miércoles, 13 de noviembre de 2013

Virtual Tour of the Northwest Territories

Yellowknife, Prelude Park, Aurora Village, Peterson's Point Lake Lodge & the Tundra

By Dr. Robert Berdan 


Yellowknife Dock area- Panorama Photo - below you can view Interactive panorama movies by clicking below each pan

This year when I travelled north to Yellowknife for my 5th visit I wanted to take a different photographic approach and went up with the aim of creating 360 spherical VR movies. I describe how I do this is previous articles (see links below). In particular I wanted to photograph the Aurora using 360 VR spherical imaging. I thought I might be the first to do this but I discovered last year that Jason Pineau, a bush pilot working for Air Tindi in Yellowknife had already taken some beautiful spherical images of the aurora (see his featured photography article here).

Pilot's Monument Yellowknife 360 Panorama overlooking the bay - CLICK HERE to view Interactive VR Movie

Taking 360 spherical panoramas is not difficult though it requires a full fisheye lens and some tripod accessories. The camera and tripod must be perfectly level and the lens centered over the nodal point. Photographing in the dark is always challenging, but I was going to be out at night photographing the aurora anyway so I always have several small flash lights with me.

In this article I share with you some my results starting with some spherical panoramas of Yellowknife. Most of the movies I made with a Nikon D800 at 36 Megapixels with a shaved 10.5 mm fisheye lens to offer the highest resolution possible and few were made using my Canon 5D Mark II and 8-15 mm fisheye lens. The movies will play in the browser on desktop computers with Flash installed and also on mobile devices as I also saved them using HTML 5 and javascript though they may not be interactive on a mobile device. To best view the movies CLICK on view in full screen mode and expand your browser to full screen. You can navigate left, right, up and down and even zoom in on the pictures. These type of immersive photos are the closest thing next to being there. I hope you enjoy viewing these movies as much as I enjoyed taking them.  

Cameron Falls is a short hike off the Ingraham Trail out side of Yellowknife - CLICK HERE to view Interactive VR movie. 

Prelude Territorial Park

Prelude is a popular park about 30 km outside of Yellowknife along the Ingraham trail. I have written several articles about this beautiful park which is an ideal place to camp, hike, watch the aurora and photograph foxes. There are several hiking trails that run through the forest and over the Canadian Sheild. In places the trail is sandy and other places it is covered in moss and lichen. Below I am including a few spherical panoramas from the trails, lookout points and of the Aurora. Prelude offers one of the best places in the world to view and photograph the Aurora. 

Prelude Lookout with view of the lake during the day - CLICK HERE to view Interactive VR movie.

View of Prelude Lake at night from Lookout - my wife is sitting on the bench - CLICK HERE to view Interactive VR movie.

Beach at Prelude Lake just after sunset - CLICK HERE to view Interactive VR movie 

Aurora over Prelude Lake from the beach - CLICK HERE to view Interactive VR movie in full screen 

Aurora over Prelude Lake from the beach 2 - CLICK Here to view Interactive VR movie in full screen 

Prelude Hiking Trail, note the moss and lichen growing on the rocks - CLICK HERE to view interactive VR Movie 

Aurora Village 

Aurora village is a commerical aurora viewing company located in Yellowknife that picks guests up at various hotels and shuttles them to Aurora village filled with teepees, stores and other amenities. On arrival a tour guide shows you the various locations you can walk to to view and photograph the Aurora. Usually a group is designated a teepee which has chairs and tables, a warm stove and warm food. The night we visited we had a spectacular auroal display so I spend very little time in the tent, but its a great place to warm up and share stories especially on those occassions the aurora can not be seen. the trails are nicely lit so one can't get lost in the dark. Three are other facilities at the village and next year I will be sure to visit them. Aurora village is popular among Japanese but anyone can make a reservation to visit - see a link to their web site below for more information.

Inside View of Aurora Village Teepee - CLICK here to view Interactive VR movie

Aurora and Star trails over Aurora Village and teepees

Peterson's Point Lake Lodge on the Tundra

About a one hour flight north of Yellowknife aboard Air Tindi is a lodge located in the midst of the tundra on the shore of Point lake. The lodge is an ideal place to fish for lake trout and\or fly fish in the summer. In autumn I lead a photography tour for one week with 2 days in Yellowknife and 5 days on the tundra. . The lodge is located on the migatory path of the Barrens land caribou. The landscape in autumn is spectacular. My hope in the future is take more VR movies in on some sunny days with caribou close by - next year I hope.  

Peterson's Point Lake lodge viewed from the Beach on a calm summer day 

Peterson's Point Lake Lodge on a cloudy day - CLICK HERE to view interactive VR movie in full screen mode.

Dining area inside Peterson's Point Lake lodge - CLICK HERE to view VR movie in full screen mode

Lounge area at Peterson's Point Lake Lodge - CLICK HERE to view VR movie in full screen mode. 

Photographers hiking on the tundra in search of Caribou - Peterson's Point Lake Lodge
CLICK HERE to view VR movie in full screen mode. 

Tundra in Autumn Caribou Bay Near Peterson's Point Lake Lodge - CLICK HERE to view VR movie in full screen mode

Taking 360 VR photos allows me to create large flat panorama and also convert them into interacive movies. The ability to view a scene from all sides makes me feel like I am there. The movies can be linked into a tour and music and narration added - I will be demonstrating some interactive tours in the future. If you would like to visit Yellowknife and hke on the tundra I offer a photographic workshop in early September and we take a maximum of 10 people - for more information visit:

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