consist of sportsimages. But I work with those images on a daily basis anyway. So, in order to make it different and interesting to myself, I make it very personal. It is a glimpse to our life in an environment we love very much: the sea. It is also a story of our boat, Princess Sophie, but most importantly, I hope it evolves in the years to come into some sort of continuing tale of our lives on sea and the islands - and maybe most importantly, becomes a legacy and a personal logbook of the childhood summers for my two children , Emma and Tintti, something to look back to when they grow up.
Journey home, July 2006

After several fiberglassboats, I had a idea of getting a wooden one. But each one I considered had something that was wrong.

A friend told me: "You don't want a wooden boat, you want a Vindö".

A Vindö? I went to the computer, did some research and totally fell for these boats. Made in Sweden, by a company that went bankcrupt in mid-eighties, these boats have a rock-solid reputation in the sailing community.

I had my mind set for two models, 50 with ketch rigging or 45, a sloop. There are not that many of these sold annually in the world and they - being at least 20 years old - quite often require pretty heavy renovation.

I searched and searched, went to see several boats and eventually found this one. We sailed her home in the summer of 2006 from Germany and spent the following two years turning her into what she is now. The story of that journey is on the right.

Length overall: 10.28m

Length waterline: 8.20m

Beam: 3.33m

Displacement 5.9 tons

Ballast: 2.5 tons

Draft: 1.60m

Mainsail: 22.5sqm

Genoa: 32.0sqm

Mast: 12.5m

Mast (waterline): 14.25

Designer: John Lindblom

Vindös were constructed on the Island of Orust, on the west coast of Sweden, from 1960 until 1987. The models vary from Vindö 18 to 95, where the number is indicative of the total sail area of the boat.

Most yachts were designed by Karl Andersson, only 45 and 452 came from John Lindbloms drawingtable.

The hull is sprayed fiberglass, typically c. 1/2" to 1" thick. Everything else is made of teak, mahogany or iroko.

Long keel makes her very stable, but hard to manouver in the harbor. She sleeps a crew of seven.

Summer of 2008 we spent on the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland. Emma being three and Tintti one year old, we did not want to take too much of a challenge. Weather was really bad, raining and raining all the time, and it turned out to be a wise decision.

The eastern archipelagio is often less appreciated - due to the fact that the western one is so totally unique. But, it has its charm and some unbeliavably beautiful places. And it is not crowded, not even in the midlle of the holiday season.

All imagery (still/film), coding and sound: © Kari Kuukka
Above is a first version of a series of 360°x180° panoramic images I did during the summer. Total 35 images, flash-format, several of them shot in HDR, using both Sigma 8mm and Canon 15mm lenses. If you don't touch the image, it dissolves into the next one every 10-15 seconds or so. But feel free to move around, zoom in and out; the timer is set to pause if the image is touched.

If you want to browse specific location, click on the images below. Some contain only one image, some several, in which case the timer interval is c. 30 seconds.

Next (hopefully soon coming) update adds to the images authentic, panned audio (maybe several live interactive audiopans working in sync); as well as captions (either flash or html; I have not yet decided). In addition, I will see how I can add buttons so one can browse a single image - within an imageset - if one so desires.

The beauty of the timed "main" example above is the fact that it only uses one XML-instruction file. The cubefaces - extracted from huge equirectangular images - are 1200px by 1200px, in order to save bandwith. Thus, the level of detail is not as high as I would like. And still, in order to run smoothly, it does require pretty fast connection. Individual imagesets (buttons) have their own XMLs, but these were rather easy to do after one got the main one done.

I code this is FPP (flash) and troubleshooting can get pretty tedious... Yes, I know FFC, but I am not happy with the interface. Also, I have not yet upgraded to the new pano.swf plugin, as there remains some unsolved issues with Flash 10.

As usual with my panoramic images, they can be grabbed and turned with the mouse, zoomed in and out with shift/cmd/ctrl -keys or the wheel of the mouse. Right-clicking opens them fullscreen, escape brings you back. If you want to see a specific place, click on the images below, otherwise the images change every 10-15 seconds (if you don't touch them). Slideshow containing all the panoramas can be reloaded here.

Images of 2008

- www.karikuukka.com -

Panoramic Images 2008 (VERS. 1.0.1), Eastern Gulf of Finland